Yoshiwara

Yoshiwara, once the biggest pleasure district in Japan, has long passed its prime. The static of vacant streets is only occasionally interrupted by vans, soundlessly bringing and picking up customers. It no longer attracts crowds, and it's been over a century since it fueled artists' imaginations and set fashion trends. There is hardly anything but hourly rates and idle gatekeepers in formal attire to indicate the purpose of the place. Remaining after police raids soaplands, hidden behind kitschy Potemkin village facades, make their ends meet by luring in pensioners and Chinese tourists. It feels like the whole area is awaiting an executive decision rendering it obsolete. Which can easily happen in the process of city sterilization for the upcoming Tokyo Olimpics, discarding Yoshiwara and its complex history just like countless bodies of unknown prostitutes at the back gate of the notorious Jōkan-ji (throw-away) temple.

Prev / Next 1/