The name Shanxi means "mountain's west", which refers to the province's location west of the Taihang Mountains and the capital of the province is Taiyuan. For centuries Shanxi served as the center of trade and banking and the term "Shanxi Merchant" was once synonymous with wealth. During the Second Sino-Japanese War, Japan occupied much of the province after defeating China in the Battle of Taiyuan. Shanxi was also a major battlefield between the Japanese and the Chinese communist guerrillas of the Eighth Route Army during the war. Major cities are, Taiyuan, Datong, Changzhi and Yangquan.