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Kikuo Morimoto, 59, is a passionate man who radiates an aura of serenity. He has almost single-handedly saved the silk-weaving industry of Cambodia, a tradition that was nearly lost during three decades of war and neglect.

Morimoto started as an apprentice kimono painter in Kyoto, and later opened his own studio. But then, as he began volunteering in refugee camps along the Thai border, he began studying traditional silk-weaving in villages in northern Thailand and began some pilot projects. He shut up shop in Japan in 1982 and has never looked back since.

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