Looking it over from head to tail with an experienced eye, the gentleman speaks of his desire to acquire the vase for his collection of beauteous objects.
But does she possess the high quality desired to grace his collection? he wonders, puffing on his cigar. Admiring her lovely shape and pretty accoutrements, he flicks his cigar ashes into the vase when no one is looking to hide his indiscretion.
He visits the shop daily and stares at the vase until the day arrives when he purchases the precious objet d’art.
He takes her home with much fanfare then, in the privacy of his bedroom, he thrusts his long cigar into her depths.
The force of his action is not altogether violent (he attempts to be gentle), but nevertheless the vase cracks. She is no longer an item to be cherished but relegated to the less substantial pieces in his collection. Sitting on a shelf. Occasionally admired by the master of the house or a visiting colleague. But she never again retains the same stature in his eyes.
She is no longer a virgin.
Such is the way in the West, where virginity is a prized possession deemed to be part and parcel of a bride’s attraction for marriage (not to mention her sizeable dowry). In Japan, a more “civilized” deflowering ceremony is performed, where the new vase or virgin does not undergo the pain of penetration by an overzealous husband.Rather, the ritual is performed by a complete stranger.
Some claim this deflowering ceremony is performed only upon courtesans, though others also include the maiko or apprentice geisha, where the mama-san chooses the gentleman.
Not a young man who would be too rough.
Come back for next week when I continue to explore this fascinating ritual in Part Two of Like a Virgin.
The Blonde Samurai
“She embraced the way of the warrior. Two swords. Two loves.”