The Geisha Oiro Turning Down the Proposal(Proposition?)
 of an Older Man

YOSHITOSHI TSUKIOKA: The Geisha Oiro Turning Down the Proposal(Proposition?) of an Older Man
Postal News: 1875

Despite persistent misunderstanding in West, geisha were not prostitutes. They were entertainers and conversationalists, trained in dance, song, musical instruments, and the fine art of flirting. In their time, they were relatively liberated women, professionals who did not have to live under the severe strictures that constrained most other women. A skilled geisha could make a great deal of money in gifts, and eventually own her own teahouse, employing other geisha.

That said, most geisha were not as lucky as the very talented few. The working geisha usually had to turn all the fees she earned over to the owner of her contract, to whom she also owed large debts for kimono, lessons, instruments, and so on, and, often, a percentage of any gifts she received. If she was not good, her career only lasted as long as her looks. Most found it prudent to have a patron or lover, and the ideal was to have the contract bought out, and the debt paid, by a wealthy man who would set his mistress up in her own teahouse or small home.

Oiro was perhaps one of the more talented and therefore choosey geisha -- the look on her face as she regards her distracted suitor is about the same as she might give a muddy dog that brushed against her kimono.

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Yoshitoshi biography.


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