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This Bon poignant in Tohoku via The Japan Times Online

People who lost loved ones in the Tohoku region are preparing for the first Bon holidays since the March 11 quake and tsunami.

Thousands of people are still missing, and many survivors want to honor them during the annual Buddhist ritual to pray for the souls of the deceased even if the bodies have not been found.

Tomoji Usuzawa, who owned a funeral company in Otsuchi, Iwate Prefecture, has recently opened a makeshift store selling Buddhist altar implements ahead of the mid-August Bon season in response to growing calls from townspeople to restart his business, which along with his big house was swept away by the tsunami.

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