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EATING IN COMFORT:
Specially Designed Tableware Helps Disabled
February 23, 2001
An Idea Is Born
This line of dishes includes 15 different products made in shapes that allow the disabled to easily scoop the food out. A silicon base prevents sliding. Because it is difficult to explain the functions and characteristics of Easy-Use Dishes in words, Aritsuki has released a series of 18 promotional videos.
Functional Products Spark Demand
In addition to the all-purpose dishes, the line of Easy-Use Dishes includes coffee cups, dishes for noodles, and dishes for bread and desserts. The prices range from 1,500 yen to 17,000 yen (13.04 to 147.83 U.S. Dollars at 115 yen to the dollar). Every time these products are written about in magazines or newspapers, hundreds of inquiries and orders come in, demonstrating the need for these special dishes. Aritsuki is currently averaging sales of about 400 units a month.
A hotel in Kyoto began using Easy-Use Dishes in spring 2000. When a group of students from a school for the disabled stayed the night at the inn, meals were presented on the special dishes, and the students were very thankful.
Both Nitta, the original developer, and Aritsuki have been showered with comments such as, "Mealtime is fun now"; "I don't feel like I'm being forcibly fed anymore"; and "I was worried about the money I was spending on nursing care, but now I can eat under my own power. This has really helped me financially."
Having won the praise of users, production has become unable to meet the rising demand. For this reason, Kochi Prefecture's Aki City Work Center and a company in Gifu Prefecture that produces ceramics in the Mino-ware style have been assisting in production.
Copyright (c) 2001 Japan Information Network. Edited by Japan Echo Inc. based on domestic Japanese news sources. Articles presented here are offered for reference purposes and do not necessarily represent the policy or views of the Japanese Government.