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July 31, 2014

Pictures of Black Market in Japan in 1946

A black market or underground economy is the market in which goods or services are traded illegally. The key distinction of a black market trade is that the transaction itself is illegal. The goods or services may or may not themselves be illegal to own, or to trade through other, legal channels.

The black markets were among the first economic entities to spring up after the defeat of Japan. People who were desperate for food and basic necessities turned to the black market with its inflated prices as the official lines of supply and stores had either been destroyed or had nothing to sell. Four days after the surrender of Japan on August 14, 1945, the Ozu gang placed an ad in newspapers asking for factory owners, who up to that point only sold to the military, to come to gang headquarters and discuss distribution of their products. In Shinjuku, Tokyo, the Ozu gang then created a large market near the station and by September 1945 had an enormous sign with 117 hundred-watt bulbs advertising its location; it was so bright that it could be seen from several miles away. Profits were huge, and the vendors – who were known as "peanuts" – earned as much as 50 yen a day (by comparison, teachers were paid a monthly salary of 300 yen). Other gangs followed suit and all over Japan open-air markets sprang up. About 30% of those working in the markets were "third-country people".

(Photos by John Florea, via LIFE archives)


  1. Me ,and my brother and two sisters arrived in Hongong Kong earl Februrary 3rd 1954,by Cathay Pacific airlines ;it was a two engine DC-3,but the Pilot is the father of my Play-mate ;living in the same street in the Philippineso,when we landed at KaiTak Airport ,we heard a lot of explosions;and thought a war is going on ,but the pilot told us ?it,s Chinese New Year ,and we all laugh.The stewardess brough us to my fathers adress at 6-A Hankow road ;a stones throw to the YMCA,and upon seeing us ? my father had tears in his eyes,AND HUG THE FOUR OF US,AFTER THANKING THE STEWARDESS? WE HAD LUNCH,I studued there and got married there ,and I have two beautiful daughters :Jasmine and Joanne,they are now with their own life Jasmine is with her Husband ,Matt and Joanne is still single,she is a Manager for the Apple Computer, my wife just came back from the United States ,after attending the Graduation of Tatiana ;our eldest Grand-Daughter,jacob and Camron are the two boys,three in all.all three have excellent school grades a-plus ,by the way Tatiana is a Cheer-Leader for her school,and going to University,and she is on her way ;to be a Nurse,;a good occupation! Camron wants to be a Policeman ,and Jacob an Architect,its like their future is predestined by faith in God Almighty,and I think , my three Grand-Children will attain their dreams for a very bright future,and for whole family;with the guidance of our Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN

  2. This Picture on your left is a "Selfie ;taken with my computer Cam, I still hav that boyish looks,but Getting mor aged ,like Brandy in a Barrel,want to know my age ??? "SECRET"

  3. By the way I,m Half Chinese and Half filipino;born in Shanghai,China A German Doctor perform the operation on my Mom becuz I was Nine and a half pound baby, born approximitely at three A.M. in the wee hours of the Mornings, and My Dad started passing cigars,around to his friends,its a ritual ,by custom,when the first child? a boy? one must pass Cigars or chocolate bars,around for good luck.and also lucky packets with money inside ,or if you,er lucky?you will get a red-packet ;saying Boo,I still reminice my younger days in China ;we stayed in the International compound which is occupied by French British americans;it is called Cannedrumm,whats the meaning ? ?I could never think of it. snow time is fun,my brother Reny use to push me ;as i was sitting on a huge wash-basin and since the land scape is frozen? I use to glide on the frozen ground ,but we take turns together , sometime the snow reach to our waist line,and Mom use to call us in the house ,becuz it is a Blizzard,and the wind are singing through the cracks of our windows,we had Congee for lunch,consist of?Vegetables Musg-rooms potatoeand tomatoe onions and Carrots,it like Russian -soup,but with out meat.and i use to wash my bread into the soup dip it in and eat the way I like to eat. that part on my anecdote of my life in Shanghai,China...

  4. In the earl 50,s there was not many photo shop in Hong Kong so My Dad s friend a chinese,taught my Dad how to put pictures into dish-Plates;It was an instant hit with my Dads friends ;but it had to go to many process,my Dad got a enlarger,the brand name is Lucky ;given to my Dad as a birthday present by one of Dads close friends ,he really enjoy in that dark room,Dad made lots of money ;doing Picture on Plate,but those that want their pictures developed?its always next week I will pay and the weeks go on and on until its never paid,so my Dad strictly stick to his Picture on Plate besiness,becuz it is really a money earner,in those earl days in Hong Kong.




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