Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Geisha Kimina Adjusts Her Katsura

Kimina, a geisha in Miyagawa-cho in Kyoto, adjusts her wig (katsura)

The geisha Kimina of Miyagawa-cho checks her makeup and katsura (wig). Most geiko have only one katsura, and it is sent out for cleaning and maintenance every few months. More senior geiko who have remained in the profession for some time will have two katsura.

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How to Photograph Geisha: The One Goal You Must Have

The geisha Fukunami of Miyagawa-cho

If you are reading this, you are obviously interested in photographing geisha and maiko in Kyoto. If so, I hope you will ask yourself a simple question: What is your goal? Why are you doing it? In just a few months, I will have been photographing geiko and maiko in Gion Kobu for ten years, and my goals have changed many times over the years, except one. In this first of many posts, I want to share my early goals with you in the hope that it will help you to think about and define your own goals. I hope my experiences will help you become better photographers whatever your subjects are.


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A Rainy June Day in Gion Kobu

A maiko walks down Aoyagi-koji in Gion Kobu in Kyoto on a rainy day

A maiko makes her way down Aoyagi-koji in Gion Kobu on a very, very rainy day in Kyoto in June.

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If you want to photograph maiko and geisha…

I’m going to start writing a series about how to photograph geisha and maiko on the streets of Kyoto that will help serious photographers get good photographs and not disturb the geiko and maiko in the process. I’ve been thinking about doing this for quite some time, and a private message I received yesterday from another photographer has made me think that now is a good time to do it. I’m going to start on Sunday in another week or two, but if anyone out there has any questions or things they’d like me to address, please add a comment to this post or send me a message and I’ll try to add it to what I already have planned. I will be returning to my normal schedule of Wednesday and Sunday posts from this Wednesday, June 20.


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