A TAYUU is an OIRAN is NOT NECESSARILY a TAYUU is a PROSTITUTE

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    A TRUE CONVERSATION OKINAWA_SOBA HAD WITH A JAPANESE BUSINESSMAN WHO WAS LOOKING AT MY PHOTO COLLECTION :

    ME : Look at this old photo of a prostitute.

    HIM : That's not a prostitute, it's an Oiran.

    ME : Well, an Oiran was a prostitute.

    HIM : No, they are completely different.

    ME: Huh ? What's the difference ?

    HIM : Oiran charged way more for sex than a regular prostitute.

    ME : Well, OK then. An Oiran is a high-priced prostitute.

    HIM : YES, THAT'S TRUE .......but, she's still not a prostitute, she's an Oiran.

    ME [Under my breath] : Holy Mother of God.....

    CONCLUSION : Both then and now, more than a few Japanese males have a hard time coming to grips with reality, or using what Westerners call logic. It's also why the Japanese still use the words COMFORT WOMEN instead of SEX SLAVES to describe the unfortunate girls who were sexually trafficked, enslaved, and raped on a daily basis by the Japanese Military as forced prostitutes during WW2.

    It's a shame when an entire nation and culture become enslaved to the use of EUPHEMISIM to the point where they cannot connect the euphemism to what is being euphemised.

    The TAYUU and OIRAN were all Prostitutes. From the ages of five, six, or seven, they were in training to eventually become prostitutes. For most, it is said that they “got down to business” at the onset of puberty --- a nebulous age that could be reduced in proportion to the amount of money offered to her pimp for the “pleasure” of being the first to use her. After paying their dues, and arriving at the top of their profession, these girls could eventually say NO to any "John"....er, "Mr. Taro"....that they didn't care to sleep with.

    The customers that they did said YES to paid a steep price for their "cultured company" and sexual services. They were, in effect, the highest priced "Call Girls" of old Japan.

    As Judo Dad tells us in the comments box, this IS a very pretty shot of one of these most highly desired women in old Japan.

    Whether she was ever loved by her father, or any other man for that matter, will never be known. However, as an object of entertainment and wealthy men's carnal desires, she lived in rarefied air at the pinnacle of her profession.

    It should be stated here that this was not an adult decision on her part to leave her job at the Tokyo Wal*Mart in order to make more money by (1) sticking a bunch of shoe-horns in her hair, and (2) going down on a few of the local bankers and politicians. Rather (as mentioned above) she was sold into this profession at a young age, and assisted the elder prostitutes until she herself started taking customers at age 12 or 13, and spent her days knowing nothing else.

    Again, these "Pretty Prostitutes" were here for other than personal need or desire to engage in prostitution. They were sold and "trafficked" into it by their own parents, within the borders of their own country.

    This, of course runs against the modern-day Western use of the word "Prostitute", which is usually used to describe a relatively more ADULT women who enters this trade by choice --- for reasons ranging anywhere from nymphomania to financial distress to funding a drug habit --- or those forced into it as a "slave" situation via human trafficking, or bondage by deceit. And in any case, all activities surrounding it being perceived in the mono-theistic West as "sin" or "vice".

    The OIRAN / TAYUU of Japan was neither of those, and is a product of a unique culture that both contained and glorified such women from tender ages at the request of their parents, involving negotiated contractual parameters understood by Japanese society at large, with the acquiescence of her close family and community.

    As flickr member Tokis-Phoenix points out in her well-written and thoughtful comment #7 below, it is as much or more the fault of the rulers who allowed and maintained this system, while at the same time making the brothel system --- fed by little girls far too young to reason through or understanding what they were being sold into --- one of the most famous "default options" given to Japanese parents in their impoverished serfdom as a way to make some quick money.

