Within the pleasure quarters, courtesans' prestige was based on their beauty, character, education, and artistic ability, rather than their birth. The highest rank of courtesan was the tayū (太夫), followed by the kōshi (格子). Unlike a common prostitute, the tayū had sufficient prestige to refuse clients. In Japan, prostitution had been legal since the 1100s (in 1956 prostitution was banned, the licensed pleasure quarters were abolished, and the courtesans lost their jobs). In the early 1600s, government licensed, isolated pleasure quarters were created in cities in order to provide an outlet for men’s desires and create additional tax revenue.
Feb 10, 2010 · Women of the Pleasure Quarters: The Secret History of the Geisha - Kindle edition by Lesley Downer. Download it once and read it on your Kindle device, PC, phones or tablets. Use features like bookmarks, note taking and highlighting while reading Women of the Pleasure Quarters: The Secret History of the Geisha.3.8/5(27). Feb 10, 2010 · In Women of the Pleasure Quarters, she weaves together intimate portraits of modern geisha with the romantic legends and colorful historical tales that shape their fascinating past. Contrary to popular opinion, geisha are not prostitutes but, literally, "arts people."3.8/5(27).
To ask other readers questions about Women of the Pleasure Quarters, please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Women of the Pleasure Quarters Downer begins with the story of her embarkation on the quest to write this book, unashamedly and amusingly confessing her own mistakes and 3.8/5.