25) Despite the presence of courtesans in the comfort women system and the fact that many comfort women were recruited from courtesan institutes, there is nonetheless a quite clear distinction between the comfort women, a system of sexual slavery, and the traditional institutions of courtesanship
, which trained women in various entertainment and other professions--dance, music, literary composition, medicine, cuisine, crafts, and so on--and which throughout history veered toward and away from engaging in sexual labor and sexual relations with clients and patrons.
The song sequence brings together the several themes of the courtesan genre: the courtesan's agony at being separated forever from family and society, the painful price of independence, the yearning for love and escape, and the caprice of fate, which selects certain women for courtesanship
and others for respectability.
He becomes a connoisseur of art, philosophy, gastronomy, courtesanship
, and gossip, but his dabbling produces a severe case of the malady of the century: ennui.