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Battle to restore iconic Osaka brothel building

54 Comments
By Harumi OZAWA

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54 Comments
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I think that Osaka should keep this building. Tokyo has suffered appalling civic vandalism sinse the 1980's. It is iconic in many ways.

22 ( +22 / -0 )

Brothel's were a part of Japan's rich culture and history and should have been left alone!

It's a shame that the US, in particular Douglas MacArthur had to bring the prude Judeo-Christian beliefs about sex when they invaded and occupied Japan.

I hope they manage to get this place refurbished, be even nicer if they could return it to being a brothel too!

17 ( +22 / -5 )

yes let’s celebrate the solicitation of sex , it’s a joyous thing

If you can't talk about sex, or any thing regarding it, as an adult, then I hope to god you never do it either, as you are far too immature!

16 ( +20 / -4 )

Many reinvented themselves when prostitution was outlawed in 1957, with customers paying for a room rather than a companion, to skirt legal restrictions.

This in a nutshell is how Japan deals with its underground economy; a wink and a nod, see no evil...

It is a wonderful piece of history that should be celebrated.

15 ( +16 / -1 )

A GoFundMe page is certainly called for!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

Alan Harrison...

Was Japan was ever invaded or occupied.

Yes. 1945. Surprised you never heard about this. It was quite a big event.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Where did JT took the pictures from? These low res samples are terrible!

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I wonder if the J gov is going to try and register it as a UNESCO site seeing how they have a fetish for doing that

11 ( +20 / -9 )

Beautiful, resore it, and keep it so future generations can see and learn how buildings looked like and were made a hundred years ago. Wish I have the $ to buy it.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Its nice to see an effort being made to save an old wood building like this, brothel or not.

One of the things I’ve always hated about Japan is the “tear everything old down and replace it with something new” mentality that dominates. Its made pretty much every city here look ugly, bland and devoid of character or history, which is a real shame. So its nice to see rare instances like this where they decide not to just call in the wrecking ball.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

It is shallow, juvenile, petty, superficial and iconoclastic to only protect cultural artefacts whose original function you morally approve of. Would you rather take the Islamic State line and destroy any heritage you don't like? Paying for intimacy is no different from paying for any other service.

Good luck restoring it.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Kyo wa heiwa dayo neToday  09:37 am JST

Ah yes paintings of godesses in a brothel for the male use of women prostitutes where traditionally Japanese men are renowned for treating women and girls with very little respect .

Tear that aweful place down and build something respectful in its place.

You think that history should be deleted just because you don't like it?

Kyo wa heiwa dayo neToday  09:43 am JST

This place is a restaurant and just the thought of consuming food there makes me feel like vomiting.

Really? That really is (I am bound by the moderation policy to be polite here) rather over-sensitive.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I love seeing that building whenever I walk by "going to the grocery store." Bring back old Japan.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

yes let’s celebrate the solicitation of sex , it’s a joyous thing

Nobody is celebrating the solicitition of sex.

Brothel's were a part of Japan's rich culture and history and should have been left alone!

Brothel's have always existed in any culture, and will always continue to do so. It is a fact of life.

It's a shame that the US, in particular Douglas MacArthur had to bring the prude Judeo-Christian beliefs about sex when they invaded and occupied Japan.

The US and General McArthur did no such thing. (Bring Judeo-Christian beliefs about sex). Was Japan was ever invaded or occupied.

Right now it is a building (restauraunt). So many old buildings in Japan, especially Tokyo have been replaced by characterless monstrosities.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

In other parts of the world, search it!! Brothels are legal, licensed, taxed, clean, well represented and enjoyable.

It is sad to see Japan and other countries in there daily fights and arrests of prostitutes and their pimps, Make it legal, clean up the streets, collect the taxes, and let people enjoy what is Natural and Beautiful, Instead of chasing ghosts all night long.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It is a house of ill repute - but of good reputation!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It is a great building. It should be restored.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Too bad about Western influence. Before Westernization, sex was just something fun to do. No moral judgement. Then along came western influence, and so now people say things like "The district lives with an ugly history". It only became "ugly" because of Western influence.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

I think Japan was more administrated by McArthur, rather than occupied.

I think you are trying to cling onto a most tenuous of arguments there. Everyone calls the American occupation of Japan an occupation. And the occupation introduced a number of laws, as well as the constitution.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japanese restaurant in former yukaku red light district struggles to preserve its history

https://soranews24.com/2021/07/09/japanese-restaurant-in-former-yukaku-red-light-district-struggles-to-preserve-its-history/

Not high-res, but the exquisite decor needs preserving.

I think 15,000,000 is a low figure, needs a full restoration project.

This could be a valuable local attraction. Not a restaurant.

Need bringing back to life

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Hopefully this building can continue to be a useful building in it's current position but at the very least it should be preserved at an architectural museum. Japan has lost so much of its architectural history which really is sad, as when you see these old buildings or old photos you can definitely see that Japan has lost a sense it once had.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

A gorgeous old building sparks debate on the morality of transactional intimacy.

