Kikuchi Masanori
  • Kikuchi Masanori 
  • By this author: 12 Latest posted: 2017.03.11
Born in Hokkaidō in 1965. Worked as a reporter at the daily Hokkaidō Shimbun before going freelance. Writes interview-based reportage and social features for such magazines as Aera, Chūō Kōron, Shinchō 45, and President.
A New Shopping Center for a Tsunami-Struck Town2017.03.11

The Miyagi Prefecture town of Minamisanriku was devastated by the March 11, 2011, tsunami. Nearly six years on, a permanent shopping center is finally in place, and hopes are high that this will accelerate the community’s recovery. But considerable challenges remain.

A Venerable Family Business Built on Tea and Paper2016.09.12

The Ejima family has been selling Japanese paper and green tea in the castle town of Odawara, outside Tokyo, for over three centuries. During that time the retailers have bounced back from adversity on several occasions, emerging each time stronger than before.

Nippon Kōdō: Bringing Japan’s Incense Traditions to the World2016.06.29

Incense arrived in Japan together with Buddhism in the sixth century. The first professional incense masters were working in the sixteenth century, and incense in Japan has followed a distinctive path from religious ceremonies to connoisseurship and simple enjoyment. Today the country’s biggest incense maker is using an array of new services to increase its international appeal and ensure a bright…

Rehousing in Tōhoku: The Two Faces of Reconstruction2016.03.09

The pace of recovery in the five years since the Tōhoku tsunami has varied by sector and locale. Big urban centers like Sendai have fared relatively well, and many local industries are making a comeback. Yet some 60,000 tsunami survivors—many of them elderly—remain in housing purgatory, especially in the region's smaller communities. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori continues his series on post-disaste…

Pharmaceutical Pioneer Continues Soothing Japan’s Ills in Its Fifth Century2016.01.27

Uzukyūmeigan’s flagship product, based on traditional Chinese medicine, remains a favored treatment in Japan for small children’s nocturnal crying. The company’s top executives describe their commitment to honoring the tradition they have inherited and to achieving renewed corporate vitality.

Why Does Japan Have Butter Shortages?2015.10.19

“Due to shortages, sales of butter are limited to one item per customer.” From spring until summer this year, signs like this were posted in the dairy sections of supermarkets and food stores around Japan. In fact, butter shortage notices have been a recurring sight for the past several years. This year it was particularly striking to see the number of stores that were completely out of butter a…

Rebuilding Onagawa2015.06.29

Onagawa has recovered relatively quickly from the 2011 tsunami, despite being one of the hardest-hit communities. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori returns to the town to interview Mayor Suda Yoshiaki for the second time and see what has changed in the two years since they last talked.

A Tōhoku Town Returns to Life2015.06.19

Onagawa was hit hard by the tsunami from the Great East Japan Earthquake in 2011. But four years later, it is starting to recover, with the fishing industry in particular making a rapid comeback. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori goes back to the town he has visited repeatedly since the year of the disaster for an update on its progress.

A Late Spring in Tōhoku (Part 2)2013.03.29

The coastal areas of northeast Japan devastated by the March 2011 tsunami still face the enormous task of rebuilding housing and infrastructure. Journalist Kikuchi Masanori traveled to the region to report on the current state of the recovery effort.

A Late Spring in Tōhoku (Part 1)2013.03.14

Two years have passed since the earthquake and tsunami that devastated coastal Tōhoku, but for many of the victims, the healing has barely begun. Revisiting the communities he reported on in the spring and summer of 2011, Kikuchi Masanori encounters a mixture of optimism and bitterness as the region slowly rebuilds.

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