Birth of black markets
Not only were food rations meager, but many days they included virtually no vegetables, fish, meat, or seasonings. People had to buy what was not supplied. This scarcity gave birth to black markets, which sold not only staples such as rice, vegetables and fish, but tobacco and other luxuries. They also sold blankets, clothing, and many other daily necessities. The poor functioning of the legitimate product distribution system forced people to rely on black markets. Items sold quickly, regardless of price. The black markets flourishing in the ruins began to disappear after the 1946 government crackdown. At the same time, improved food supplies decreased their customers. The black markets that had cropped up everywhere began to disappear. The one that remained in front of Hiroshima Station was finally eliminated by the street plans of the prefectural and city governments. The black market entrepreneurs simply moved to another area of town, opened the "Democratic Market," and began to ply their trade as legitimate merchants.
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