This book traces the social history of early modern Japan's sex trade, from its beginnings in seventeenth-century cities to its apotheosis in the nineteenth-century countryside. Drawing on legal codes, diaries, town registers, petitions, and criminal records, it describes how the work of "selling women" transformed communities across the archipelago. By focusing on the social implications of prostitutes' economic behavior, this study offers a new understanding of how and why women who work in the sex trade are marginalized. It also demonstrates how the patriarchal order of the early modern state was undermined by the emergence of the market economy, which changed the places of women in their households and the realm at large.
Amy Stanley is Assistant Professor of History at Northwestern University.
List of Illustrations Foreword, Matthew H. Sommer Acknowledgments A Note on Currency and Prices Introduction Part One: Regulation and the Logic of the Household 1. Adulterous Prostitutes, Pawned Wives, and Purchased Women: Female Bodies as Currency 2. Creating "Prostitutes": Benevolence, Profit, and the Construction of a Gendered Order 3. Negotiating the Gendered Order: Prostitutes as Daughters, Wives, and Mothers Part Two: Expansion and the Logic of the Market 4. From Household to Market: Child Sellers, "Widows," and Other Shameless People 5. Glittering Hair Ornaments and Barren Fields: Prostitution and the Crisis of the Countryside 6. Tora and the "Rules of the Pleasure Quarter" Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index