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Today even dogs and cats can benefit from continuing advances in contact lens technology, thanks to the efforts of Meni-One*, Menicon's veterinary business unit. Applications continue to expand, but the most common reason pets receive contacts is to give damaged corneas a chance to heal.
Dr. Chimura with pastels of Anny and Kuri. (Photo: Business Wire)
For the past 18 years, veterinary research at Menicon has focused on cataracts and congenital ocular conditions that impair the vision of our four-legged friends, in partnership with Dr. Shuichi Chimura, head of Chimura Animal Hospital near Nagoya. In his research, Dr. Chimura spent more than 13 years working with two very special canine patients, both born with chronic ocular conditions: Anny, a Golden Retriever; and Kuri, a Shih Tzu. Much more than lab specimens, these two dogs became a source of inspiration for the eminent veterinarian.
Although, sadly, Anny and Kuri are no longer with us, Dr. Chimura, an avid weekend artist, has continued to create pictures of his two beloved friends and patients. Working in pastel, over the years Dr. Chimura has produced 65 delightful images of the two dogs in each of the four seasons. These have been used on postcards that were sold to raise money for training service dogs for the visually impaired. Following the March 2011 Tohoku Earthquake, Dr. Chimura launched a new series of postcards to raise money to care for animals separated from their owners following the disaster.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Meni-One, all 65 pastels of Anny and Kuri were the focus of a special exhibit throughout March at Gallery Menio, which along with music venue Hitomi Hall comprises the cultural complex that makes Menicon's Nagoya head office a unique public space. Over the course of the month-long exhibition, visitors donated nearly 250,000 to charitable causes.
The exhibition, and Dr. Chimura's artwork, reflect the compassionate spirit that motivates Menicon's efforts in veterinary ophthalmology. In their next 10 years, the Meni-One team hope to make a significant contribution to animal vision worldwide.
About Gallery Menio and Hitomi Hall
In July, 2012 Menicon opened its Nagoya head office to the public with the inauguration of Gallery Menio, a 224m2 exhibit space, and Hitomi Hall, a 110-seat state-of-the-art concert hall. On permanent exhibit is a collection of woodblock carvings, bottle architecture and other original works by Menicon founder Kyoichi Tanaka, and members of the Tanaka family. The two facilities comprise a first-rate cultural facility that hosts a wide range of music and visual art events. The aim is to contribute to a culturally vibrant society, while highlighting the importance of eye health through arts and performances using a visual medium.
About Menicon Co., Ltd.
Headquartered in Nagoya, Japan, and represented in over 80 countries, Menicon is the only contact lens company in the world dedicated to every aspect of the field from material development and lens design to manufacturing of lenses and lens care solutions. Menicon offers an expanding portfolio of innovative lenses, packaging and related products that maximize user comfort and convenience. The company is also the world's largest producer of gas-permeable contact lenses.For more on Meni-One and its efforts in veterinary ophthalmology, see: meni-one.com/en
* Why the name "Meni-One?" If you don't speak Japanese you will miss the pun. "One" sounds like "wan" as in "wan-wan," Japanese for "woof-woof."