For the last 27 years a restaurant manager in Japan, Sadahiro Inoue, provides a free meal to students willing to wash dishes for 30 minutes. His sign in the restaurant window reads: “Those of you who cannot afford to pay for your meal: eat your fill here.” Among his former dishwashers, reports The Mainichi Daily News, there are three lawyers. “I hope that former students will go on to do good deeds for others when they remember their dishwashing days,” says Inoue.
Inoue developed an appreciation for others with an empty stomach when he and his wife had little money and an elderly couple invited them to share meals with them. Inoue was touched, writes The Mainichi Daily, and “today, he can’t help but see a little bit of himself in the hungry students that come to his restaurant. The storefront sign represents his heartfelt desire to be of help to struggling young people”.
“Inoue keeps all the business cards that former dishwashers have given him, and the wall by the cash register is covered with letters sent to him from those who have left Kyoto”.
“Your restaurant was our home away from home,” one says. Another promises, “One day, I will save enough money for you to take a day off.”