The sexual life of Japan
being an exhaustive study of the nightless city or the "History of the Yoshiwara Yūkwaku"
For long as the human race shall last, so long as human appetites demand illegitimate gratification, so long as human blood shall course hot in the veins, so long as men have passions, so long as women are frail, so long as illicit pleasure has an attraction for bewildered wallowing humanity, and so long as lust — " the headstrong beast " — stalks through the earth, venery and dissipation will undoubtedly continue to claim thousands of unhappy victims. "
Vice, like disease, floats in the atmosphere," and notwithstanding the strenuous efforts which have been made in all countries and ages to eradicate prostitution, it still exists rampant and invincible. History demonstrates the sad truth that all human efforts have been — and probably will ever be— unequal to the task of stamping out the social evil from our midst, and we are therefore forced to recognize that the most we can hope to achieve in the direction of ameliorating its consequences are to regulate and control its worst features.
Many and earnest have been the vain attempts of European reformers to grapple with the evil, but their efforts have invariably ended in disappointment. The Church has thundered and anathematized, and the secular authorities have enacted severe and even cruel laws, but the courtesan still survives and will doubtless survive and flourish until the waters of Time have engulfed the World. Japan has not stood still among the nations in its endeavour to solve the problem of prostitution, and the present system of legal control is to all intents and purposes development of that inaugurated well-nigh three centuries ago.
While admitting the existence of objectionable features in the Yoshiwara, it is evident that a system which has stood the test of three hundred years must possess some good points to account for its long lease of life, and it is also manifest that in the course of three centuries a great many curious customs — some good, some bad — must have crystallized around the institution.
Being no partisan or special pleader, I have simply confined myself to what I believe to be assured facts, and hope that the contents of the volume will be of interest and service to persons who are anxious to impartially investigate the customs of one of the most remarkable institutions in this country.
have compiled this book with the object of pro- viding foreign students of sociology, medical men, and philanthropists, with some reliable data regarding the practical working of the system in the leading prostitute quarter of the Japanese Metropolis, and I leave my readers to form their own opinions as to the pros and cons of the success or otherwise achieved by the plan of strict segregation adopted in this country.the book details :
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