    The following is my own PERSONAL take on the matter, while acknowledging that there are OTHER takes, of different degrees, and varying nuance of opinion; especially when it comes down to each one of us having to answer the question, "......Would there ever be a time, place, or situation in this world, where I would ever sell one of my OWN little daughters to a whorehouse --- even if it was legal, and 10 of my neighbors had already done it with their own daughters ?...."

    My own answer is..... NO, I would not. But, that's just me

    Okinawa_Soba does not personally accept the "Time-Place" cultural feature of Japan, or any other country that sells its children into prostitution --- even if Japan and their poly-theistic / Confucian neighbors throughout Asia did think it was normal and OK. For me, "Time-Place" provides no reason, and no circumstance as an excuse for it.

    If "Time-Place" makes anything OK, then every culture, tradition, and custom we have in the world RIGHT NOW must also be OK, too. And if you believe that everything is OK when it comes to things of a sexual nature, then by all means please stand up and cheer for the millions of little girls who have their vaginal plumbing sliced away every year at the hands of modern day "Time-Place" family butchers with dirty knives, perpetual ignorance, and male-dominated attitudes for the control and subjection of women.

    Just like America being built on the multiple backs of Slavery, Child Labor, and the wholesale slaughter of the Native American and the Buffalo (and etc), "time-place" and "moral relativity" arguments cannot and never will excuse our fore-fathers conduct. Nor does it excuse those cultures and traditions where Fathers and families sell little girls into a life of prostitution.... including me, if I were also to have done it.

    THIS DISCUSSION CONTINUES ON WITH READER FEEDBACK AT COMMENT # 7.

    That being said, I will now get off my soap box, switch gears, and get down into the grit and dirt where the proverbial rubber meets the proverbial road concerning the pretty girl in the picture.

    Please excuse some occasional repetition as we nail things down here :

    First, it's time to get over this "She was a Courtesan" nonsense, and other "elevating euphemisms" I see all over the Web right now . The girls you see in these photos were NOT "courtesans" in any way. She was"HIGH CLASS" SEX FOR HIRE and that's it.

    If any of the xenophobic spoiled brat leaders of Japan's "Royal Court" wanted a little "nooky" on the side, they had plenty of first-cousins and "local girls" to fill that need (no doubt, the family being remunerated) --- all WITHOUT the aid of the Porcupine-headed OIRAN and TAYUU.

    The Western word "Courtesan" is a very poor English translation of the above prostitute's "Job Description", and should be tossed into the trash can along with other spurious attempts at describing certain aspects of Japanese culture by using ill-fitting English words and social concepts.

    OIRAN was the generic Japanese name for these prostitutes everywhere in Japan.

    TAYUU was the special, regional name for them ONLY IN KYOTO.

    SO... a TAYUU WAS ALSO AN OIRAN... but an OIRAN was not always, or necessarily, a TAYUU....unless she was an Oiran in KYOTO....where they would call her a TAYUU.

    Six of one, half-dozen of another, and a Rose by any other name is still a Rose.

    Or a Prostitute.

    From now on, please use one one of THREE WORDS : The Japanese OIRAN or TAYUU (which, unfortunately, have lost their true meaning, even for the Japanese of today), and in your own language, the word PROSTITUTE. Any other euphemistic padding of her Kimono is simply dishonest.

    Her lone advantage was being able to say NO to anybody she didn't feel comfortable about sleeping with. The other middle-of-the-road prostitutes generally did NOT have this option, and had to sleep with any any paying slob that wanted them.

    Strangely, I have been told anecdotally that certain orders of the lowest "caged prostitutes" were given [perhaps out of pity] the same right of refusal via a certain ritual that involved a tobacco pipe. However, I would imagine that only in the most extreme cases was such a refusal ever resorted to.....

    www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2372617968/in/set-7215...

    The only reason an OIRAN had the "luxury" of being able to turn down a few "Johns" here and there (as opposed her sister prostitutes left behind while she was rising up the ladder of male lust) is simply because she had been through the ringer, earned her kudos, and beat out the less attractive prostitutes with her ability to "Polish a Guys' Knob". For those new to flickr, that means "Rolling a Guy's Cigar".

