2012 New History
P. O. Box 1-44, Nankang, Taipei 11529, Taiwan, R. O. C.
02-2782-9555 # 226

City Life in the Occupied Areas during the Period of the
Anti-Japanese War: The Restaurant Business in Suzhou

Jen-shu Wu

Institute of Modern History, Academia Sinica

City life in the Japanese-occupied territories during anti-Japanese war period has been neglected by historians. Restaurants were an indispensable of daily life activities of urban folk. This article uses Suzhou as an example of the transformation of the restaurant business during the anti-Japanese war period, highlighting that the restaurant business developed more prosperously than during the prewar time. The phenomenon contrasts with the common view of urban life in the occupied territories. There are at least two reasons for explaining the transformation of the restaurant business, including the stable social order and economy under the Wang Jingwei government, and the new consumers resulting from population movements from Shanghai and Zhejiang province. Furthermore, the restaurant industry itself also changed at that time. Additionally, this article assesses GIS from the perspective of space to explore the distribution of restaurants in the urban setting. I point out that the war, transportation, and the structure of the consumer base all affected the distribution of restaurants.


Keywords: anti-Japanese war, Japanese-occupied territory, city, Suzhou, restaurant