Tokyo Stroll Supplement: Yoshiwara and Sanya
This page is for corrections and additions to the Yoshiwara and Sanya chapter of Tokyo Stroll. Updates will be announced on my blog.
Kastori Bookstore (カストリ書房)
Mikaeri Yanagi (見返り柳)
An interesting very small bookstore/publisher devoted to the study of red light districts. Appropriately it is located in what used to be the Shin-Yoshiwara district which operated as a licensed brothel district until prostitution was outlawed in 1958. The publisher grew out of a hobby of documenting the former prostitution districts in Japan, photographing old buildings were demolished, interviewing people who worked in the districts, and collection books on the topic. They publish original works, reprint significant out of print titles, sell books by other publishers, and handle used books. The location is near to the east side of the district, and not far from the main road. For those who may be nervous about going to this neighborhood the store is some blocks east of the soapland district and is in a very safe mainly residential area with many elderly residents.
The owner does not speak much English but will be as helpful as he can be.
Located at the corner of an intersection next to a gas station is a small willow tree with a stone marker and modern descriptive sign in Japanese and English. The Mikaeri Yanagi, usually referred to as the Looking Back Willow, is one of the old landmarks of the former Yoshiwara district and is often seen in woodblock prints of the area. This tree was next to the only gate into the walled district. The original willow was slightly north of the present one, likely in what is now the middle of a road.
Created July 10, 2019 | Content last updated
May 10, 2021