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On a late February afternoon, 66-year-old Masakazu Haga prepared mackerel at his new temporary fish processing compound, erected on elevated ground in the Akahama district facing Otsuchi Bay in Iwate Prefecture. The compound stands out because it’s one of the few new structures in this town devastated by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, and a fire that followed.

Like many who lived along the coast of the Tohoku region, Haga lost his livelihood to the massive waves. After nearly a year, he, as well as few other local fish processors, with financial support from individual donors as well as the central and local governments, finally managed to secure space and equipment to restart his business.

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