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Home East China Attractions Shanghai Tourist Attractions Fuzhou Road Cultural Street

Fuzhou Road Cultural Street


Shanghai Fuzhou Road boasts the No.1 Street of Chinese Culture. Briefly speaking, it is the paradise of book worms. On the both sides of the street, there are many large book stores such as Shanghai Book City (on the mouth of Beihai Road), Ancient Books Store (close to the southern section of Fujian Road), Foreign Language Bookstore (close to the southern section of Shanxi Road) and the Science & Technology Bookstore (close to the middle section of Henan Road).

In the early 20th century, the middle section of Fuzhou Road was known as the cultural street. In 1864, London Missionary Society, the earliest publishing institution of western culture in Shanghai, established Mohai Book House, and moved it to the place named Mai Jia Juan, which is close to Fuzhou Road. In 1916, Zhonghua Book Company moved to the corner of Fuzhou Road and Henan Road. In 1931, Dadong Book Company moved to the building 310 on Fuzhou Road. In 1932, the World Book Company moved to the building 390 on the Fuzhou Road. Since then, Fuzhou Road has become the center of China’s book publishing industry. Unfortunately, since the reform happened in 1950, the number of the bookstores rapidly decreased.

Dazhong Bookstore on Fuzhou Road, Shanghai

The History of Fuzhou Road in Shanghai

Since 1840s, the big powers at the time like Great Britain, USA, Japan, France begun to open the concessions in Shanghai. Some foreign banks were established at the east section of the Fuzhou Road. In 1853, the uprising of Xiaodaohui Association led a multitude of Chinese to the concession zones. And the richmen and businessmen rushed to the concession as well. This was a big population migration. At the zone comprised of Fuzhou Road, Canton Road and Henna Road became busy and popular in a short time. The papers, bookstores, tools shops, drama towers, tea houses, Chinese and western restaurants and the service industry bloomed here. Nearly all the products can be bought here. And it became one of the earliest and most popular streets at the time in Shanghai.

At the time, it was the news conference center of Shasnghai, and was nicknamed Newspaper Office Street. Three quite influential newspapers like Shenbao Newspaper, News Newspaper and Times Newspaper were located here. The main book publishing houses such as China Book Company, Dadong Book Company, World Book Company, Chuanxing Book Company, Kaiming Book Company were here as well. The state’s largest publishing sector of The Commercial Press was also moved to here at the time, and opened officially in 1912.

Furthermore, China’s first and only store of scientific instruments was opened here as well. The traditional stores of selling the four treasures of scholars (traditional brushes, inkstone, xuan paper and ink) were also available like Zhou Zhaochang Store, Cao Sugong Ink Store, Hu Kaiwen Ink Store and so on.

The Opera House named No.1 Stage of Dangui (丹桂第一台) was one of four most famous stages of opera. At the time, the great masters like Zhou Xinfang(周信芳, 1895-1975) and Mei Lanfang(梅兰芳, 1894-1961)used to perform here. The Peking Opera was so popular that Shanghai, such an exotic city in China, was also deeply influenced and supported Peking Opera to be one of the important forms of entertainments for local citizens.

Zhou Xinfang   Mei Lanfang
Zhou Xinfang   Mei Lanfang

During the period of the Xinhai Revolution, a large group of democratic revolutionists and scholars gathered here like Yu Youren(于右任, 1879-1963, one of the great modern calligraphers and a founder of The Republic of China ), Song Jiaoren(宋教仁, 1882-1913, one of the founders of the Republic of China but murdered by someone unknown yet today), Cai Yuanpei(蔡元培, 1868-1940, a native of Shaoxing, Zhejiang province and a great educationist of modern China serving as the president of Peking University), Zhang Taiyan(章太炎, 1869-1936, a founder of the Republic of China and a great master of traditional study), Liang Qichao(梁启超, 1873-1929, a reformer of modern China and a great academic master of Tsinghua University) and Shao Lizi(邵力子, 1881-1967, an influential politician and cultural master of modern China). They established the papers or acted as the editor-in-chief to awake the mass, reveal the outdated management of Qing government.

In 1920s, the popularity of new culture from the May-Forth Movement had the papers support the patriotic behaviors, and the new culture spread, and some of them also prompted the October Revolution of Russia and the theory of Marxism and Leninism, and some of them acted as the forerunners of anti-Japanese invasion. Meanwhile, many writers came into the newspaper industry such as Mao Dun, whose hometown was Wuzhen Water Town, Tian Han, Shen Yanbing and so on.

In the late 1920s, lots of high-risings were built on the east section of the Fuzhou Road, the administration organs, the police stations, the foreign banks, restaurants, pharmacies were opened here. It was quite crowded everydays. In 1925, the prostitution industry was officially allowed, and the west section of the Fuzhou Road became the paradise of men.

Since Shanghai was opened to be a portal city of China, Fuzhou Road became the street mixed with the western culture and eastern culture, development and degeneration, civilization and un-civilization, darkness and brightness and so on. After liberation on May 27, 1949, everything changed to today’s looks.

Dazhong Bookstore on Fuzhou Road, Shanghai

Dazhong Bookstore on Fuzhou Road, Shanghai

The Dazhong Book Company on Fuzhou Road, Shanghai features the characteristics of the Republic of China, and all the staffers wearing the clothes of 1930s to bring the readers back to that time.

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