The theme being highlighted here are the Blue Sky Markets, which were a commonplace in Post-WW11 Japan during the years of Macarthur’s shogunate (1945-1951). Anywhere from 17,000 to 20,000 black markets (depending on your choice of authority) sprang up, often, within days of Hirohito’s capitulation.
Two Yamato Race understatements in his weasel-word speech:
…..the war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage, while the general trends of the world have all turned against her interest.
The welfare of the wounded and the war-sufferers, and of those who have lost their homes and livelihood, are the objects of Our profound solicitude
And the feudal emperor worshippers, militarists and industrialists showed their real solicitude towards a general populace now living in hovels: they took control of vast amounts of materials which had been hoarded for the anticipated last ditch Battle on the Mainland, and made their fortunes by diverting these materials into the Black Market. Medicines, penicillin, metals, cement, gold and jewellery and just about everything else required for plain survival and/or economic reconstruction.
The peasantry, hitherto the expendables at the bottom of the feudal order, now enjoyed a sense of empowerment as they traded food to starving city dwellers for anything of real value. Sort of ironical as they had been previously been exploited to the hilt, with their young men being drafted into the army as cannon fodder, while young rural women were sold into prostitution by their parents. In Tokyo Ground Xero, the serial murder and rapist Kodaira Yoshio was able to lure his female victims into isolated spots by promising to introduce them to farmers selling cheap rice.