Geisha of Kameido 1910s

Kameido is an area of Tokyo famous for its wisteria flowers, which bloom in May each year. Here, large trellises of wisteria trees are built over a pond situated to one side of the Tenjin Shrine.

“The geisha of Kameido are nicknamed the Kuaumochi Bijin (Belle of Arrowroot Cake)… a special kind of cake… being a noted product of the quarter of Kameido. The total number of ‘Beauties of the Arrowroot’ are said to be over a hundred in this newly-established kingdom… but here you cannot yet find those super-fine belles that you often meet at the Shimbashi or Yanagibashi Circles [of Tokyo].”

From “The nightside of Japan” by T. Fujimoto, first published in 1914.


By Blue_Ruin1 on Flickr

Kimono List

Since you were interested in a full list of kimono (and I was also rather interested <3) I did it!

To find the list click here. (You can also click on the side bar point “Umeno Okiya”. There’s a link)

It would be great if you would point out mistakes and help me to complete the list. Let me know via ask.

How do you like the list?

Geisha with a white cat, 1905 by Blue_Ruin1 on Flickr

“Our house has a cat… and we always play with him before the ozashiki [party rooms] start… A lot of okiya [geisha houses] keep dogs or cats. Since we live together we become like a family, and I guess the pets become kind of like substitute children – it sometimes seems as if they are more important than the maiko [apprentices] and geiko [geisha]!”

From “A geisha’s journey: my life as a Kyoto apprentice” by Komomo, first published in 2008, page 70.

Tomitsuyu is one of the Maiko we photographed on my recent Japan Photo Tour. The group experienced a banquet with Maiko, Geiko and Jikata attending and agreed to leave cameras behind for the night so that we could fully experience their artistry. The artists themselves were surprised and delighted to be dancing without cameras firing. The next day, however, we had a lengthy shoot arranged so were able to photograph two maiko, inspired by our experience the night before. Tomitsuyu is one of the many Maiko and Geiko I have been photographing over the last few years. It is a pleasure to witness her developing presence as she studies and practices her art. The book is in its final stages now but final publication may well be a year away.

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