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When an 18-meter tsunami demolished his soy sauce factories in 2011 and killed an employee, Michihiro Kono despaired about the future of the company his family founded two centuries ago.

Three years later, his plants are running again and sales have recovered to about 70 percent of what they were before a record earthquake hit Rikuzentakata, Iwate Prefecture. The source for the investment needed to rebuild? Crowdfunding cash, Kono says.

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