Bebe Taian: The Onihide Project

January 16, 2011

The Onihide Project

This is a project that I cannot possibly hope to complete on my own. If you read the post previous to this one, you already know what I'm on about. If not, a great photo blogger of Japan, Onihide-san, passed away in December. When his Pro account with Flickr expires, his photos will be lost with the exception of 200. I can't stand the idea of losing all of these gorgeous photos and the information about them he left. I want to preserve as much of them as possible.

Here's the catch: he has over 3,000 photos posted. Flickr doesn't allow for simply downloading all the data off off of their site, and I am totally broke. Read: can't purchase Black Widow (webcrawler program). Must do this the old-fashioned way- by selecting 'original size' for each photo, saving it with title and date reported taken by Flickr. Then see if it's associated with a set to preserve it in (a folder), along with ideas of where it was taken, and hopefully information on the photo or subject in comments saved in a separate text file. It is a MASSIVE project. MASSIVE.

I have been working for about two hours now and have only 40 or so photos saved, with basic title, date, and set title only. At this rate, it will be many, many days, months even, before I save everything I can to the best of my ability. This says nothing of actually having a web host to provide them to other people.

So far, I have the entirety of the "Show Time" set saved, and some various photos not attributed to sets yet. Some were in more than one, so I have decided to switch from last page of photostream going back to saving things by set affiliation. Oldest sets will be saved first. My days are usually packed with work until I can't stand, but I will do my best to have "Birds", "for my BLOG", and "Fantasy" saved by next Saturday.

If anyone can help with this project, this is what I would like:

- Full size versions of each photo
- Title of saved photo is title of original image + date (so, Flickr will try to save it as a long alphanumeric, but please use Onihide's title and the date Flickr says the photo was taken on.)
- Save photos according to set they are in, ie, create a folder titled with the set
- Please read comments on each photo and create a text file for comments (who from, what said) for pertinent information- ie, not "I love this photo!" but "It is Miyagawacho _________ geiko, for ______ with _____ in training." or something like this. A screencap is good, too! <3 Because maiko and geiko retire all the time, it is important to preserve who they were and what we knew of them.


- Thanks to Turelie for capturing the "Hotels" set!
- Thanks to ScarredDragon for offering hosting space when the time comes!
- Thanks to Rapi for capturing the "Hanamachi Hanatoro" set!
- Also, I've contacted Flickr support to see when the Pro support expires and if I can pay for Onihide's account for a time extension. It is currently being elevated to L3 support.

UPDATE 1/20/11:

OMG! w00t! Thanks for everyone's help on the project so far. I would still absolutely love to see an archive of Onihide's work somewhere when the time comes, and would love to be sent the current saved material at bebetaian a t ! gmail dot com . <3 (I hope writing it like that blocks some spam bots...)

FLICKR SUPPORT has emailed me to say that they have extended Onihide's account until 2013! That's great news- we have two more years to enjoy his work on Flickr! <3


  1. I have never posted anywhere in the kimono or japanese culture/geiko community, but I'm a lurker and it would kill me too to see such an extensive collection of pictures disappear. Did you ask around on Immortal Geisha for help?

    I did Hanamachi Hanatoro and took a screenie to make sure this is ok before I do more.

    I'll make a rar file out of it when I'm done I can send it to you, but I can't upload until next week because the internet here is bad.
    Oh well, I hope this is ok and that you get a lot of help with this project!

  2. Awesome! Hey, all help is appreciated. I'm contacting Flickr already to see if I can simply pay to extend his account for another year, since we can't figure out when it expires. They're getting back to me this week sometime.

  3. I've got Hotels saved now. Text file included. :)

  4. Let us know how it goes with Flickr! how much is an account for a year? I'm a really poor college student, but I don't mind chipping something in like 5$ Sorry if it's like 100$ and I sound cheap haha...

  5. Square Eyes #2 set saved with text file. :)

  6. Actually, if you still need to download the gallery, there is a program which can speed up the process - Saleen Flickr Downloader. You just click on the needed photo set link and then launch Saleen, choose "download the original size" option and voila - you have all the photos from the set in My Pics folder. All is left to make a sheet with text info. I tried it, it's really simple even for a computer newbie like myself =)

    P.S. It seems that Saleen is compatible with Internet Explorer only.

  7. Just checking in and I see some good news has been posted! Excellent. :) Not having to scramble is a good thing.

    So I wanted to ask you, do you still want me to continue saving when I can? Have any other sets been saved? I like ingwe's comment, if you still need the help, I may try that and see what happens. :D

    Just let me know how you want to proceed. :) I'm still in the boat for this project.

  8. Hey, it's Lindethiel from IG. I have about 80% percent of Onihide's stuff on my hard drive, along with a text file of his titles and author's comments. No dates or visitors comments though. :( I'd still love to help you if you guys need the files, it saves having to download them all over again.

    I didn't save sets persey, just went back to the very beginning of his flickr account and started saving. A lot of his stuff was just so good, I ended up saving whole PAGES.

    The count is 1.04 GB on my harddrive, 1,911 images. *Faints*

    Let me know if you'd like them!

  9. Turelie, sorry I've been so slow checking on replies! I really need to get with the other eight or nine contributors and find out what they have so I can organise everything. If you don't mind mailing me what you already have at bebetaian at! gmail . com , I'd like to get back to the project, although realistically, Onihide's photos will be up until 2013!

    Lindethiel, the photos would be AWESOME! Is there someplace I can download them all from? Like an FTP file or something? Or is it not too big to e-mail in sections? I can figure out what came from what set and work on saving comments once I see what everyone else has saved.

    I'm surprised so many people stepped in to help with this! It's especially important since I've had to take care of two households lately, when I barely had energy to run only the first. o.- But if a maiko can work 14 hours a day, so can I, right?

  10. Bebe Taian, I've never really hosted media files before or anything so I might need a few pointers. I'd guess that the easiest way to do it would be to put a pack together like on megaupload or something?

    Also, I think the picture dates have been saved in the file info too. I haven't been able to cross-check this, but if it has, I assume it would be a HUGE advantage, lol.

  11. MegaUpload would probably work! <3 Just let me know! If not, it might have to broken down into smaller blocks and sent to Gmail.