    I was going to use the more common euphemism "Blow Job" in the above paragraph. However, due to being so extensively used, it has become more inappropriate to say "Blow Job" than to use the REAL term : "FELLATIO" (from THE Latin felare, fellare --- to suck). For those new to flickr, and not up to speed on your Latin, FELLATIO means ORAL SEX.

    Isn't it amazing how we can use one euphemism to to get around using another euphemism until the euphemism itself raises eyebrows? Speaking of which, please remind me to tell you sometime about the many Japanese girls who (under the influence of warm sake) asked me if I wanted to see how well they could "Play the Bamboo Flute" (!)

    In any case, SEX was the thing, and these OIRAN / TAYUU were damn good at it !

    She was SO GOOD AT IT, she even trained LITTLE GIRLS to grow up to hopefully take her place :

    www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2375953885/in/set-7215...

    Oh.....she also had a few more "Awards" for being able to sing LESS out of tune than the other girls, dance without tripping over her herself (most of the time), and being able to hit a little TAIKO drum better than a monkey.

    As for that multi-purpose lightning-rod of a hat rack over her pretty face, I have fully described it's construction and dangers at my other flickr pic HERE :

    www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2334556386/in/set-7215...

    Nowadays, the Japanese --- ever in love with the fashionable decor of their prostitutes and symbols of sex for cash --- even make HELLO KITTY Tayuu and Oiran dolls as "wholesome gifts" for their little girls (move over, Barbie !). Modern-day reenactments of their old "Parade of the Prostitutes" can still be seen in Kyoto --- including the decorative presence of the little girls parading along with them who (in the good old days) were already in training to eventually become prostitutes in their own right. However, the "reenactment" Oiran and Tayuu of today are only a fake shell of the original --- all you get is a little song and dance, a lot of high fashion, and...no sex.

    *****************************************************************

    It should be made perfectly clear that an OIRAN is NOT A GEISHA...and a GEISHA is NOT A PROSTITUTE. If I do not say that, someone named LIZA DALBY will take out a contract on my life, with the killer instructed to beat me to death with a giant slab of raw tuna fish laced with wasabi.

    Mmmmmmmmm. Yummy ! What a way to die !

    PS. Okinawa_Soba has absolutely nothing against ADULT prostitution --- either morally or socially --- as a free enterprise affair where the woman enters the business as a qualified adult, does it out of a love of sex (and not necessarily a love for her customers), engages in it happily by her own free will as a true Nymphomaniac, and remains un-coerced by men in her decision to sell herself, and un-motivated by dire financial need in order to survive (to be taken advantage of by men with money in their pockets)......all while fully accepting the potential health consequences of her decision to take on as many men as possible, while absolving the taxpayer of all liability for costs involved in dealing with her related health issues, possible abortions, and the raising of any fatherless children produced by her liaisons with paying customers.

    And I have nothing against single men frequenting the prostitutes described above, as long as all of their other bills are paid first, they use a full body condom, stick to the same prostitute, and get checked for AIDS and other STDs every two months.

    If you are a married man, the same rules apply, but you can't sleep with your wife while you are frequenting prostitutes, and for 6 months after you've stopped sleeping with them.......and have been given a clean bill of health before touching your wife again.

    By the way, the above parameters are still "on hold" and "under construction", and "subject to change"...... just as soon as I hold a meeting of all prostitutes and their customers who fulfill the above requirements, and I can get their opinions on the matter....which will never happen....

    Elf-Y, buddadvasu, shinyai, and 103 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. aliZmuh 51 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Soulful Black & White, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

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    3. Okinawa Soba 51 months ago | reply

      JAPAN-SEX --- You forgot to mention "...wasting my time making TROLL PORN comments...", and your other e-mail address :

      ADOLESCENT-TROLL-SEX @ I'M_STILL_WAITING_FOR_MY_TESTICLES_TO_DESCEND . COM

      Keep smiling !

