by Lady Carlton née Katie O’Roarke, heroine of “The Blonde Samurai”
I have a most intriguing question for you in today’s posting, dear lady reader: What is the difference between a geisha and a courtesan?
I am awaiting your answer. Be assured, I will not judge you. There is no dark purpose behind my question. I merely seek your view on a subject surely to become a popular question buffeted about in Mayfair drawing rooms as all things Japanese become more popular in the West.
Including the photographs and woodblock prints from Japan of bare-breasted women wearing kimono.
But are they geisha or courtesan?
There is no difference between a geisha and a courtesan, you say finally, though I strain to hear your words. They both entertain gentlemen with their bodies.
I am impressed with your daring answer, considering that when we first began this journey of postings you were quite reserved in your attitude and quick to judge me.
Regarding your answer, I will tell you this: You are partially correct in your assessment of the charms of the geisha and the courtesan. They both entertain with their bodies:
The geisha enchants her customer with her lovely voice and the elegant sway of her body as she dances and tosses her fan into the air. She does not include sexual favors in her repertoire.
The courtesan seduces a gentlemen by untying her extravagant sash (which she wears tied in front) and opening her kimono as a flower blossom opens her petals to welcome penetration by the sun’s rays.
Yes, ’tis true I ascribe to the overwrought poetry of a besotted dabbler of words to make my point. I hesitate to make you come completely undone by using the erotic language of the genre, though be assured I do not hold back in my memoir:
“It seems to me when we women pen erotic novels using words men created, that often leaves us unhappily searching for words, descriptions and phrases that evoke the sexual experience the way we women feel it, not how men expect us to act.
“Vulgar, sassy. So I’ve made up my own word.”
I have no doubt there are those among you who would rather I abandon this topic and present a recitation far more mundane. I shall not do so, for that would be untrue to the art of these exquisite ladies of the “floating world” (a term referring to the pleasure quarters).
Both geisha and courtesan.
And so I shall pierce the silken armor these ladies have fashioned for themselves with their numerous layers of kimono and outlandishly tied sashes and high, high clogs and expose in my next posting on the differences between the geisha and the courtesan (I speak here of the high-class courtesan):
It shall be most intriguing, I promise you.
The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”