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When Ryota Kurokawa graduated from Waseda University in 2014, he had a good idea of the career he didn’t want to pursue: He didn’t want to put on a white shirt and a dark-colored suit and affix himself to corporate life. He was, however, much less sure of what he did want to do.

For a while Kurokawa, 28, managed a wealthy Australian’s property in Niseko, Hokkaido, and worked part-time jobs in Tokyo. “I was having a tough time figuring out what to do,” he admits. It was on his father’s suggestion that he moved to Kyoto to help him run a nascent coriander wholesale business.

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