There are some buildings that come to define an era. In the southern city of Tainan, for instance, when people think of the 1930’s, the grand old Hayashi Department Store comes to mind. When it was opened in 1932, it was the talk of the town. At five stories high, it was the tallest building around. And its triangular facade, jutting out assertively, seemed to be pointing towards the future. Inside were wonders then unheard of in southern Taiwan. The latest fashions, luxury goods, and exotic cuisines all beckoned. And though few could afford the prices, anyone could go in and take a look around.
After a long period of neglect, this southern landmark reopened as a department store once again in 2013. While still as imposing as ever, though, today’s Hayashi Department Store is probably unlike any department store you’ve seen before. Here to tell us about the Hayashi’s past and present is Tseng Peng-yin, the store’s deputy manager of planning