It’s funny what you notice when you look at a photograph.
When I first looked at this image of the maiko Manaha (center), Chisako (frame right), and Chiyoko (frame left) about to perform during Gion Matsuri, I didn’t see anything of note.
In my photography catalogue, I rated it three stars, which means nothing special. It’s in focus, the composition is fine, but there is nothing that stands out to me.
That was four years ago. I was looking through the photos from this dance performance at Gion Matsuri on July 16, 2012 because I wanted to write about a photo connected to July for this post and I had never published any of these photos before.
That was when this photo caught my eye, or more specifically, Chisako’s eyes caught my eyes. I had made this photograph at the exact moment Chisako was glancing at Manaha to see if it was time to start the performance.
I have always been fascinated by the fact that geiko and maiko seem to move in complete synchronicity when they are dancing.
I asked the geiko Yukako about this way back in 2008 when I interviewed her about her performance at Setsubun in 2007 for my book Geisha & Maiko of Kyoto: Beauty, Art, & Dance.