Facing the towering Mt. Mocchomu that seems to pierce the sky, there stands a twelve-sided wooden building known as ‘jyagaimonoouchi.’
Located in the Onoaida district in the southern part of Yakushima, it was established as a place where individuals with disabilities could gather and explore how to live brightly and healthily. It serves as a warm space for everyone, even on windy or rainy days.
Ms. Chie Sagara is a staff member of the nonprofit organization Potato House, working there since her eldest daughter was seven months old. She is now in her ninth year.
“Working with my little daughter by my side has truly been a blessing for me,” Sagara says. Her daughter, growing up without the awareness of users as individuals with disabilities, has been assisting at the facility as a ‘child staff,’ and Sagara finds her daughter’s contributions reliable.
Lately, Sagara has been busy with tasks such as designing packaging for products made at the facility and expanding sales channels.
I believe that just because the products are made by individuals with disabilities doesn’t mean we should lower the prices or compromise on the quality of packaging. Being part of the mainstream market, I don’t want to take advantage of that; I want our products to compete on equal terms.