Geisha vs Oiran: What’s the Difference? ★ ONLY in JAPAN #30 花魁と芸者の違い

Geisha vs Oiran: What’s the Difference? ★ ONLY in JAPAN #30 花魁と芸者の違い


In this episode we head to a can’t miss
area of Tokyo Asakusa is a well-known neighborhood Tokyo may be one of the world’s most advanced cities but here things slow down a little Three areas to know are the central Asakusa area with
SENSOJI temple The Tokyo Skytree and Yoshiwara In the north The historical home of Tokyo’s pleasure quarters We start right here at Asakusa’s most famous intersection So here we are at Asakusa This is the old area of Tokyo You can see behind me KAMINARIMON and SENSOJI and over here this Skytree
the newest addition to the Tokyo skyline and to help me out with this report is
Grigoris Who’s been in Japan for how many years Have been Japan six years Six years Because what is your fascination with Asakusa? I had a thing for Japan since I was a kid and I had a thing for SHITAMACHI The east part of Tokyo also since I was a kid So Asakusa seems like a natural fit I think Asakusa is a lot
more than just SENSOJI and this area, right? It actually is. Well, for the most
part it’s SENSOJI temple It’s been the actual focus for 1.5 millennial But there’s also lots of other stuff around here like Yoshiwara Yoshiwara! Right is look which is what we’re focusing on today OIRAN DOCHU OIRAN DOCHU yes What do people need to know about that? well, the Yoshiwara was the pleasure culture of EDO and the They were several houses and it’s house
has it on its own Prostitutes and courtesans .Well they
were.. and They were artists, they were entertainers, and they were all kinds of things But OIRAN weren’t GEISHAs Here’s almost all you need to now First can you tell a GEISHA from OIRAN Maybe not The first thing we notice are the white faces well, Here’s a GEISHA Her KIMONO is stylish But simplistic Beautiful hair pulled back GEISHA cover their feet TABI socks From behind you can see the OBI It’s tied this way GEISHA apprentices have several levels But their OBI is tied loose like this By the way Men could also be GEISHA I bet you didn’t know that GEISHAs were strictly entertainers
skilled in song dance and playing instruments Now here’s a beautiful lady She’s a high-level OIRAN More specifically a TAIYU how can we tell? She’s wrapped in many elaborately colored layers of silk extravaganct! The real celebrities of Tokyo Her hair is decorated with all sorts of
ornaments a GEISHA would never do that Top OIRAN were skilled in all forms a art Look! Her feet Bare This drop demands why Also walked in high GETA sandals Japanese version of stiletto heels From behind you can see just how elaborate an OIRAN looks Do you think you can tell them apart now A GEISHA and OIRAN Get it right Grigoris had more amazing facts to tell us about OIRAN and Every Day It had parades of its top courtesans, top OIRAN in street s of YOSHIWARA I guess what you’re saying is OIRAN in the EDO period were like the movie
stars yeah, exactly You can see them in woodblock prints by UTAMARO For the most part they are famous OIRAN from that day They were pretty expensive. Freakishly expensive actually The OIRAN expensive? yeah Wow! One night with the OIRAN was about one year salary for a normal person But it wasn’t that easy right? You
actually had to be accepted by OIRAN That’s what a lot of people don’t know it wasn’t just pay the money and have fun Specially top OIRAN, the TAYU The ones we will see in the video on under the umbrella Right You had to be introduced and she had the right to….deny The OIRAN were really special ladies
around town Let’s go to a re-creation of one of their DOCHU or parades through the Yoshiwara A lot of preparation is needed Every part of the OIRAN that was
exposed had to be covered in white Including the feet The faces were immaculately painted They were then fitted with padded
undergarments before the KIMONO OIRAN-KIMONO we’re more colorful
than the geishas for a reason They wanted to attract more attention for business and that glamour was very good for business The KIMONO is held in place with the
rope before being tight with the first OBI And then a second one It’s really tight And an outer layer with more padding TAYU The top-ranked OIRAN had even more elaborate layers The wig When she wears this You can never miss her walking down the street It takes skill to put one on correctly The TAYU wigs are the heaviest Attention to every detail Everything had to be perfect to attract
as much praise and attention on the streets Surrounded by OIRAN It’s really quite an “only in Japan” site Can you tell the highest-ranked TAYU
from the other courtesans? The TAYU has a front drape call MANAITA To add another layer to the silk She may be carrying as many as five layers of KIMONO underneath The woman in charge is Yoko Okita She has learned the traditional ways of the OIRAN and make sure every little detail is
just like it was during the EDO period Prostitution was outlawed in 1958 and with that the OIRAN culture has
started to fade There are very few who have been around to see a real OIRAN DOCHU Let’s ask Okita SENSEI Her thoughts and why the OIRAN DOCHU is important to the neighborhood today After talking with Okita SENSEI I understood just how much preparation
went into this annual event The OIRAN DOCHU would not be
possible without Okita SENSEI’s extensive experience The event gets bigger and bigger every
year and this year they have live musicians and singers rather than recording Let’s move ahead to the event I have trouble walking around in normal
GETA But these? They’re towers! This make sure the OIRAN is the highest one in the procession You can see those bare feet Lovely One foot in front of the other The TAYU had a very distinctive walking style sweeping the put out in 8 pattern It’s called the SOTO-HACHI-MOJI In the front are dancers and musicians with masks of foxes or KITSUNE The fox symbolizes INARI The patron deity of the Yoshiwara You can throw them coins wrapped in paper and they’ll feed it to SHI SHI or lions The KANABO-HIKI or night watchmen carry metal sticks They clank on the streets to attract the attention of the crowd There are the TEKOMAI-GEISHA with men’s hairstyles and clothing CHOCHIN-MOCHI carry a lantern with the TAYU’s name They’re also her servants called KAMURO She supported by an assistant called
KATAKASHI-NO-OTOKOSHU Holding the umbrella is
the KASAMOCHI-NO-OTOKOSHU In the back are the apprentice OIRAN
called FURISODE SHINZO So that’s the procession in a nutshell It goes on for about 400 meters to
the stage where the OIRAN show the crowd how
customers were served Grigoris took me into a special tree
at the old Yoshiwara gate It’s a willow They call that the MIKAERI YANAGI Okay yeah Which means they’re looking back willow That willow was this was Symbol of courtesans and GEISHA And this is the last thing that the people
leaving Yoshiwara Would see On the on the way out Tokyo and Yoshiwara has changed a lot But the traditions live on handed down
from one generation to the next When you’re in Asakusa Look around Even look up You might find yourself
standing in the shade of history

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