Oiran Heriarchy

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Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:18 pm

akira sato:


I found this link (well, more like someone pointed it out to me)

[Broken link removed]


And this excerpt here has me confused:

"There were several ranks of Shimabara ladies: the highest were the Tayu, followed by the Koshi and Sancha and at the top of the social hierarchy were the Hashi. The Tayu were said to be extremely extravagant and would often hold impromptu fashion parades by flaunting their sumptous clothing in front of the other courtesans, and in doing so specify a natural hierarchy in the pleasure quarter. "



I'm confused because soemhwre I read Hashi were the lowest rank... So... I woudl like to know if anyone knows the complete Oiran Ranking?
I've looked it everywhere, but all I get is wikipedia's article... that says nothing on ranking... and I couldn't find it here in IG... If there's a thread, I'm so very very sorry, I totally suck at scanning....

Please and thank you!!

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Re: Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:20 pm

hibana:

I think it's a typo.

About the origin of courtesan hierarchy, from The Nightless City by De Becker:

"[Coursesans] were then classified as Tayuu and Hashi-joro. (here a footnote explains: The best women in a brothel were always placed in the middle of the mise (shop) and those of inferior beauty or attainments were placed at the sides. Whence the name hashi-joro or 'end-courtesans')"

The whole explanation of the names and evolutions of different courtesan ranks in The Nightless City is about 8 pages long. I'm not going to type it up right now, but let it suffice to say that it was a very complicated business! Part of the ranking involved the cost of the bedding given to a courtesan by a patron or purchased by her with her own wages.

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Re: Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:21 pm

PassionFruit Addict:

That seems a very interesting book. :D

Oiran hierarchy is complex, but i can give you an example with Yoshiwara drawn from the book Courtisanes du Japon by Jean Cholley:
From higher to lower rank:

Until 1760:
1. "Tayû" or "Matsu"
2. "Kôshi"
3. "Zashikimochi"
4. "Heyamochi"
5. "Tsubone"
6. "Hashi"
7. Courtesans without rank

From 1760 to 1780
1. "Sancha": they replace the "Tayû" and "Koshi"
2. "Tsukemawashi"
3. "Zashikimochi"
4. "Heyamochi"
5. "Tsubone"
6. "Hashi"
7. Courtesans without rank

After 1780:
1. "Yoshidashi": chosed among the "Chûsan", they are characterized by their excellence
2. "Chûsan": replace the "Sancha"
3. "Tsukemawashi"
4. "Zashikimochi"
5. "Heyamochi"
6. "Tsubone"
7. "Hashi"
8. Courtesans without rank

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Re: Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:21 pm

orastella:

I know I'm reviving a dead topic, but I think the question wasn't actually answered. If tayuu were the highest rank in Osaka and Kyoto and oiran were of equal rank in Edo, then wouldn't they have differant names for the ranks in Yoshiwara, Edo?

Is it something like this?
1. oiran
2. tomesode shinzo
3. furisode shinzo
4. kamuro

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Re: Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:22 pm

Fuyou:

Tomesode Shinzo, Furisode Shinzo, and kamuro are rankings for apprentices, they aren't full-fledged courtesans. So they don't often make it onto the list.

Also historically the terms Tayuu and Oiran were not specific to an area but were chronological. The term Tayuu came first but fell out of style and the term Oiran later replaced it. Or at least that's how it went in Yoshiwara, but because no one's written in depth about Shimabara or Shinmachi I couldn't say for sure that held true for them as well. But in any case, I believe the classification of Tayuu in Kyoto and Oiran in Tokyo is fairly recent.

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Re: Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:23 pm

PassionFruit Addict:
orastella wrote:If tayuu were the highest rank in Osaka and Kyoto and oiran were of equal rank in Edo, then wouldn't they have different names for the ranks in Yoshiwara, Edo?
In fact, the terms Tayû and Oiran weren't strictly dedicated respectively to Kyoto and Edo.
Initially I thought it was like that, but not, in The Nightless City and Courtisanes du Japon both speak about Yoshiwara (Edo) and there was the Tayû rank in the district.
It always confused me a lot.

edit: Oh thanks for this explanation Fuyou, and sorry i didn't see your post reply.

To answer the initial question I think there is an error in the text linked like Hibana said.
There were several ranks of Shimabara ladies: the highest were the Tayu, followed by the Koshi and Sancha and at the top of the social hierarchy were the Hashi. The Tayu were said to be extremely extravagant and would often hold impromptu fashion parades by flaunting their sumptous clothing in front of the other courtesans, and in doing so specify a natural hierarchy in the pleasure quarter.
hibana wrote:I think it's a typo.
"... and at the top of the social hierarchy were the Hashi." It must be at the bottom.

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Re: Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:24 pm

orastella:

There's a lot of confusing information out there about the specific ranks. Probably because they kept changing the rank structure throughout history!

Ok, so tayuu came first. I remember that from reading the explanations under your deviantart entries, Fuyou! And Oiran came later. But both those terms are still used for the highest rank of courtesean? So what is the differance in how the terms are used these days? In those small pockets of what's left as a museum piece, I mean.

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Re: Oiran Heriarchy

Post by IG Team » Wed Jun 29, 2016 6:24 pm

Fuyou:

They did both refer to the highest rank of courtesan at their time, but nowadays they refer to the highest rank of courtesan in each respective city. At this point, there are only miniscule differences between a Tayuu and an Oiran, such as city, hair style, hair ornaments, obi style, and shoe height. It's hard to get a handle on the different rankings because they changed every few decades or so. The Nightless City is going to be your best bet for accurate information on every ranking system Yoshiwara ever had, although I wonder at the changes after DeBecker left.

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