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In the running in Angoulême: Confidences of a prostitute, immersed in the Japan of courtesans

In the darkness of her home, welcoming into her home those eager to listen to her stories, Naomi tells.

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In the running in Angoulême: Confidences of a prostitute, immersed in the Japan of courtesans

In the darkness of her home, welcoming into her home those eager to listen to her stories, Naomi tells. This former prostitute traveled through Japan in the 1920s, that of disreputable suburbs where brothels abound. Every night, she revives her memories to explore the daily life of those who, barely sold as teenagers, will spend their lives satisfying the desire of men.

“For me, Confidences of a Prostitute is a sober declaration of love addressed to these women,” writes Takao Saitô in the preamble. Drawn in 1972, the work pays tribute to the “precious young girls” he encountered when he was young in his father’s hairdressing salon. A personal work selected in Angoulême, in the Heritage category.

The author features Naomi, a narrator who knows how to captivate a mixed audience, between journalists eager for incredible stories, lonely old friends or young girls eager to know her seduction techniques. Tragic, sometimes cruel or comical, each story, imbued with melancholy, offers an intimate portrait of ten prostitutes where misery and greatness of soul intertwine. If the former lady-in-waiting recalls the many accumulated passes, the humiliations, the aborted hopes or the sadness, she also remembers the generosity, the self-sacrifice, the laughter, the pride of these women marked with the seal of infamy despite they.

Like the one who gives up happiness so as not to tarnish her lover's reputation, asking him to instead save a fifteen-year-old new recruit whose virginity is being auctioned off. Or another who knew how, despite the blows and insults, to soothe the tormented soul of a man preparing to commit a crime: “This story describes how in one night the principles of a young man were totally called into question by a simple carnal contact..,” underlines Naomi. The satisfaction of man's desire as a shield against his brutality is the theme underlying Confidences of a Prostitute which salutes those who, despite their suffering, know how to listen, soothe, and sometimes offer providential refuge in a mistreated Japan. by the economic crisis.

Without miserabilism, Takao Saitô was able to retrace with kindness, modesty and depth the misery of these young girls whose bodies were exploited and hampered by a debt of a thousand yen. “These precious damsels were innocence itself” writes the author who, with his tender gaze, knew how to adorn them with this preserved purity. With Confidences of a Prostitute, under the delicate touch of Takao Saitô, these women in distress become heroines.

Confidences of a prostitute, Takao Saito, Akata, 16.99 euros.

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