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Shopping in Japan in the 1950s

魚一商店街 japan 1953 store kaimono

Vintage Japan photo – 1950s 商店街

I have come upon some interesting slides my dad took in the early 1950s. I’m not sure of the year, but it may have been 1952 or 1953. I think my dad was stationed at USAFFE Kokura General Depot on Kyushu. Kokura is now part of Kitakyushu (北九州市). This photo was likely taken near that base. I was unable to find any of the stores in this photo using Google so they have likely (long since) turned into something else. 魚町一丁目商店街 is one likely possibility. The Kokura General Depot was apparently only used during the Korean War. If someone else can give a more complete description of what happened there, how Kokura General Depot came into existence, and what became of the place, I’d love to hear from you.

Apparently, Santa Claus had a piece of the advertising budget even in the 1950s in Japan. Who knew? One of these stores is advertising its American products, but they are not aimed at US servicemen as the sign is in Japanese.

Kokura, by the way, only existed like this in the early 1950s because of a fortunate (for Kokura–not Nagasaki) weather incident. Kokura had been the primary target of the “Fat Man” nuclear bomb on August 9, 1945, but the city was obscured by clouds when the bomb was to be dropped. Therefore, Nagasaki became the new target.

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