Saturday, September 15, 2007


U M E S H I Z U, originally uploaded by mboogiedown.

"Yasunari Kawabata, the first Japanese to win the nobel prize (1968) once wrote "If for no other reason than to preserve traditional hairstyles, the geisha's existance is vital. I wonder how and when these hairstyles developed."

"Japanese men, as a rule, feel about a woman's neck and throat about the same way as men in the west feel about a woman's legs. This is why geisha wear the collars of their kimono so low in the back...I suppose that its like a woman in Paris wearing a short skirt." Sayuri, in 'Memoirs of a Geisha' by Aurthur Golden.

Umeshizu has only recently become a full-fledged geisha in the Kamishichiken district of Kyoto. As a geiko, she no longer styles her own hair, but has the privledge of wearing a special wig called a katsura. The large, flashy hair ornaments have been replaced by small, subtle hairpins and combs. Her collar is pure white. As a geiko advances in skill and experience, she relies less on her clothing, accessories and make-up to make her appear beautiful. Her beauty is in her skills as an artist."

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