Japanese Craftsman Redesigns Chopsticks for Those with Motor Disabilities

Japanese Craftsman Redesigns Chopsticks for Those with Motor Disabilities
Design & Architecture

Exquisite spring-loaded wooden chopsticks empower people in Japan

Ross Brooks
  • 4 august 2014

Chopsticks can be a challenging experience for the uninitiated, but for those with physical disabilities the challenge can often relate to design. Aware of this problem, Japanese craftsman Katsuyuki Miyabo employed his woodworking skills to create an ergonomic spring-operated pair of chopsticks. They’re perfect for anyone with hand disabilities, injuries, or even those who just can’t figure out chopsticks.


Springs are an integral part of the construction, which reduces the amount of hand strength needed to grab food from a plate. Once the pressure is released, they spring back into place which again reduces the physical requirements. The wooden chopsticks are also fitted with a custom-made wooden grip that not only makes them more comfortable, but also helps to give each pair a distinct appearance.


Due to the varied needs of Miyabo’s customers, he often carries out meetings with them so he can find out what adjustments need to be made. The first step if for them to choose a base design, after which the craftsman will use specific measurements and requests to create a fully-customized finished product.


The meetings not only help to create a unique offering for each user, but they can help to generate new base models for the various types of disabilities people have to deal with on a daily basis. It also makes for a much more personal experience, and helps to keep Miyabo motivated in his woodworking efforts.


Katsuyuki Miyabo

[h/t] Spoon & Tamago

Images by Katsuyuki Miyabo

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