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.
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.