EDIT: My discomforts have been dissolved in the situation. But you are certainly welcome to keep discussing the subject in broader terms if you wish.
Soooo... yeah. This is kinda of awkward. I'm going to be crossplaying a guy who I'm guessing is impersonating an oiran. For those not in the know, please look here.
Now, in order to help me in this predicament, watch this video. Focus on Len (the boy in the elaborate kimono). If you can't stand vocaloids, put it on mute. Watch the video dammit.
Done? Okay, it's still debatable as to whether Len is impersonating a geisha or oiran. I'm guessing oiran because of how frequently he wears his obi in front, the layers he's wearing, and because of the placement of the kanzashi (hair pins). Even looking at his hairstyle, it seems more... oiran. So while he's not apparently ostentatious as an oiran should be, it seems very heavily implied that he is impersonating one (or maybe is one; I don't know much about feudal male prostitutes).
Whatever the case, whether he is a prostitute in video or not isn't important. The point is, I am doing a cosplay of this. I really don't mind cosplaying him even now, armed with fact that he's pretending to be an oiran. Granted, I won't tell my parents about that bit, but my problem is with his obi. Oiran wore their obi knots in front, presumably for "ease of access" if you get my drift.
... I'm not so sure I want to wear my obi in the front. Even if it is just cosplay, a lot of things can be taken out of context just by that one move. I'm simply not sure. I mean, I'm not a hooker. I suppose that's all that should matter, there mere fact that I know that... but at the same time, I want to avoid any rudeness and having to slap people who might take those "harmless" jokes too far. It's an ostentatious costume - I chose it specifically for that purpose. I like the layers of kimono, the elegance and beauty of the look, being sexy without showing any skin. It's the obi that's killing me.
On one hand, depending on where you're cosplaying this (by which I mean, as long as you're not actually in Japan), I don't think anyone's gonna even know what an oiran is, let alone the defining characteristics of one, versus a geisha. So, armed with that reasoning, accuracy wins, because I don't think anyone but a pedant who takes their traditional Japanese fashion far too seriously is going to call you out on it.
On the other hand, I also don't think anyone's gonna notice which way you have the obi tied. Again, it would take a pedant who has studied Len's costume in that video closely to pick up one which way you have it tied.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, I don't think it's particularly going to matter one way or the other. If you get called out on it, I would be immensely surprised. And if you do, so what? If it's someone else's prerogative to snipe at cosplayers for either implying through their bloody belt that they're a prostitute, or their damn belt not being ABSOLUTELY ONE HUNDRED PERCENT CORRECT according to the source material, then they can just snipe all they want, and I hope it wouldn't lessen your enjoyment of the costume. Basically: do whatever you want.
I'll have to agree with the other posters--I seriously doubt anyone's going to know/notice. If it were me, truthfully, I'd be more comfortable tying it in the back. But that's simply for my own satisfaction--I really don't think you have to worry about your fellow con-goers thinking you're a tramp over it. neutral
@Netogrof - you misunderstand. I'm not afraid people will feel me up, I'm afraid people will get the wrong impression about my person. I've read enough horror stories at cons where even people in decent outfits have been misinterpreted as hookers - I simply don't want to be in such a situation. That aside, I'd never let that happen because in matters of personal space, I can and will get aggressive. In other words, I am armed and dangerous, and if I am touched inappropriately, will react as such.
Anyways, thanks guys. I tend to forget that not everyone knows as much about kitsuke as me. ^^; Whatever the case, I think I'll wear it in the front. Some rebellious renegade streak in me likes the idea of doing such, mostly because as it's been said "it's just cosplay." But when I do my eventual photoshoot at the local Japanese gardens, I think I'll keep it tied in back. Just in case (don't want to get the little old Asian ladies in a huff). >.>