SozoGakko online store

SozoGakko 想造楽工 (pronounced sōzō gakkō but styled in English as "SozoGakko") is a brand designed and operated by Newmore Inc. using illustrations created by people with disabilities in commercial design. On June 1st, 2021, SozoGakko will open its first online store.

The site will sell seven types of products, including an improved version of their tote bag which they developed through crowdfunding last year, achieving 618% of their funding goal, as well as other products decorated with the unique and fun drawings of these talented illustrators.

SozoGakko: A team collaborating on design and disability welfare

SozoGakko is a brand founded in 2020 with the mission of "creating a world where everyone can aim for the 'joy of doing what you love as a career' and the 'joy of working with others' by overcoming the barriers of disability and using your strengths."

They believe in the expressive potential of illustrations created by people with disabilities and are striving to create an environment where they can work and interact with members of society on an equal footing.

Developing products that focus on quality by utilizing local craftsmanship

SozoGakko has collaborated with welfare work facilities in the Tama region, such as Hachioji City and Tachikawa City, to create art and combine humorous illustrations and designs. They've also collaborated with local artisans in the manufacturing process to ensure quality.

From the sales of this project, 50% of the profits, excluding necessary expenses such as raw material and shipping costs, will go back to the contributing parties: 70% of this sum will be paid to the illustrators and 30% to the welfare work facilities.

Product Lineup

Bird Mobile

This mobile is made of only paper and thread. Each one is made by hand in Japan, using five sheets of cardboard laminated together.

  • Price: 4,000 yen (4,400 yen including tax)
  • W 26cm x H 35cm (unfolded)
  • Material: Paper, thread
  • Production: Manumovirus, MADE IN JAPAN
  • Illustration: Mitsuteru Suga (Support for Continuous Employment Facility (Type B) "Shiawase no Tane" in Hachioji City, Tokyo)

Large Tote Bag

The bags come in three different motifs. The design is suitable for both men and women of all ages, with close attention paid to ease of use. It is large enough to hold documents and laptops and is 40 cm square. It also has a convenient inside pocket.

  • Prices: "Stationery" and "Numbers" 3,900 yen (4,290 yen including tax), "Rain" 3,300 yen (3,630 yen including tax)
  • Dimensions: Bag approx. W 400 x H 400 mm, Handle approx. L 700 mm W 38 mm
  • Material: 100% cotton MADE IN JAPAN
  • Printing: Okuda Dyeing Factory (Hachioji City, Tokyo)
  • Illustration: Mitsuteru Suga and Keiichi Watanabe (Support for Continuous Employment Facility (Type B) "Shiawase no Tane" in Hachioji City, Tokyo)

"Dinosaur family" T-shirts

A series of four hilarious dinosaur family T-shirts. They can be worn by parents and children alike. The dinosaur family can be seen on all sides of the t-shirt, and on the back of the t-shirt, there is an illustration of a fossilized dinosaur around the neck! The adult tees are made of 100% organic cotton and are light and soft to the touch.

  • Prices: Adult 3,500 yen (3,850 yen including tax) Child: 2,200 yen (2,420 yen including tax)
  • Sizes: Adult: S, M, L (unisex) Children: 110, 130, 150
  • Materials: Adult: 100% organic cotton, Child: 100% cotton
  • Colors: Adult: Off-white and Black, Children: Natural and Navy
  • Printing: Strict Screen Printing GK
  • Illustration|Koki Suga (Support for Continuous Employment Facility (Type B) "Shiawase no Tane" in Hachioji City, Tokyo)

"Flowers" Letter Set

This letter set features an illustration of flowers and grasses, just like a flower garden. The envelopes are stamped with gold foil, and the letterhead is in chic colors, conveying an impression of a high-quality design.

  • Price: 600 yen (660 yen including tax)
  • Letterhead: A5 (100 mm x 148 mm)
  • Envelope format: Square, Japanese You 2 (162 mm x 114 mm)
  • Contents: 10 sheets of stationery and 4 envelopes
  • Illustration: Support for Continuous Employment Facility (Type B) "Work Center Makoto Club" in Tachikawa City, Tokyo

Challenges facing disability welfare workers

The average monthly wage of individuals with disabilities who make up the majority of the workforce in Japan's "Support for Continuous Employment Facilities" was 76,887 yen for Type A facilities and 16,118 yen for Type B (data for FY 2008). This is very low income compared to national averages.

In order to improve the situation, Newmore Inc. focused on the artistic potential of people with disabilities, with the aim of helping to turn that talent into commercial designs and develop it into a business through products and collaborations with companies and facilities. In so doing, they want to allow illustrators with disabilities to work for fair compensation while enhancing their ability to do what they love.


By - grape Japan editorial staff.