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Submitted on
May 6, 2010
Image Size
225 KB


380 (who?)

Camera Data

Shutter Speed
1/800 second
Focal Length
78 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Mar 30, 2010, 5:20:40 PM
An Evening in Kyoto by DanielZrno An Evening in Kyoto by DanielZrno

Hey all :)
I've been away for a while, but in this absence I was fortunate enough to be able to visit Japan. So, this is the beginning of a little series from that enchanting place.

It was an evening in Kyoto. I was there with quite a few of my friends and we were lucky enough to stumble upon a maiko (apprentice geisha).
Actually, we stumbled upon two geishas (called "geiko" in Kyoto) before, but they didn't really want to get photographed.
This one, however, failed to suppress a smile upon seeing our wish to photograph her, and in the end stopped for a second to let us take a picture. Then she smiled, and moved on her way :)

edit: it has been brought to my attention by our local maiko/geiko experts here that this might be a 'fake' maiko, an ordinary girl dressed as a maiko. Apparently there are salons who do that, and they do it very well, but they get some details wrong which can be a tell. For more details, read the comments below.

Taken in Kyoto, Japan
March, 2010.

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crazystarshiine Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
She's so beautiful, such an adorable story, too hehe. :D I'm jealous of your excursion, I was wondering recently if geisha were still in Japan or if that was more a thing of the past, but this made me so happy to see! I wonder if she hadn't been an apprentice long, and was thrilled that people thought her so beautiful they wanted a picture...? :love:
DanielZrno Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Oh there still are geisha in Japan, but yeah, probably much less then in the old times.
If you go to Kyoto though, you're almost guaranteed to see one ;)
crazystarshiine Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you know if it's because they still get a lot of work there, or if it's more of... like a piece of history that's being held on to?
Well, I've always had a dream to travel to Japan, so I'll certainly add Kyoto to le dream requirements. :la:
DanielZrno Featured By Owner Mar 14, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Well, those that we saw seemed like they were working. Also, they weren't really there for the tourists (didn't want to get photographed).

Hehe, go, you won't regret it!
crazystarshiine Featured By Owner Mar 15, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Right! Thanks for the info. :D
Yeah, you bet!
Moushi730 Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
Very lovely shot. But I think you may have been tricked into taking a picture of a tourist... You see she has the dangling ornaments that would be worn by a first year Maiko yet she has both of her lips painted which is the sign of a Maiko that is beyond that level. It still is a very pretty picture, but they are a tricky bunch XD
DanielZrno Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Hmm, possible. Are they really that strict about ornaments?
Moushi730 Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012
Yes, all of their traditions are extremely strict, from the style of their makeup, their hair, even the patterns on their kimono and obi and under robes are held to the highest of traditional importance. They would not make such a crushing mistake. It's likely that this lovely lady you captured an image of is a Henshin, a tourist dressed in the style of a geisha, though there are several tell tale signs, though slight and hard to see for people who have no limited knowledge on the traditions, they are absolute and easy to see for people who have studied the Geisha lifestyle. Henshin are extremely common and as I said, if one has no knowledge, they are easily mistaken as real geisha.
JoseMelim Featured By Owner May 23, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful! Light, warm color tones, focusing, composition, are really great. I love the girl expressive look, too.
DanielZrno Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you Jose :)
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