Violent Coasters Tackle Domestic Abuse in Tokyo

By Nick Cowen on at

A company in Japan has taken a rather eye-opening approach in an effort to tackle domestic abuse levels caused by excessive amounts of drinking.

Instead of adverts, billboards or posters, Tokyo bar group Yaocho – enlisting the help of design agency Ogilvy and Mather – has produced a series of bar mats with portraits of women on them, whom appear battered and bruised the moment a cold drink is placed on them.

The way these 'Violent Coasters' work is simple: they're painted with thermochemical ink that reacts and changes colour the moment the temperature drops in the near vicinity. So when you place a cold drink on one of the coasters, the change in colour makes the woman in appear as if she has purple bruises on her cheeks and red cuts on her lips.

In a statement, Yaocho said that it hoped the coasters would remind bar patrons of the horrible consequences of alcohol-fuelled domestic violence and “shock patrons into drinking responsibly”.

“Japan is one of the safest countries in the world, but behind closed doors Japanese women are becoming increasingly vulnerable. Excessive alcohol consumption is fuelling a rapid rise in domestic violence,” the statement said.

This isn't the first time that Yaocho has launched a campaign to warn patrons about the dangers of excessive drinking. Last year, the company launched an initiative using drinkers who'd drunkenly passed out as living billboards, warning against the dangers of over-imbibing. Think of what would happen to you on a stag night being turned into a public service and you'll get the idea.