December 22, 2008 / 10:06 AM / 10 years ago

Dishing out anti-stress therapy in Tokyo

TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - It’s a smashing sort of therapy for the stressed: a Japanese entrepreneur is offering those strained by the financial crisis a chance to vent by hurling crockery against a wall, and then paying for it.

In a corner of Tokyo’s bustling electronic gadget shopping district, a group of chiropractors, led by Katsuya Hara, dish out plate-smashing therapy from a truck named “The Venting Place.”

And the cost depends on how much you need to destroy — small cups can be smashed for 200 yen ($2) each, while bigger dishes go for 1,000 yen ($11).

“To break something, as all of us know from experience, is something extremely exhilarating and it helps bring down pent-up anger,” Hara said, adding that the majority of his customers are professionals stressed out due to work and the financial crisis.

“We hope to become the new way businessmen and women relieve their stress,” Hara said.

Stressed-out customers don protective gear, choose the crockery they want to smash and then hurl it at concrete slabs set up inside the truck.

“Life is pretty complicated and there are a lot of things to worry about right now so this was refreshing. I now feel like I can start afresh again tomorrow,” said Masaki Ogawara, a 35-year-old salesman who flung tableware — along with expletives — inside the vehicle.

IT consultant Shigeo Sasaki, who also vented his anger at some crockery, said the dish-therapy was a great antidote to the strains of work.

“It’s recession here and recession there. All everyone talks about is the recession. I was feeling pent up stress and looking for a way to release some of that when I had the good fortune to come across this place,” Sasaki told Reuters.

But for those who are worried that they are creating waste by smashing crockery, Hara says don’t stress.

All the shards of the broken tableware are recycled to make more cups and plates, which are destined to be used for more anti-stress therapy.

($1=89.32 Yen)

Writing by Olivier Fabre, Editing by Miral Fahmy

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