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After his father passed away, Shinichi Yamada left his well-paying job as a CPA in the United States to take over his father’s oyster business in Tokyo. Yamada felt compelled to return home to care for his mother and run the family business. “Anyone can be a CPA” Yamada said, “but no one keep a successful business”.


Yamada says the business is not very profitable, especially since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami wiped out many of Japan’s oyster farms. The first three years after the disaster, he had to take out loans and sell products other than oysters just to survive. Yamada has no children and says he doesn’t know what will happen to the family business in the future. 


Photos by Tate Samata - Text by Rene Sanchez

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