    4. masparera ;-) 51 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called ☼ Il canto delle sirene °°P1/C2°°PLEASE COMMENT!!!!!!!!!, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    5. jcruz2000 50 months ago | reply

      Lots to read here...willl come back~!
      but thanks for the information...very interesting!

    6. ceridwenn 48 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called Kokoro no shashin - Creative commons pictures of Japan, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

      Impressive oiran picture ! Thanks :)

    7. 玉蔵 (Tamazou) 47 months ago | reply

      Hello Okinawa Soba :) Do you have any information about this woman here? Another user posted a picture of her a while ago, which I just discovered today and remembered your photo: www.flickr.com/photos/giantisopod/4331252467/

    8. Okinawa Soba 47 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the link. I do not know her name, and have no further information about her. I'm sure it will eventually come to light on an original old photo caption, or a manuscript note found on the reverse. My own photo has appeared in several print processes --- albumen, collotype, and half-tone. In fact, another copy of the same image is posted elsewhere on flickr. On a side note, she looks just like a friend of mine who hails from Ishikawa Prefecture.

    9. 666isMONEY ☮ ♥ & ☠ 47 months ago | reply

      Here's another person that has this pic, says it was a postcard:

      This early image shows an Oiran, or the highest order of prostitute (and also the most expensive) in Japan. In 1887 Vincent van Gogh produced a painting of an Oiran called "La Courtisane" which looks remarkably like the lady in the picture.

      The photograph is on a postcard published by Raphael Tuck and Sons which was posted over a century ago on Saturday the 26th. December 1908 to an address in St. John Street Bridgwater Somerset UK.

      The sender also cryptically wrote on the card: "2 Corinthians 13:12".

      If you look up this reference in the Bible, it represents the statement "Greet one another with a holy kiss".

      Source: www.flickr.com/photos/november_song/4182232977

      Here's Van Gogh's painting mentioned above:


      Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Van_Gogh_-_la_courtisane.jpg

    10. Okinawa Soba 47 months ago | reply

      Thanks for the link. Interesting thoughts on the Van Gogh piece as well.

    11. Black_Jasmine 38 months ago | reply

      Western cultury is culture of hipocrisy. They ruined all Devadasi, Oiran/Tayu cultures and evrything they could touch, but left nothing whores at bars and strip clubs, where females are represented in animal way, nothing more. Did you see theese cheesy American Pink Pony? I don't care do they sleep with their customers or they don't. As for me, thay are much more disguisting that the last prostitutes.

    12. Okinawa Soba 38 months ago | reply

      Hi B.J.

      It's been 9 months since anyone has commented here. I will take this chance to answer your comment with an expanded response. Other folks also read these things, so I will also use this as a chance to re-state or clarify some of my positions on the matter via another bluntly-stated, essay-type response. Here goes ~ !

      Personally, I dislike the terms EAST and WEST when dividing peoples and cultures, but will respond to your comment by continuing your own use of the terms.

      "......Western culture is culture of hypocrisy......"

      You are absolutely right. As an American-born citizen and "Westerner" (who has lived most of my life in Asia), I will be the first to admit that the USA has a long "shit list" of hypocritical conduct in the world, and crimes against humanity.

      This includes a long culture of unforgivable policy and conduct against several minorities who called the same land their home --- especially against the Native Americans who preceded the "Western" / White European cultures that eventually overtook them, those abducted from Africa and sold as slaves, the child labor upon whose backs many fortunes were made, and the American citizens of Japanese descent who were tossed into concentration camps during WW2 --- just to name a few examples out of many.

