support this research
Osaka Central Wholesale Market

Osaka 1930s
Central Wholesale Market

Artist Unknown
Publisher Unknown
Medium Postcard
Period Showa
Location Osaka
Image No. 70206-0038
Purchase Digital File

A panoramic view of the Osaka Central Wholesale Market in Osaka, which played a major role in establishing a stable food market in Osaka and surroundings.

Until the early Showa Period (1926-1989), Osaka’s food markets were located near important waterways and roads. Especially popular were the markets in Tenma, Zakoba, Utsubo, Kizu and Namba.

The violent Rice Riots of 1918 (米騒動) when rice prices rose beyond many people’s ability to afford this staple food would end these age-old street markets. Police stations, government offices and the businesses of rice dealers were burned down, while there were a multitude of armed clashes between rioters and police.

Started in Toyama Prefecture on July 23, more than 600 disturbances had occurred all over Japan by mid-September. The consequences were great. Some 25,000 people were arrested, Prime Minister Masatake Terauchi (1852-1919) and his cabinet resigned and rice production in Japan’s colonies of Taiwan and Korea was intensified.

Additionally, in order to bring stability to the markets, standardization of trading practices and price regulation was introduced. The Central Wholesale Market Law was enacted in 1923, and research was done in Osaka to find the best location for such a market. Noda in Fukushima Ward was selected and in November 1931, the Osaka Municipal Central Wholesale Market was opened, replacing the centuries-old street markets.

The market was closed during WWII, but reopened in 1950.1

see current map


1 Osaka City. The History of the Osaka Municipal Wholesale Markets. Retrieved on 15-06-2008.


Leave a Comment

Reference for Citations

Duits, Kjeld (). Osaka 1930s: Central Wholesale Market, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on October 1, 2022 (GMT) from

I have a small favor to ask

Old Photos of Japan aims to be your personal museum for Japan's visual heritage to increase our understanding of Japanese culture and society.

Finding, acquiring, scanning, restoring, researching and conserving these vintage images, and making the imagery and research freely available online, takes serious time, money and effort.

I do this without charging for access, selling user data, or running ads.

Your support helps to make this possible, and ensures that this important visual heritage of Japan will not be lost and forgotten.

If you can, please consider supporting Old Photos of Japan with a regular amount each month. Or become a volunteer.

Thank you,
Kjeld Duits

support this research

Explore More


Kobe 1920s

A view from Kobe’s Tamondori onto Sankaku Koen (literally Triangle Park) in Hyogo-ku. The road on the right is Daikaidori (大開道), the one on the left Yanagiharasen (柳原線). It lead to Hyogo Station, and still does so, today.


Tokyo 1910s

Looking north-east towards Ginza not too far from the spot where the current Shinbashi subway station is located.


Yokohama 1890s
Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel opened on August 16, 1873 (Meiji 6) and was soon considered the height of Western culture and elegance in Japan. It was located on the Bund and overlooked Yokohama Harbor.

Add Comment

There are currently no comments on this article.