saikaku

One thing interesting I found in the saikaku reading was that courtesans were allowed to turn down or at least trick their customers if they didn’t like them. Yujo usually made living on sexual trades and would lose the right to decide for herself once she was sold to the pleasure quarter.. Being deprived almost all forms of agency, these yujo seems to develop some agency in the way they treat their customers. As the article suggests, a courtesan would have multiple ways to avoid intimacy with a disliked customer. She may pretend to fall asleep because of too much sake consumption until it is time to end the night. Even though such misbehavior may result in the lose a potentially rich customer, the courtesan is not punished. This is different from what I have seen in the movie Sakuran in which Kiyoha is forced to serve the men that she doesn’t like and is punished for failing to do so. Therefore, while the author criticizes such behavior, I do see some agency in these disobliging courtesans.

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