"Authenticity of Kagai and a Strategy of Differentiation"


last update: 20151224

Authenticity of Kagai and a Strategy of Differentiation

For Kyoto, kagai is a space having all the elements of a tourist resource. When kagai is treated as the tourist resource, kagai is often drawn as a space has inherited Japanese good old tradition. Such a positive description ofkagai depends on the production of representation by people about kagai. I show, in this article, the production of representation and identity by kagai using the Kamishichiken district as an example.

I also make clear it the identity of kagai is maintained by differentiating it with a red-light district. The differentiation of kagai and a red-light district is performed by two methods in the case of Kamishichiken and Gobantyo-town. (1) Differentiation between the classes of the customers. (2) Differentiation between occupations (geiko, maiko and shogi). The two differences are often used for distinguishing between the two spaces. However, historical materials and testimonies teach these differences were not divided completely in the past. Kagai explains itself as a space related to art instead of a sexual space by emphasizing these two differences. The differentiation extends to not only the red-light district but also to general hospitality. The authenticity of kagai as such a space of art is maintained by this constant differentiation.

Keywords: kagai, red-light district, space of sex, space of art, differentiation

REV: 20151224
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