The Costume Museum Kyoto Japan Costume History in Japan
The Heian Period  
65 - Coutesan of the Heian Era
The Costume Museum Kyoto JapanThe Costume Museum Kyoto Japan
1 sage-gami
2 takenaga
3 uchiki
4 kosode
5 obuto
"Yuko-nyofu (=coutesans)" were called "asobime" or "ukareme" in ancient Japan. After "miko, " Shinto shrine maidens of the old times, lost characters of god and priest, they developed natures of vagrancy, entertainment, and prostitution. After the Heian Era, the word "yuko-nyofu" was shortened to "asobime. " " The courtesans of the Heian Era were cultured and some of their "waka," 31-syllable Japanese poems, were contained in compilation-by-Imperial-command anthology. The coutesan in the photograph shows a woman for entertainment in "uchiki" style. She holds the skirt with the small string at the waist for entertainment on action. "Tsuboshozoku" is a formal traveling wear , whereas the costume of courtesan is an informal array.