      Unfortunately, and regrettably, these "crimes of the West" accompanied a culture that much of the world now wants (and wishes they could emigrate to). And, in spite of their many hypocrisies and past failures as they sought to mature, these Democracies consistently engaged in public debate, agitated (sometimes too slowly) for repentance and improvement in the treatment of their citizens, and even went to war with themselves over it.

      Of course, the modern inventions, technological creativity, and material progress of the WEST (at the expense of the environment and human rights) does not excuse any of the hypocrisy and gross shortcomings to be found --- either in the past or present.

      Again, I agree with you on the term "Hypocritical", because America and the "West" in general like to define themselves "Christian Cultures", and tend to wave the "New Testament" around a lot, while not actually living by any of its precepts.

      In reality, while many Western Democracies of Europe and the Americas do have a nominal "Judeo-Christian" bias in their laws and culture (which is not a bad thing), it is actually their attempts at "Secular Humanism" that has delivered them from becoming nightmares of Theocracy.

      On the other hand, it's too bad that --- with some exceptions --- the modern EAST has generally been unable or unwilling for centuries to resurrect its old glory days of scientific and social advancements, choosing instead to descend into the cultural madness that foments and protects religious barbarism, superstition, and stone-age misogyny --- with no social or political efforts (including war) to subjugate these cultural features and replace them with civilized respect, equality, and protection for all.

      I don't know about you, but if I had to choose, I would (1) take a hypocritical WESTERN preacher who gets drunk on Saturdays and screws the Church secretary on Mondays, over (2) an EASTERN misogynist who treats his wife like a barnyard animal and throws acid in the face of his daughter (or kills either of them in a socially tolerated act of "Honor Killing") --- even though he is being un-hypocritically faithful to his stone-age beliefs that come straight from the pits of Hell.

      "....Western culture....ruined the Devadasi...."

      The dedication of Devadasi in India was just another form of child trafficking for sexual and religious purposes. In fact, the whole thing was just another euphemistic excuse to bring money into a family.

      Like the apprentice-geisha Maiko of Japan who were sold into the profession by their families, the Devadasi were nominally "deflowered" at puberty by the highest bidder (or family approved stud of generous means), thereafter providing sexual services based on a "patron system" of rich men who liked screwing little girls without having to worry about marriage or legal responsibility for the kids that such "sex for money" produced. And, like the Oiran / Tayuu, the girls provided a little cultured song and dance to go along with the sex.

      The culture behind the Devadasi simply carried the ruse one level deeper by dedicating the little girls (and the future sexual services and dance routines they would provide) to some religious temple filled with gods and goddesses carved from wood, stone, and metal by the hands of equally deluded men.

      Again, the Devadasi had no choice in their childhood dedication into the Devadasi cult, and stone-aged religious culture provided the ultimate euphemistic excuse to cover all forms of her existence.

      That is why the more educated and enlightened leaders of India have been passing laws against the culture and practice of the Devadasi since the days of British colonialism.

      The British also tried to stamp out the culture of child marriages, and the pit-of-hell cultural abomination called Sati, which dictated that women must throw themselves on the funeral pyres of their husbands, to be burned alive. I'm not really sure you want the EAST to bring that culture back, even if the WEST was responsible for introducing some of their other hypocritical ideas at the same time they were trying to protect women and children in the lands they had no business colonizing.

      Likewise, the Oiran and Tayuu cultures of Japan also needed to be burned at the stake. Why ? Because these professions also depended on human trafficking (or "dedication") of female children.

      As far as I am concerned, any culture that fucks over its children by tossing them into whorehouses (be it a temple or a brothel), smashing their feet, mutilating their genitals, throwing acid in their faces, consummating marriages of 8, 9, or 10-year-old girls to horny old men, or culturally forcing women to burn themselves alive --- well, all of these slices of human culture can take a hike...right to hell (along with America's former culture of human slavery, which thankfully has already made its trip to that place of everlasting fire).

      As for the un-cultured whorehouses and strip-joints of the America WEST, I can assure you that the EAST is just as full of them --- without any help from the WEST, thank you.

