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Qipan Street

Qipan means chessboard in Chinese. Because the appearance of the build up area along the street looks like the patterns of a chessboard if being seen on the map, so it obtained its name, Qipan Street. Its location was between East Yan'an Road and Fuzhou Road. The street was divided into East and West Qipan Streets after China's victory in the Anti-Japanese War in 1945. Nowadays the one flourished marketplace no longer exists.

The size of the business area on the street varied from time to time. About the mid-19th century, Qipan Street was full of sinful opium dens and low-class brothels, as well as small guesthouses and tea houses. Bookstores and stationery shops were set up in early 20th century. Meanwhile Qipan Street's business area was expanded to nearby streets like Jiujiang Road and Hankou Road etc. China Book Store had established a publishing house, and a Japanese-run East Asia Company that sold medicines and books.

Since 1930s, Qipan Street had been a comprehensive commercial area. Shoes, socks, towels and Traditional Chinese Medicine of Cantonese style are sold on the northern side of it. The middle section was China Chemical Society, they manufactured mosquito coils and toothpaste. Famous pharmacies, China Book Store and Commercial Press (founded 1897) were here too. In the south, there were about ten woolen factories and a Cantonese tea house set up. During the chaotic age in 1930s, the Japanese monopolized the light industry in fields such as printer, paper and armor plate making. The business had drastically declined in the times of war.