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Togoshi is a quiet neighborhood. Although half of the shops are shuttered, there’s some foot traffic along the Miyakawa shopping street, and a few cyclists whizzing through with bikes full of groceries and small children. Recently, some signs of entrepreneurship are beginning to stir, including a small shop called Okomeya, which literally means “rice store.”

The business was conceptualized by Atsuo Otsuka, who runs Owan, a small branding and design firm in the neighborhood. Saddened by his local neighborhood’s decline, he started Okomeya with an eye to revitalizing the area. “My grandparents lived in Togoshi, but after they passed, their house was vacant. That’s where my office—and Okomeya—began.”

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This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Two

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