      Further, tossing in the cultured dancing and musical small talk of the Devadasi, Oiran, and Tayuu into an Indian or Pakistani whorehouse, would not make these women any less of a sex-for-hire prostitute than they already are --- with the sorry reality of the situation further debased by the fact that they were contracted into it all as children !

      Of course, not everyone in either EAST or WEST is either hypocritical or depraved, and not everyone in the countries or regions indulges in the messy subjects mentioned above. However, when non-practicing locals, and the representative governments and courts of these places ignore or tolerate these misogynist practices by those who indulge in them, the entire country (or tribe) that hosts the depraved culture or practice within its borders can be inclusively condemned.

      As for the "cheesy" babes and boobs of the PINK PONY, I've never been there, so can't comment directly on this American hot-spot. However, I generally don't enter restaurants staffed by freely-employed adults, where I can only look at the menu, but not get served a hot meal or a cold sandwich (if you get my drift).

      Finally, like all individuals, I have my own personal hypocrisies to deal with on a daily basis. That being said, in matters concerning the trafficking and abuse of women and children, I am a CULTURAL IMPERIALIST, and write all of my photo captions from that position.

      To quote myself from another caption on the so-called culture of FOOT BINDING, practiced for a thousand years by the HAN TRIBES of CHINA......

      "......Any male-dominated culture that puts women and young female children in a position to submit to any kind of cutting, slicing, crushing, horrific torture, permanent disfigurement, forced prostitution, or other diminishing of her sexual or psychological self --- under the "cultural threat" of facing a life without marriage, money, or children --- is a culture born from the pit of Hell, and worthy only of the greatest disdain and disgust.....

      ......There is no obligation to respect or lobby for the preservation of such cultural features of any tribe or nation, nor obligation to list these backward societies among those who take seriously the equality of human beings and the advancement of civilization......"

      With that in mind, if any misogynists and cultural psychopaths from either the EAST or the WEST don't like my opinions on matters of women, children, and the cultures they are caught in, they can complain about me to Satan after they die. Once they arrive in the nether regions of everlasting doom, I'm sure they will find a sympathetic ear with their good friend and sicko buddy, the eternal Prince of Darkness

      Thanks again for your comment, Black J. I really like your photos !

    13. Ayilana 37 months ago | reply

      Ahhh, what a way to spend my Saturday morning, sipping coffee! I will forever come back to your rants--I meant lectures--Okinawa-san. ;)

    14. La. Sheng. 19 months ago | reply

      Okinawa Soba, how many languages do you know? Just curious.

    15. Okinawa Soba 18 months ago | reply

      American English, colloquial Japanese, and standard Okinawan. I attempted French and Latin for two years each, but both were a bust.

    16. prividenje 8 months ago | reply

      Hello Okinawa Soba,Didnt the Oiran/Tayuu ('rank' wise) start dieing out by the time of photography due to the rising popularity of Geisha? (I cant remember where but I read somewhere that the last officially recorded Oiran/Tayuu was around the late 1700's but obviously prostitution still went on) If this is so do you think the lady in this photograph is a actress/model posing as a Oiran/Tayuu in the same fashion as Geisha were hired to pose for photographs of them wearing peasant/work wear?

    17. Okinawa Soba 8 months ago | reply

      Although we fine-tune the use of the words "Oiran" and "Tayuu" today, back then, your average Japanese used the words interchangeably and loosely, even as they do today.

      My Flickr captions combine information from several sources (including native Japanese material), all reworked and expressed in my own Flickr style.

