Yoshiwara 1910 Written in English on the back of this postcard is the following: “This distinguished courtesan, has the air & carriage of a ‘grande Dame’, while her clothes are the costliest to be bought, such as only royalty is supposed to afford. She is standing on a bridge balcony to her house which is furnished as elegantly as that of a Queen.” Japan Vintage, Balconies, Kolorz Sepii, Grand Dame, Japan Beautiful, 1910 Oiran, Vintage Japan, Bridges, Yoshiwara 1910
Taisho period (1912-1926), when girls were still recruited from childhood. Until becoming prostitutes in their teens, they acted as pages to the Oiran and were known as kamuro. Postcards like these were very popular both in Japan and outside, where the protagonists were often mistaken for geisha. In many cases, the beauty of the pictures, the costumes, the pomp and circumstance entirely fail to mask the tragedy that can still be read on those ostensibly blank white faces.
Tayuu and Kamuro in front of a Kohaku-maku, 1920s. This postcard shows a Tayuu (Japanese Courtesan) and two Kamuro (Child Attendants) standing in front of a Kōhaku-maku (red and white curtain). A Kōhaku-maku is a type of decorative fabric panel used on various occasions in Japan, such as outdoor tea ceremonies. S)