Yoshiwara: The Glittering World of the Japanese Courtesan

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9780824814885: Yoshiwara: The Glittering World of the Japanese Courtesan
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Drawing on both historical and literary sources, examines life in the pleasure houses of Japan during the Edo period from the early 1600s to 1868. Among the topics are the origins, illegal competitors, the cost of a visit, the treatment of the courtesans, traditions and protocols, Yoshiwara arts, th

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Yoshiwara is the first attempt in nearly a century to give a comprehensive and detailed account of Edo-period Japan's legendary pleasure quarter. The book begins with a brief history of prostitution in Japan and follows with a survey of the Yoshiwara from its origins in the early 1600s to shortly after the Meiji Restoration in 1868. Yoshiwara society possessed for most of its history considerable glamour and surface allure, yet, at the same time, it accommodated attitudes and activities that today could only be regarded as exploitative and inhumane. Cecilia Segawa Seigle looks impartially at all aspects of Yoshiwara life, offering much information - the result of painstaking research in primary sources - that will be a revelation to readers in the West. While discussing in depth the highly specialized and idiosyncratic world of licensed prostitution, Seigle also makes the reader aware of the broader impact of this insular entertainment quarter on the manners and mores of other segments of Japanese society, both then and now. Arranged chronologically, Yoshiwara is not so much a history as a companion to studies of Edo-period literature, theatre, and the visual arts. It provides an overview of the social, cultural, and economic influences on and of this microcosm of early-modern urban Japan. An especially engaging feature of this readable text is the liberal use of anecdotes from contemporary sources. Specialists will find particularly interesting the carefully researched and clearly written exposition of the quarter's complex hierarchy and elaborate code of behavior. While always maintaining the distinction between fact and fabrication, this fascinating study seeks to delineate thetruths that lie behind the legends.

From Library Journal:

Seigle presents a comprehensive history of Japan's most famous red-light district. Following the establishment of the Tokugawa Shogunate at Edo in 1604, an influx of womanless Samurai led to the creation of a separate, walled brothel quarter, the Yoshiwara. Seigle (Japanese literature, Univ. of Pennsylvania) points out that many of the early brothel-keepers were ex-Samurai, men dispossessed when their feudal lords were overthrown; and many of the most popular courtesans were the wives and daughters of ruined feudal lords and their Samurai. Historical anecdotes enliven the tale of how Yoshiwara styles of dress, music, and etiquette came to influence the larger society. A readable account of an important institution, which will be enjoyed by informed readers.
- Robert J. Andrews, Duluth P.L., Minn.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Book Description University of Hawai i Press, United States, 1993. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Drawing on both historical and literary sources, examines life in the pleasure houses of Japan during the Edo period from the early 1600s to 1868. Among the topics are the origins, illegal competitors, the cost of a visit, the treatment of the courtesans, traditions and protocols, Yoshiwara arts, th. Seller Inventory # APC9780824814885

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Book Description University of Hawai i Press, United States, 1993. Hardback. Condition: New. New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Drawing on both historical and literary sources, examines life in the pleasure houses of Japan during the Edo period from the early 1600s to 1868. Among the topics are the origins, illegal competitors, the cost of a visit, the treatment of the courtesans, traditions and protocols, Yoshiwara arts, th. Seller Inventory # APC9780824814885

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Book Description University of Hawaii Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 344 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.3in. x 1.0in.Drawing on both historical and literary sources, examines life in the pleasure houses of Japan during the Edo period from the early 1600s to 1868. Among the topics are the origins, illegal competitors, the cost of a visit, the treatment of the courtesans, traditions and protocols, Yoshiwara arts, th This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780824814885

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