      Let's look at a very common source --- the Wiki : "....Tayū, unlike geisha, also offered conservative intimacies. They were courtesans as opposed to prostitutes as they provided traditional entertainment (dance, music, conversation) much as the geisha did. Thus, courtesan is the preferred term as prostitutes do not provide these services. Tayū were supposed to be as an ideal wife, for a single night at least. As married women in the Edo period would have, they blackened their teeth, and tied their obi in front. It is thought by some that this was for easy removal, but it was also just another common practice for married women, symbolic and akin to the modern practice of wearing a wedding ring. It was taboo for tayū to remove their kimono during intimacy. Evidence for this can be found in shunga prints, in which courtesans are almost always depicted with their clothes still on. They only entertained the noblest of samurai and ruling lords and often went to the Palaces of Kyoto. Unlike prostitutes of the day, they could also choose or deny anyone that they wished to spend time with and usually did not have sex on their first meeting. In Yoshiwara, tayū went extinct and were replaced by oiran in the 1760s. During World War II, when any show of luxury was seen as negative, tayū culture suffered also. Increasingly strict rules on prostitution made continuation of the vocation difficult....." en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oiran

      According to the Wiki statement, the Tayuu "went extinct in the Yoshiwara", but were still found elsewhere up to and including the WW2 era --- including the sexual aspects of "Tayuu culture" that went hand-in-hand with the game. It can get confusing when other sources are adamant that the Tayuu were found only in Kyoto, when in fact (at least in the literature) they popped up here and there over the centuries.

      In many old photos showing caged prostitutes, you can see "Tayuu" and "Oiran" types mixed in with the common prostitutes. While some brothels did have "higher class" women on hand, it is also possible that we are looking at an early example of "cos-play" where a brothel has "up-graded" the look of a regular prostitute to that of a Tayuu or Oiran".

      To answer your question about the possibility that this is a Geisha modeling the external shell of a classic [oiran or tayuu], I seriously doubt it. During the time of most of my old photos, prostitutes only modeled themselves, while Geisha modeled everyone except prostitutes. While "cultural re-enactment" Tayuu and Oriran are still around to day, back then, it was the real ones that paraded themselves down the street.

      I should mention that while we Westerners aim for a high degree of precision in our descriptions of the duties and callings of these women, here in Japan, the Japanese boundaries and definitions are quite fuzzy, and constantly morphing with the aid of euphemisms, white-lies, social loop-holes, blatant denial, historical white-wash, endless re-defining, and incomplete statements that leave out half of reality.

      For the sake of clarity, in cases where my photos might show a person or model dressed in a costume that might only represent a profession, my caption will always deal with what the representation stands for, and not sweat out whether the actual person in the photo is "real" or not. An example of that would be a photo of a "Samurai", who might (or might not) be a real one, as even after they were "outlawed" in Japan, there was a period when ex-samurai could "model" themselves in photos or re-enactments --- even though they no longer held the rank or position of "Samurai", and were not a member of any militia. However, in the case of prostitutes of all classes, what you are looking at is usually the real thing.

      Thus, my photo is an "excuse" to discuss the various types of prostitutes and prostitution in old Japan, and the actual women in the photo --- real prostitute or not (although I think she is a real prostitute) --- is simply there to represent the subject at hand.

    18. Statuess 5 months ago | reply

      Your photos and commentaries are very interesting, but I would just like to point out that there is NO way you can say with absolute certainty what your values would be if you were raised in a completely different cultural environment. I also suppose that some, if not all, parents believed that as well as providing money for themselves, they were giving their daughters a chance to live a safer, more comfortable life than otherwise (whether or not this was actually true).

    19. Okinawa Soba 5 months ago | reply

      Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you like the old pics.

      As for what my values would be if I was raised in a completely different cultural environment, that's a good observation. Fortunately, I have the absolute answer : I would be exactly who I am right now, and piss all over anything and everything that involves causing physical pain, torture, bullying, intimidation, cultural coercion, and the sexual use of children for the gratification of men who hold all women under threat of financial blackmail if they don't go along with the "culture".

