World’s Most Prolific Patent Holder Wants to Beat His Own Cancer by Inventing a Cure

Meet Yoshinari Nakamatsu, aka Dr. NakaMats, a prolific inventor and Japan’s very own ‘Patent King’. With over 3,500 patents to his name, the 87-year-old had no plans to retire – his dream was to live to the ripe old age of 144 and eventually produce at least 6,000 patents. Sadly, there’s a serious obstacle to that goal now – he’s been diagnosed with terminal cancer and isn’t expected to be around much longer.

But the eccentric mastermind and self-professed polymath doesn’t plan on going down without a fight. He’s been spending his last days doing the one thing he does best – inventing. Best known for licensing the floppy disk to IBM corporation in the 1970s, Dr. NakaMats has spent the past two years trying to invent a cure for his deadly disease.

The rare ductal prostate cancer was discovered in 2013, and his doctors told him he only had around two years left. However, Nakamatsu has been fortunate to make it into 2016 and he is still “investigating all kinds of therapy so people could live longer.” He is determined to continue doing so until the very end. “I’m going to discover a new treatment,” he asserted in a 2014 interview.


Photo: YouTube video caption

At a press conference on 24 December 2015, Dr. NakaMats said that he’d initially doubted the diagnosis and went for several medical opinions before he was finally convinced. Later, he realised that radiation therapy and surgery were out of question for a man his age. So he turned to developing alternative therapies involving cancer-busting superfoods, immunity-boosting teas, and a special style of singing that could trigger cancer immunity in the brain. He’s also tried to design a robot that could cure the disease.

These ideas seem outlandish, but keep in mind that Dr. NakaMats earned his first patent at age 14, for a pump he invented when he saw his mother struggling to transfer soy sauce from a large container to a smaller one. Today, the device is known the world over as the kerosene pump. This is the man who gave the world inventions like ‘Pyon Pyon’ – boots with springs that add an extra bounce while running, and ‘Love Jet’ – an alternative to Viagra. And some of these items are still on the market. He won the Grand Prix award at the International Invention Contest a whopping 41 times, and has more patents to his name than Thomas Edison himself.


Photo: YouTube video caption

When he puts his mind to something, Dr. NakaMats rarely gives up. Apart from devising his own therapy, he’s pursuing four other life goals right now – inventing an alternative to nuclear energy, a new type of public transport, a device that stores information efficiently and makes Big Data more manageable, as well as passing on his skills to the world’s youth.

Surprisingly, Dr. NakaMats isn’t bitter or angry about the disease putting a stopper on his dreams. “I’m thankful that the heavens gave me this incredibly difficult form of cancer, they gave me the chance to invent my own cure and help both myself and others,” he said. “If it were stomach cancer I would have been angry as that would have been easier to treat.”


“Everything I invent, I do out of love,” he said. “I’m enjoying my last days. But I’m still inventing.”

Sources: VICE Motherboard, Tokyo Weekender

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