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The Nightless City: Or the History of the Yoshiwara Yukwaku
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The Nightless City: Or the History of the Yoshiwara Yukwaku

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  55 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews

An illuminating account of Yoshiwara, Edo's licensed quarters; the city within a city which housed old Tokyo's prostitutes from 1617 to 1957. All aspects of the history and culture of this settlement are beautifully recorded.

Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by ICG Muse (first published 1971)
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It's a monumental anthropological work about Yoshiwara (the most famous of Japan's licensed quarters), covering its history, customs, laws, regulations, superstitions, language, songs and sayings. De Becker gathered all this enormous material in the middle of the Meiji period, when the quarter was already experiencing its slow decline, and when many of its former celebrations and festivals had been discontinued. That was mainly due to financial costs, but also to the inner and outer pressure tow
May 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
For an excellent account of why de Becker's account of prostitution in nineteenth-century Japan remains so valuable, see this review:
by Goodreads member Tocotin (
Jessie B.
While parts of this book are somewhat dated, it provides a fascinating account of prostitution in Tokyo at the turn of the century.
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