Kitpas Art Crayons and Dustless Chalk are manufactured by Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co, a family business that was founded in Tokyo, Japan, in 1937 by Yozo Oyama and is now led (in its fourth generation) by President Takahisa Oyama, Yozo’s great-grandchild. Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co focuses on manufacturing high quality products for their customers while running a business that not only supports and treats their employees well but also the environment. In 1960 Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co started the “Intellectual Disability Employment Program” by employing two young adults with intellectual impairments. This program has been growing over the years and by changing and adapting their manufacturing methods and work environment, the Oyama family business is proud to have established a safe workplace for over 50 employees with mental and physical and/or intellectual impairments.
Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co has been making quality art materials for over 80 years and their first product was regular hard white chalk made from calcium carbonate. 30 years after Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co had started trading, the company expanded and built a second factory in Bibai-shi, Hokkaido. Bibai-shi, which translates to “beautiful shell city,” had severe problems with the disposal of huge amounts of scallop shells from the seafood industry which were causing a threat to the environment. Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co created a patented chalk production technique that recycles scallop shells by pounding them and mixing them with traditionally used limestone-based calcium carbonate. This process not only ensures that the primary ingredient of the chalk production comes from a renewable, recycled material but it also makes Kitpas chalk stronger, smoother and longer lasting!
In 2005 Nihon Rikagaku Industry Co introduced Kitpas Art Crayons, a new innovative material with several special attributes. Unlike regular crayons, Kitpas Art crayons can adhere to multiple surfaces including paper, glass, mirrors and whiteboards. They are buttery smooth, vividly coloured, water soluble as well as completely non-toxic (meeting EN71 safety regulations) and easy to clean up. Kitpas Crayons are a hit with both parents and children and won Japan’s prestigious “Stationary of the Year Award” in 2009.