Drawings of Oiran (High Class Courtesans) - Nighttime Blossoms of Elegance
Oiran were a specific class of high-class courtesans. While they typically resided in the red-light district, they were considered to be above prostitutes in the social hierarchy on account of their skills in traditional arts, like tea ceremony (chadou, 茶道), flower arranging (ikebana, 生け花), and music. They were also expected to be intellectuals of a sort, capable of reading and writing as well as carrying intellectual conversation.
These ladies were shouldered with a relatively heavy burden and were unable to interact with regular folks on account of their high-class status. Plenty of works use them as a motif even today, as their incredible beauty and elegance are almost unparalleled.