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  • Writer's pictureAn Lan Jie Hostel

Old History Of Chiayi - Zhongzheng Road

Cities are hubs for the exchange of goods, culture, knowledge and ideas.

The city street is the stage where this exchange takes place.

In the 42nd year of the Japanese occupation of Meiji (1906 AD),

Chiayi carried out urban corrections,

Reorganized and opened two road,

The " Main street(大通) ", which is today's Zhongshan Road;

The " Second street(二通)" is today's Zhongzheng Road.

" Main street(大通)" stores are mostly opened by Japanese,

The " Second street(二通)" have followed the development since the Qing Dynasty, and the stores are mostly opened by Taiwanese, so Zhongzheng Road also called " Taiwanese Street (本島人街)";

Two biggest traditional market are both located on the road,

At the west end is Chiayi Railway Station, the middle has the most lively Wenhua Road Night Market and the east end is the Chiayi Baseball Field.

Old shops along the street, hostels, dry goods from north to south, jewelry, herbal medicines and others,

It’s like a flat-type department store where resident come and buy daily necessities in the early days.

Looking at the historical traces of old shops, it seems to be able to imagine the prosperity of that time.

1994 openedChiayi Sewing Machine Co., Ltd. once created its own brand "Dongxiang" sewing machineThere're seldom people used sewing machines nowaday, so it is not easy to find repair shops,Chiayi Sewing Machine Co., Ltd still provides maintenance services for old sewing machines.

During World War II, the bombers sent by the U.S. military not only attacked Taito Chiayi Chemical Factory and Chiayi Railway Station, but also bombed the center of Chiayi City.

The main building materials were all flammable woods at that time, so they were almost burnt down by the fire caused by the air raid.

Although it was rebuilt soon after the war, however various internal and external factors, it gradually fell into a state of stagnation in development and the number of idle stores continued to increase. In the end, Zhongzheng Road gradually declined.

In recent years, the Cultural Affairs Bureau of Chiayi City has implemented old street renewal plan. Not only has the old houses been preserved, but also has been connected with the Wenhua Road. The vitality of the old street is gradually recovering. Reference:

1. Jouke van der Werf, Kim Zweerink & Jan van Teeffelen (May 23, 2016). The City at Eye Level - Second and Extended version(2016) . Retrieved from

2. 台灣回憶探險團(January 22 , 2014)。日本時代二戰末期嘉義市街遭美軍轟炸老照片,Photo Retrieved from


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