Typhoon-tossed towns see signs of recovery


Signs of recovery are gradually emerging in communities near the world-renowned Kumano Nachi Taisha in Nachikatsuura, Wakayama Prefecture, after two recent typhoons blasted the area.

Typhoons Talas and Roke not only caused severe damage to the Shinto shrine, designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, but also ravaged the business of local firms that depend on tourism revenue.

Production of traditional Nachi candies, which date back to the Edo Period (1603-1868) and still one of the area’s top-selling souvenirs, was no exception. Candy maker Fudarakuya Co., the only company that makes the traditional product, was forced to suspend production after the storms hit a wide range of areas on the Kii Peninsula in late August and again earlier this month.

But the candy maker resumed production Wednesday, although many places in the area, including the company’s factory compound, were flooded with water.

“I just can’t end this long-standing tradition,” Fudarakuya President Akira Hatashita said.