About Fukagawa

About Fukagawa

Fukagawa Geisha

by xitan

Fukagawa is a neighborhood of Tokyo, which was home to a prominent unlicensed

prostitution district during the Edo period. In addition to prostitution, the area was known particularly for its haori geisha, also known as tatsumi geisha, geisha who dressed in a masculine mode,[1] and may have been the site of the emergence of the first female geisha in Edo (as geisha was originally a male profession).[2]By 1780, the Fukagawa district contained seven unlicensed areas within it.[1]In 18
71, the brothels of the Fukagawa and Shin-Shimabara districts were obliged to relocate to the Yoshiwara.The geisha houses & brothels did not occupy all of Fukagawa, however. The neighborhood was also home to a kakae-yashiki (secondary daimyô mansion) of the Kaga domain,[3] and to a number of Buddhist temples; notable figures including Mamiya Rinzô and Iwai Hanshirô VI are buried in the neighborhood.[4]


  • 1.0 1.1 Joshua Mostow, “Wakashu as a Third Gender and Gender Ambiguity through the Edo Period,” in Mostow and Asato Ikeda (eds.), A Third Gender, Royal Ontario Museum (2016), 36.
  • “Tongue in Cheek: Erotic Art in 19th-Century Japan,” Honolulu Museum of Art, exhibition website, accessed 1 Dec 2014.
  • Gallery labels, “Upper, Middle, and Lower Residences of Kaga Domain,” National Museum of Japanese History.[1]
  • Plaques on-site at Mamiya’s grave, 2-7-8 Hirano, Kôtô-ku, Tokyo.[2]; “Iwai Hanshirô VI.” Kabuki21.com.


Rice and Grains

by ainaoyama

Before Fukagawa became an official solid prefecture of Japan, there were several events occurred in the past. One of the most significant ones was the Great Fire of Meireki. The Great Fire of Meireki was believed to be fired accidentally by a priest who was cremating a cursed kimono which murdered three teenage girls.When the garment was being burned, a large gust of wind fanned the flames causing the wooden temple to ignite. Furthermore, the death of three girls also brought about conflicts and then eventually lead to a huge fight. The aftermath of the fire was that the town lost at least 60% of its land. Therefore, the bank river of Sumida and Sagamachi were relocated to integrate with the town.

Fukagawa after 1695 officially became the “Fukagawa- Sagamachi” town. The merge between Fukagawa and Sagamchi became a major development for both cities. Fukagawa was well-known for its fishing industry as the majority of occupants at the moment were fishermen. While Sagamachi was famous a prosper town rich in grains and rice storage. The large quantity of these granaries leads to Sagamachi developing into a center for grains trade. Up until World War II, it was known to some as Tokyo’s largest grain market.

Rice cooker of the Edo period Fukagawa Edo Museum


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