Isn't the concept of intimacy as reward a universal truth for all but hunter-gatherer groups?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Meanwhile, an equally stunning building in Kyoto with a similar history and pedigree is being knocked down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

deserves to be restored! Don’t white was the past just admit it was what it was and move on to a hopefully improved world. Relevant I’m many ways.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Perhaps they could plan some class trips with students to raise funds and their interests in preserving architecture, the arts and the finer aspects Japanese culture? -/s

https://japantoday.com/category/features/kuchikomi/infamous-ise-island-dims-red-lights-welcomes-student-groups

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think that Osaka should keep this building. Tokyo has suffered appalling civic vandalism sinse the 1980's. It is iconic in many ways.

This building is worth saving far more than the abhorrent concrete hive that journalists are lamenting

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/nov/09/decaying-but-beloved-tokyos-capsule-tower-faces-uncertain-future

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The US and General McArthur did no such thing.

Who shut down all the brothel's in Japan when he was in charge? He didnt want all his good army boys bringing back and STD's to their wives and GF's!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Alan Harrison...

Was Japan was ever invaded or occupied.

Yes. 1945. Surprised you never heard about this. It was quite a big event

I think Japan was more administrated by McArthur, rather than occupied.

I remember a beautiful old building by the bridge at Nihonbashi years ago. It was a European style building with a dome. I was so suprised when it was demolished and replaced with a bland office block. A large traditional Japanese house and garden was demolished near me about the same time. it was replaced with a characterless apartment block.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

White wash and Relevant IN many ways. typo sorry! big thumbs and old eyes!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Too bad about Western influence. Before Westernization, sex was just something fun to do. No moral judgement. Then along came western influence, and so now people say things like "The district lives with an ugly history". It only became "ugly" because of Western influence.

What absolute drivel

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I hope they restore it and make a heritage site so it has no hopes of getting torn down. I wish cities would stop tearing down original and historical architecture and replacing them with soulless glass and steel monstrosities. This building has character; restore it then leave it alone!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Well worth saving, it’s original purpose is of no consequence to its intrinsic cultural, architectural and artistic worth.

As to what is depicted, ukiyo-e is recognised world wide for its artistic worth yet it was based on the red light district and often portrays prostitutes and even quite graphic sex.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And if you don’t believe me, look on line for Kitagawa Utamaro’s 1799 print, Young Courtesan with her lover.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

百番 ain't a brothel. At least not in the 21st century. I had the pleasure of dining there a couple of years ago. Nice, quaint atmosphere of a bygone era. Getting there required me to navigate the ever incessant ''お兄ちゃん!'' calls from the local madams. It should be preserved as part of Japan's cultural heritage.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Brothel all over Tokyo

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It WAS, but not longer IS.

And could become again, if things are done right!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The best little where house in Osaka

-2 ( +10 / -12 )

and now operates as a restaurant

Hooters?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The iconic capsule hotel in Tokyo is also hanging. All these 'Only in Japan' should be saved by Japanese themselves instead of supporting the idols.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Definitely restore the building, but not with tax money.

Also, please leave the "morality" issues out of it.

It WAS, but not longer IS.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yes, restore it with but not with tax dollars this time! - It does have cultural AND historical significance: Think of the copious amounts of pervious er, previous tax-dollars that had changed hands there many times in the past?

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Speed: "Bring back old Japan."

No, let's NOT bring back old Japan. It was horrible. The Taiyoshi Hyakuban may look lovely to modern day culture vultures, but I doubt that the women working there had the same opinion.

Why is Japan one of the few countries in the world to actually glorify prostitution? The sex industry is ugly, and sprinkling it with mindless aestheticism doesn't make it any less so.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

In a hundred years time do you think they will be trying to preserve soaplands and hostess bars? I hope not, it's not something that needs celebrating from this era and the artistic value of the decor isn't something to be proud of.

Take a few pictures for posterity and don't waste money on it. If private owners wish to do so, go ahead.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Aly Rustom: "I wonder if the J gov is going to try and register it as a UNESCO site seeing how they have a fetish for doing that"

No, my friend. "Registered tangible cultural property" is what they give themselves when a bid for UNESCO site status fails.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

No, my friend. "Registered tangible cultural property" is what they give themselves when a bid for UNESCO site status fails.

Ahhhh. I see! Thanks for the clarification brother!

and now operates as a restaurant

Hooters?

BRILLIANT!! Actually, that's an AWESOME idea!

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Headline reads - battle to restore an icon .

That makes alot of sense ?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Waste of money, rebuilding such a sad building.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@Harry_Gatto

Its the way that Japanese men have historically and continue to treat women disrespectfully and cruelly that i don't approve of as any decent human being would agree.

I don't care about brothels but i would never step inside one and especially not a Japanese one.

I said the building should be torn down .

Has absolutely nothing to do with erasing history as that would be impossible.

And yes i find it disgusting that its now used as a restaurant.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Why do we like such kimoi things here? Baffling.

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Imagine how many women have been abused in that building?

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

Ah yes paintings of godesses in a brothel for the male use of women prostitutes where traditionally Japanese men are renowned for treating women and girls with very little respect .

Tear that aweful place down and build something respectful in its place.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

This place is a restaurant and just the thought of consuming food there makes me feel like vomiting.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

It is a restaurant and they have already been paid lots of money over the last two years from corona they can pay for it themselves.

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

yes let’s celebrate the solicitation of sex , it’s a joyous thing

-24 ( +8 / -32 )

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