A Disaster, Yes. A Crippling Blow, NoRobert Neff
By many measures, Takaaki Hashizume is a ruined man. The earthquake that hit Kobe on Jan. 17 destroyed his rented house and a restaurant he had built on the first floor. Hashizume, 46, wasn't insured against a quake and has minimal savings. But down in the mouth? Hardly. As they cook dinner over scavenged wood, Hashizume and his family are quick to offer some rice gruel to a curious reporter. "We're having a great time," he says with a grin. "If we think about the future too much instead of eating what we have, we'll just lose spirit." He plans on opening another restaurant when the rubble clears.
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