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Courtesan with Attendants on Parade: Gallery Label - Current


Minneapolis Institute of Arts



Institution Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Within the rarified world of the Yoshiwara, Edo's licensed pleasure quarter, the most celebrated courtesans were beyond the reach of all by the wealthiest patrons. Nevertheless, ordinary visitors could glimpse the reigning beauties during their frequent promenades. When venturing into public, a high-ranking courtesan would be accompanied by a retinue of attendants, including one or two kamuro (female apprentice), a wakaimono (male servant), and one or two shinzo (lower ranking courtesans). While the entire retinue would be sumptuously dressed, as seen here, the costliest and most spectacular robes were worn by the oiran (highest ranking courtesan) who also had her hair dressed in the most up-to-date and elaborate manner.
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Source: Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Rights: Copyright Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Added to Site: March 10, 2009