An insiders look at the remarkable history of mistress-keeping in Japan, how it has evolved in modern times, and the role it plays in the night-time entertainment trades and business.
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Mistress-keeping has had a long and “illustrious” history in Japan, with fascinating traditions and customs that were unique to Japanese culture.
The practice underwent dramatic changes following the end of the Shogunate era in 1867 and again following the end of World War II in 1945—when it was revitalized by thousands of American and United Nations military and civilian personnel who were part of the Occupation of Japan.
Author Boyé Lafayette De Mente, who was part of that extraordinary phenomenon, describes in detail the nature and role of mistress-keeping during the Shogunate era, in the aftermath of WWII, and how it continues today as part of Japan’s mizu shobai [mee-zoo show-by] or “water business,” providing valuable insights into the entertainment trades that play major roles in business and politics.
The story of mistress-keeping the Japanese way also reveals valuable insights into Japanese culture in general, helping to explain why they think and behave the way they do still today, and is therefore useful knowledge for businesspeople, educators and others with an interest in Japan.
Around dusk in present-day Japan one still sees geisha emerging from traditional rickshaws, taxis and private cars and entering exclusive "geisha inns" in famous entertainment districts that cater to businessmen and high-ranking politicians.