Osaka Maiko with a Butterfly Obi 1913 (by Blue Ruin1)
“In Osaka there are pastime houses called the ochaya, which are the tea-houses literally, but entirely different from those in Tokyo. If you want to engage a geiko [geisha], first you have to go and give order to one of the ochaya, then the ochaya makes announcement to the misĕ, or the office of the geiko guild (equal to the Kemban in Tokyo), and the office despatches a man or maid-servant to the girl’s house, which is called the yakata…”
From “The Nightside of Japan” by T. Fujimoto, first published in 1914
Source: Flickr / blue_ruin_1
Steve McCurry, “Geisha in subway” (2007), Kyoto, Japan
This picture reflects the juxtaposition of an ancient tradition in the modern world. The woman is the epitome of elegance in a utilitarian, stark, unromantic setting. It captures the paradox of the classic in a hurried world.
Earlier this month, Photo Booth looked at the New York City subway over time. This week, they’ve curated a selection of contemporary images from subways around the world. Click-through for a slideshow: http://nyr.kr/10JfLhy
Goodbyes Have Been Said (by Rekishi no Tabi)
Founded in 1642, Kagetsu is perhaps the oldest restaurant in Nagasaki. Located in the old red light district of Maruyama, Kagetsu to this day serves exquisite shippoku cuisine, combining the best of Chinese, Western and Japanese cooking, embodying the spirit of Nagasaki’s position as the gateway to Japan during the approximate 200 years of national seclusion in the Edo period. During this time, only the Dutch and Chinese were allowed the right to trade with Japan, and it was all done in Nagasaki.
Being the premier restaurant in Maruyama, Kagetsu had a very distinguished list of guests, both foreign and Japanese, including Sakamoto Ryoma and other revolutionaries who helped plot the downfall of the Shogunate. In a drunken state of excitement one night, Ryoma drew his sword and hacked away at some woodwork. The scars are still visible. And unlike the sword scars at the Teradaya in Kyoto, these scars are the real deal.
Maruyama still has an active geisha community and it possible to arrange for geisha entertainment at Kagetsu while enjoying the amazing cuisine.
Source: Flickr / rekishinotabi
Kyo-Maiko wearing a Tenugui 1914 (by Blue Ruin1)
“A fan or a tenugui (scarf) is often used in dancing, being manipulated to suggest all sorts of things as the occasion may require. To give a few examples in common practice: an open fan raised gradually in front signifies the rising sun; used in a drinking attitude it may represent a wine cup; a closed fan may be used to suggest a stick, a bow, an arrow, or a gun, etc.; a scarf may be doubled and thrust into the sash to indicate long and short swords worn by a samurai; when redoubled and held on the palm in a smoking attitude it may serve as a pipe; or it may be made to describe running water by holding one end of it and giving it a quick succession of jerks from one side to the other.”
Source: Flickr / blue_ruin_1