SENDAI, Japan (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Even before a tsunami swamped fields east of the Japanese city of Sendai in March 2011, Chikako Sasaki and her husband, a rice farmer, had dreamed of starting a business selling food made from their own produce.
The tsunami was sparked by the biggest earthquake to hit Japan since records began, killing nearly 16,000 people and wiping out villages and towns in what was described as the country’s worst crisis since World War Two.
But just two years after the disaster, thanks to government subsidies and the enterprising spirit of the Sasakis and other farming families, Chika-chan’s Riceball Teahouse began serving lunches made by local women in its open kitchen.
“There was nowhere to work after the tsunami,” explained Sasaki, standing in the first-floor dining room. “So we decided to open this cafe, and now we all enjoy working here together.”
Read more here: Innovation helps Japan’s tsunami-hit farmers bounce back | Reuters.