Oiran courtesan. Also see my photos of an oiran show here. My oiran video at YouTube here.

The highest-ranking geisha is called an oiran or tayu. She is escorted by two little attendant girls called kamuro. Notice her high clogs. It takes some skill to walk in those and she usually requires someone's shoulder to hold onto while walking. Sometimes at festivals or special events, you can see the Oiran Dochu procession where she walks in a parade together with geisha attendants.
photos of an oiran show here. My oiran video at YouTube here." data-count="horizontal">Tweet

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Comment 14 to 23 of 23
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Karen   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:56 AM]
From: Karen (Nov 05, 2003 21:05)Liza Dalby, the only western woman to ever become a geisha, refuses to state whether or not geisha are prostitutes. In the high-class Kyoto tradition, they are certainly not. But there are also a number of women in more rustic settings who claim the title of geisha, but do include "pillow friend" services in their repetoire. The term "geisha" is a loaded one with many different applications. If you read Geisha, A Life, the author specifically uses the term "geiko" to refer to geisha, in part because that's the proper term in the Kyoto tradition, but also because she wishes to clearly separate the Kyoto geisha from the country women who sell their bodies.
Emerald   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:55 AM]
From: Emerald (Oct 11, 2003 23:53)As Maya's friend and collegue who has been helping her research what I must say is

OOOOOOOH SNAP!

(you sure got told dorky freak who made this site)
maya   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:53 AM]
From: maya maifa_angel@hotmail.com (Oct 11, 2003 23:45)
obviously all of you who say that geisha are prostitutes have not reviewed their sources very well. firstly i would like to say that as a 15yo student reasearching this debate for a school project i think i am rather well informed. i would like to draw attention to the incorrect information placed on this site. Oiran and tayu are actually nothing to do with geisha at all. Also the only reason geisha had sex with a man other than mizuage was with her danna. i do not understand how anyone can claim this is prostitution as many people everywhere do the same thing, probably without even realising it. many wifes sleep with their husbands while also enjoying thecomforts and priviliges that his money brings. Yes, a danna does pay for the time he spends with the geisha on top of that, but how does this really differ from the company he buys usually. geisha arent prostitutes because they only sleep with one man (their danna) instead of alot like real prostitutes and the are not payed outright for their sexual services. there is alot of evidence that i dont have time to state (such as the obis tied at the back not the front) but the final thing id like to draw attentiont to is this. The majority of a geisha's time was not taken up doing sexual favours, but instead entertaining through song, dance, and conversation. i ask that people please review the facts a little better before passing judgement.
kikuko   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:52 AM]
From: kikuko (Oct 07, 2003 17:50)
geisha are not prostitutes!! the audacitiy of this author to post such information is not only insulting but it is also misleading. to anyone who reads this page i hope you take into acount the fact that if the author of this page were to have brain surgery and the doctor were to compile all of his brain into a bowl, adding steven hawkings brain wouldnt even make this guy a half wit. and to answer rjs question, oirans and maiko wore large clogs called okobo to ornament accentuate and balance the weight of their obi'S and to keep their hems off the ground. my compiments to Mayuri for her knowlegeable and straightforwardness.
RJ   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:51 AM]
From: RJ (Aug 02, 2003 09:08) Can anyone tell me WHY oirans wore such high geta? Is it simply to raise their dress from ground or was there another reason?
Darci   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:50 AM]
From: Darci (Jun 02, 2003 05:24) ok...she is not a courtesan or a prositute ok. they had danna's which they do sleep with but he keeps the hosue running and buys them everything that they need
Suie   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:49 AM]
From: Suie (May 29, 2003 04:23)
I can't believe the author of this page would post this incorrect information. Taya are the highest ranked courtesan. Meaning they do slept with men for money = prostitutes. Geisha are not prostitutes. They don't wear a lots of hair pins like this picture does. Please do more research before you put information on the page.
Mayuri   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:47 AM]
From: Mayuri (Apr 14, 2003 17:49)
GAH! I cannot BELIEVE that such incorrect information has been dumped on such a page!
Yujo, Tayu/Oiran etc = Prostitutes.
They offered sexual favours to men - that's why their obi are tied in front.

Geisha = Artist
Maiko = Kyoto term for apprentice
Geisha.
Geisha sang, danced and conversed with men at the teahouse. Then they got their mioney and went back to their oki-ya, or went to another ocha-ya. Yujo were confined within their brothels.

Prostitutes are an anarchronism. Geisha still exist - and even though their numbers are dwindling, they are essentially Japanese. Geisha and Yujo literally lived and fed off each other, but the geisha won in stakes if popularity - they wore clothes that were *in* - they perpetuated a mode called, 'iki'. A type of, 'cool chic' if you like. Remember, these were the days when kimono and obi were the main items of women's clothing, so there was no Issey Miyake or Kenzo about. These clothes that geisha wore were understated, dark, subtle... none of the heavy, thick brocade that the yujo wore! Yujo were stuffy, refined sluts....but geisha... they were wordly...
Lilly   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:45 AM]
From: Lilly (Apr 03, 2003 20:32)
Geisha were not prostitutes firstly because if you notice, the obi is tied in the back. This is a tayu, not a geisha nor maiko. If you do a little research hun you will find out that the tayu was more ornament than the geish and even the maiko. And also, time after time, a tayu's obi will be tied in the front.
suzume   [Sep 19, 2008 at 02:42 AM]
From: suzume (Mar 10, 2003 11:06)
Only the prostitutes used more than 3 pins to hold their hair and did not tie their obis on their backs. And geishas were prostitutes...

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