Don’t Confuse Geisha and Courtesans (Oiran and Tayu)

It is apparent from my forays around Pinterest and the web that images of geisha and courtesans are often mislabeled. For those unfamiliar with subtleties in the styling and wear of kimono, obi, and traditional Japanese hairstyles, it can be … Continue reading

Maiko-san – Block Print at LACMA

I love edgy 20th century block prints of traditional Japanese subjects, like this print Two Maiko by Sekino Jun’ichirō. He uses the regimented trappings of a maiko’s (apprentice geisha) appearance abstractly, placing the young women in juxtaposition to each other. You … Continue reading

December Festive: A Junior Maiko’s Kanzashi

These are Hair Ornaments, in capital letters. Kanzashi (traditional hair ornaments) change with the month and according to the experience of their wearers. The folds and twists of wired silk are formed into chrysanthemums, willow, wysteria, plum blossoms, fans, bamboo, … Continue reading

Geisha and Maiko – Japanese Classical Dance

I used to be involved in a Japanese dance troupe in New York city. Most people aren’t familiar with the dance style, and describing it as akin to kabuki still drew blank looks. Below is a link to a clip of … Continue reading