The legendary Madame Butterfly never seems to leave from the talks of Japanese mistresses. Mistress-keeping they say is a rich man’s sexual luxury. In the old times when polygamy danced wildly in the streets, sexing up a mistress was in vogue. With the evolution of civilized laws it is now delineated as an act of sexual vulgarity. Yet, the act of mistress keeping is still breathing in the clandestine alleys of sexual dwellings. And along with its pleasures come the perils. Ask Tiger Woods/Jesse James?
But, when it comes to the art of mistress keeping the Japanese sure do rule the roost. The Japanese language has 50 different ways of saying “courtesan” or “mistresses”. Need I say more? Japan was famous for its mistresses due to the age old tradition of arranged marriages and even due to the legal prostitution laws. The phenomenon was so indulgent that it became a symbol of the Japanese culture and history. Lafayette De Mente crafts a map of the tradition of mistress keeping from the pre-modern Japanese period of Shogun and Edo to recent Post Modern era with its pros and cons. I liked his eloquent usage of various Kanji characters as an ideograph to extract the exact meaning of sex outside a marriage. This book is a politically correct narration of how Japanese men are horny as a three balled tomcat and since they could not fulfill their sexual fantasy or fetishes from their arranged marriages they ran wild in the sexual alleys of other women. The richer the man the more he could boasts about his conquests in mistress keeping. Later on, in the post Pacific War period it became a full fledged industry with pimps becoming more popular than certain authorities. Eventually, the open sexual indulgence ceased due to stricter societal laws. The Japanese even have lenient sentences for those accused of killing their mistresses. And, now with all the existing strict laws they have clandestine affairs and play it safe. Yes! The Japanese are horny, but who isn’t? After all man is a sexual animal and polygamy is a part of the animal kingdom. It is not a justification but a reality dose.3/5***