      I know this because, almost since the day I was born (in suburban White, Protestant, American Christendom), I have consciously and personally questioned (and often violated) the set of cultural attributes that were handed to me by my father, my church, my school teachers, and my government. From the time I became "aware" (whatever that is), I was conscious of the evil elements and hypocrisy of the cultural world around me, and (1) avoided bullshit wherever possible, (2) make sure that I didn't live out the negative aspects of culture and mores of my father, (3) questioned everything my school history books said, (4) stood my ground when confronted by "brainwashed authority", and (5) not balk at telling others what I though about the history, culture, and "accepted practices" that were handed to me lock, stock, and barrel by my cultural environment.

      There are two kinds of human beings (apparently). One kind are like SHEEP, the other kind USES THEIR BRAINS.

      Also (apparently) the first kind outnumber the second kind in any given society or culture.

      It is also true that --- even today --- in many societies, I would have been killed by now --- killed by the "sheep" for not espousing or supporting the views and practices of the "herd".

      The reason you are reading my comments is because I live in (and post from) both America and Japan. These two countries are --- at least today --- highly tolerant of diverse views which either question or call to account any aspects of the two nations history and cultural practices. That's why I'm still alive, and spouting off my opinions ~ !

      There was a time in Japan when I would have at least been jailed for questioning the divinity of their Emperor. I would be killed RIGHT NOW in few countries for answering honestly the following question : WHAT DO YOU THINK OF MOHAMMED AND ISLAM ?

      To come to the point, my personality is fixed, culture which is distasteful to me rolls right off my back without being absorbed, I have always said what I think even when I am opposed by the group, and that's how I know what my values would be no matter what country or culture I was born into.

      ON THE OTHER HAND, based on your comment, I am wondering if you are not one of the "Sheep". If you had been born into 1850s America, It sounds like you would have supported SLAVERY as an "economic necessity", as well as a "safer, more comfortable life for the poor Africans, who, had they remained in Africa, might have been eaten by lions".

      For my part, I would have been an outspoken "Abolitionist".

      There ARE those in every country and culture who DO NOT AGREE with what they see, and are not dumbed-down sheep who take everything that was handed to them without question.

      Those who prostitute children in any time or place have no excuse --- financial or otherwise --- for their backward, inconsiderate, selfish, misogynist ways of thinking.... unless, of course, the excuse is "we are all mindless sheep, with no thoughts of our own, and no higher level of human conscious or consideration to guide us".

      For what it's worth, I am also against practice of crushing, smashing, and deforming the feet of little girls --- a practice called "foot binding". The Han Chinese did this to their children in numbers that ran into the billions... for a thousand years. It continued right into the 20th Century. And it was ostensibly done for the reason you give for child prostitution in Japan --- MONEY.

      I say, "fuck that culture", both then and now.

      And the genital mutilation of millions of little girls that goes on today in (mostly) Africa and the Middle East --- wherein they pin the girl to the floor, and, without anesthesia, slice off all or some of the clitoris and other genital surroundings --- I say, "fuck that culture, too".

      I pass judgement on it THEN, and I pass judgement on it TODAY.

      "Time-Place" and "Cultural Context" arguments that allow, excuse, appease, and apologize for these practices are nothing more than bullshit arguments from mindless scholars with psychopathic tendencies whose academic degrees should have been printed on toilet paper.

      And knowing myself, I know that if I was born in one of those countries, I would be on the side of movements to bring and end to it all. Because I have (1) a brain, and (2) empathy, (3) my own absolute sense of right and wrong --- a sense that is NOT based on or directed by religious bullshit or cultural depravity.

      Sorry, I don't usually use the word "fuck" in my photostream, but some cultures are so "fucked up", there is no other deserving expletive I can think of to describe these things.

      These are called "values", and every conscious, thinking human being has the right to question his fellow man on these things, and NOT RESPECT any culture or religion that crushes, maims, subverts, or abuses his fellow human beings.

      And this includes questioning (and/or rejecting) the very culture you might have been born into.

      Thank you.

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