For years, the Inada family of Ikebukuro has been in the steadiest of industries: sculpting tombstones imported from China. And in recent months, business has picked up.
Customers are placing orders two or three months in advance, which is unusual, while more are choosing monuments costing three times the 1m ($11,000) average.
This is probably "Abenomics" in action, says director Nobuko Inada, refering to the reflationary push from Japan's new prime minister that has caused the yen to sink against every currency bar the Venezuelan bolivar and the Malawian kwacha, while pushing stock and property prices higher.
"The cheaper yen makes companies more profitable, and that affects people's minds," she says.
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Other businesses tell a similar story. Bugaboo Japan, which began importing upscale baby buggies from the Netherlands last year, says it is off to a strong start. At Primo Japan, which sells bridal jewellery from 58 stores around the country, the high-end Lazare range has been doing "very, very well", according to director Kenneth Albolote.
But for companies not relying on irregular splurges from relatively affluent consumers, the outlook is more mixed. The latest Tankan survey from the Bank of Japan, which provides a quarterly snapshot of business conditions at more than 10,000 companies of all sizes all over the country, shows that pessimism continues to prevail.
The headline index for all enterprises across all industries stood at minus 8, only marginally better than the minus 9 recorded in December. That index has not been in positive territory – meaning that more people say business conditions are good than bad – since a two-and-half-year run ended in December 2007.
Since then, the world's third-largest economy has suffered stop-start growth and persistent deflation, with many companies struggling to rebound from the impact of the Lehman crisis and the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
"Corporate managers are not as upbeat as financial markets indicated," says Masamichi Adachi, senior economist at JPMorgan in Tokyo, noting that the Tankan numbers are consistent with disappointing trade, industrial production and inflation data in recent weeks.
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There are some bright spots. The "diffusion index" for large carmakers, for example, improved from minus 9 to plus 10, reflecting the sharp fall in the yen which makes Japan's exports more competitive, and overseas profits worth more when repatriated.