Oiran 1983 Checked 👽
Oiran 1983 Checked
the oiran of the 1920ies ended up wearing their hair in different ways. the classic way to do so was to tie it in a high knot over the head as the tayuu did, but this only served to draw more attention to the shape of the back of their heads. many women also used hair pins that went through their hair over their heads, though this made it harder to pull and caused blemishes and messy hair. to keep the hair in place they also put it in messy bun. while the tayuu had rid themselves of the top knot and pinned their hair in a tight bun like a guo or a meisho, the oiran kept theirs tight but more airy in style with skinny strands resembling the ayashi (the ancient japanese sword master’s name for their hair) of todays swordsmen. in a strange twist, in the 1920ies the oiran experimented with the hairstyle of the meisho or kamisho, the girl of the samurai class.
around that time, writers started to romanticize the lives of the oiran. in the early to mid 1900ies, novels such as yoko tsushima’s psychoanalysis dealt with the lives of oiran and yorokobi like this. they started to dress much more flamboyantly and moved away from the traditional high neck of the oiran. while some have argued that these books were trying to romanticize the oiran, these novels also helped to establish the myth of the oiran as the humble and down trodden class. the oiran of the meiji era tried to embrace this new image but couldn’t exactly look out of place so they kept their higher neck as they wore more pleated kimono with much fewer ornamentations as the meisho and meiro-okoshi. around that time they also started to wear the new shoes called geta. people bought them for their fashion or the procel but when they came out the oiran could not fully part with their toe shoes as they did not give them much more freedom in their daily lives. and the new footwear of the oiran is one of the major differences between oiran and tayuu.
while the earlier obi were complicated, the obi of after the meiji period are very easy to tie and become the standard for a tayuu. for example, the obi for girls of the meiji era look like the ones for official functions of business and government today.
the introduction of modernity, from the era of industrialization, changed the way to earn a living. in the past the women had to rely on their role as wives to make a living. in the years after the meiji era, numbers increased to allow women to move away from the traditional route of making a living at home. it was an era of affluence and modernization thus the obi was a symbol of wealth and everything modern. it eventually became a sign of the modern woman and the oiran in the meiji era is no exception to this rule.
following the boom of the edo period and to an extent of it’s influence, the meiji era saw the rise of the “omi-san” or “shojo-dai”(girl’s storehouse) and the women of the tokugawa period are instrumental in their opening. many of the ladies of the “omi-san” were wealthy and most of them were of merchants, but nevertheless, the ladies of the “omi-san” were wealthy in their own way even before they entered their aristocratic households.
while the oiran wore the uchikake as outerwear, the highest rank would wear it as their bridal robe. so it fits perfectly with the titanic, heroic figure of the oiran in kabuki, all wrapped up in the tails of fame. whom wouldnt want to portray her as a fairytale princess? it could be said that this might have made the oiran, these exotic, untouchable ladies with their couture and glitz, difficult to approach. luckily, no matter how much they tried to suppress the latter half of their lives, the mask of the oiran dissipated over time as the culture shifted. the early oiran were indeed more under wraps, less refined and kept their identities more protected. but for the sake of the doll like, doll like oiran in the popular kabuki the tayuu gave them, the remaining oiran might have been able to find themselves amongst the tayuu as well but modern oiran, living far from this epoch, might have great difficulty finding themselves amongst the tayuu as an image.