Ukiyo-e & Maiko Portraits

I know I promised a while back on Twitter to write about paintings of Maiko and the artists who painted them… So with no further ado, let’s dive straight in!

Ukiyo-e paintings(浮世絵).
Ukiyo-e (literally: portraits of the floating world) is a genre of art that flourished in the Edo period as a result of the long-waited peace and prosperity. That’s when Japan was finally unified and ruled with a relatively centralised state power. In the absence of war, arts, entertainment and the economy started to flourish; it was also when kabuki and the profession of Geisha began.

If I remember correctly, the earliest Ukiyo-e artist who was famous for “beauty portraits”(美人画)was Katsushika Hokusai’s(葛飾北斎) daughter: Katsushika Oui(葛飾応為). Her father Hokusai is the one who created the genre of Ukiyo-e. He painted, I’m sure you have seen it somewhere, this:

The Great Wave off Kanagawa

And of course, the earliest tentacle erotica: (´・////・`)

The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife
I’d write a long blog about erotic shunga, netsuke toys and historical dildos, but they can wait for now… Continue reading “Ukiyo-e & Maiko Portraits”


Geisha, Tayū, Oiran and the “Sex” Question

I recently noticed that many Japanese working ladies, especially in the US, advertise themselves as “Geisha girl”, “former Geisha apprentice in Kyoto”, or knowledgeable of the Geisha culture, yet they openly claim that Geisha are courtesans.

As I stated in “Geisha and Sex”: Geisha did and do not sell sex for a living.

I say this out and loud because a big part of what I do is to introduce the real and authentic Geisha culture to my clients. Conflating Geisha with Yūjo (historical Japanese courtesans) does nothing but feeding an Orientalist myth (read more at “Geisha and Sex“) which then feeds the hypersexualisation of Japan and Japanese women (read more at “Harmful Racial Fetish“).

To clarify the women in the “world of flower and willow” who are commonly mistaken for one another, I made this table below: Continue reading “Geisha, Tayū, Oiran and the “Sex” Question”