Japanese planner and designer Michiru ミチル (@hmitiruxxx) is known for his inventive and playful designs for everyday objects, stationery and sweets. For example, some of our readers may recall his negi (green onion) candy which we introduced earlier this year.

It now has a second version which comes in a green onion shaped cylinder and has been commercialized.

Okonomiyaki pencil sharpener

Michiru's latest product idea to get noticed on social media is a clever pencil sharpener that looks like okonomiyaki.

Okonomiyaki お好み焼き is a savory pancake dish, cooked on a teppan grill and made with flour, egg and ingredients like cabbage, meat, and seafood, then topped with a special sauce, mayonnaise, powdered aonori seaweed. As you can see in the image below, it's also invariably topped with a good amount of katsuobushi, thin shavings of dried bonito.

ZhengZhou, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you've never seen katsuobushi before, it may seem at first glance to be a mound of pencil shavings or shaved wood the likes of which you might find on the floor of a woodworking studio.

Michiru's genius comes in acknowledging the similarity between the two, designing a pencil sharpener in which the shavings appear on top of the surface, making them seem like katsuobushi on top of an okonomiyaki pancake!

Reproduced with permission from Michiru ミチル (@hmitiruxxx)

His Tweet with these three images has garnered nearly 512,000 likes and 91,000 retweets at the time of writing.

Although some of Michiru's designs, such as the negi candy mentioned above, have been commercialized, many of them remain concepts.

However, his okonomiyaki pencil sharpener was featured early this morning on TBS's "THE TIME" news show, with the host trying it out on an actual working sample, which has undoubtedly raised the public's expectation that it may get commercialized one day.

To see more of Michiru's clever and imaginative designs, follow his Twitter account here.

By - Ben K.