A Japanese prostitute and an Aboriginal woman, The Bulletin, 1904

A Japanese prostitute and an Aboriginal woman in Northern Australia, The Bulletin, 7 January 1904.

Police records from 1897 reveal that more than 100 Japanese women worked as prostitutes in Childers, Innisfail and Cairns.  Figures provided two years later reveal 19 Japanese prostitutes in six brothels in Mackay, a further six Japanese brothels in Bundaberg, and 31 prostitutes on Thursday Island. The evidence on the extent of Japanese prostitution was not always reliable. In 1907, Vince Lesina, Member for Clermont, informed the Queensland Legislative Assembly that:

At Charters Towers, when he was there not so long ago, in one little lane, known as ‘Gardes lane [sic]’, there were seventeen Japanese prostitutes carrying on their business in little cubicles made of gin cases, where one could not swing a cat without danger to the framework of the structure.  In each of those tenements there was a Japanese prostitute in her Kimona.

The Bulletin
Location Node: 
Date captured: 
22 October 2010
Date created: 
22 October 2010