Rise to prominence[ edit ] Courtesan culture arose in the early Edo period — Although there were many such quarters, the three with the most lasting prominence were the Shimabara in Kyoto , the Shinmachi in Osaka , and in Edo present-day Tokyo , the Yoshiwara. These rapidly grew into large, self-contained neighborhoods offering all manner of entertainment, including fine dining, free performances, and frequent festivals and parades. Oiran also learned to play the koto , shakuhachi , tsuzumi hand drum , and shamisen.
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Origin[ edit ] The ritual is thought to have originated with the bakuto , itinerant gamblers who were predecessors of the modern yakuza. A little finger-amputee was therefore unable to grip his sword properly, weakening him in battle and making him more dependent on the protection of his boss. He then wraps the severed portion in the cloth and submits the "package" very graciously to his oyabun "godfather" or boss , who is also referred to as a kumicho gang-leader. If more offenses are committed, then the person moves on to the next joint of the finger to perform yubitsume. More infractions could mean removing portions of the right little finger when no more joints of the left finger remain.