Last in a series

Until four years ago, Tetsuzo Tsuboi was an established shiitake grower in Miyakoji, part of the city of Tamura, Fukushima Prefecture, shipping 2 tons of fresh mushrooms and 800 kg of dried ones annually. He also sold oak logs, on which the fungi can be grown, to other farmers.

The March 2011 meltdowns at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant, which spewed radioactive materials across the prefecture and beyond, including around his home and farm some 18 km west of the complex, completely ruined his business. He had to vacate the farm he built from scratch 37 years ago and has been in limbo ever since.