In the 1920s and 1930s, the gastronomic stage of urban Japan began to transform. Large department stores started to dominate the commercial, architectural, and cultural landscape of Japan. These department stores were focused on upper and middle-class customers in their commercial strategies, and one of their characteristic feature was a particular abundance of dining establishments. Big corporations with grand capital, such as railways, trading companies and department stores, increasingly replaced individual entrepreneurs and started to dominate the dining market. These restaurants not only served food to nourish the body, but an important aspect of it was that it provided entertainment in the form of unfamiliar interior decorations and unfamiliar food. Advertising was closely handled in cooperation with the store’s general marketing strategies and ingredients were directly supplied by the stores’ own food departments which was often produced under the store’s brand name. The transition towards an increased interconnectedness between food-processing industries, distribution networks and the restaurant business was symbolic for the transformation that the urban gastronomy underwent.

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