Hi, there! If you’re interested in the culture of geisha, maiko, tayū, and other rare beauty in Kyoto, you’ve come to the right place!
I first encountered a geiko (the term for geisha in Kyoto) back in 2002. She moved out of the darkness and into the halo of a streetlamp for just a few moments, her kimono and obi glittering in the bright light. Then she slipped into the shadows again and was gone.
Since then, I’ve photographed 20 geiko and maiko, most for 2-3 years or longer so I can really get to know them and make distinctive portraits with carefully crafted lighting. I am still mesmerized by the interplay of the colors of a geiko or maiko’s kimono and makeup and different qualities of light.
Along the way, I’ve authored four books, the most recent being Now a Geisha, published in November 2017 and available at bookstores throughout Japan and at Amazon.co.jp. It’s about the day a geiko makes her debut, known as her erikae in Japanese, and Now a Geisha features the debuts of three geiko and interviews with them and the craftspeople who make an erikae possible. It took me ten years to get permission to photograph my first erikae and another five years to photograph 3 debuts, so the book really was a labor of love for me.
You can read my new posts on the last Sunday of every month, and I encourage you to share your thoughts with me, especially if you are interested in visiting Kyoto and photographing geiko and maiko respectfully (the only way I do it). My goal with all my posts is to let you experience the beautiful world of geiko, maiko, tayū and Kyoto through my eyes, words, and photographs.
Thank you for stopping by!