Here's another book I missed talking about, but which I picked up cheap during a previous Book-Off visit: Batten (×天 / ばってん), a loopy Edo-era story about Tsubaki Seijuro ("Sei-san"). He's a tsukeuma, or debt collector for patrons of Yoshiwara, the red-light district. He dolls himself up in the wildest, flashiest courtesan's outfits he can find, follows his customers (read: victims) around and serenades them with the most annoying biwa playing imaginable. He's also an exceptionally skilled swordsman, and so he often uses his skills to help out folks who've fallen victim to the rich and powerful in some form. There's a bit more to the plot that I haven't fully deciphered yet -- like a creepy young man, Fujimaru, who works in one of the girls' houses and is deeply protective of his sister (also an oiran).
New York City
Other Lives Of The Mind