Bebe Taian: This Month, Geisha.

June 6, 2011

This Month, Geisha.

I think this month needs to have some discussion of geisha. I haven't really covered the subject here before, since there are already a plethora of photobloggers inside and out of Japan who post new content daily, and who have insider information that I don't have access to- it seems shameful to repost from someone else's blogs constantly. But with so many misconceptions still being propagated, no thanks to certain individuals, it's time.

I'm going to schedule some time to sit down this week and really get a good primer written out on geisha. Immortal Geisha was once really the best English information website to go to, but it's been under construction for ages. They ARE working on a Geisha Wiki though, and I'm really anxious to see it completed!

In the meantime, I made some promises these past few days, and it's high time I started to do what I SHOULD have been doing months ago: scanning in old articles that I've saved about Japan, printed in American magazines. Starting with Marie Claire's "Gucci Geisha" article, dated April 2001.

This was the article that really kickstarted my kimono collection. I got this copy by chance, since I had little interest in magazines of this type. I found it in a YMCA and, being the least reprehensible choice, started leafing through it while working out. I wanted to keep the article (already out of print, an old copy), so they let me have the entire magazine. I'm glad it was one that I kept with me; my entire archive of magazines (several boxes; I'm a bibliophile) such as DISCOVER and WIRED were lost some years later. x.x That year, I recall making beaded hairpins in effort to mimic the jade hairpiece Makoto-san wears in these photos. Of course, I wasn't going for a 'real' maiko look. I couldn't, not on the money and limited information I had in English, but I wanted that style. I had adored my ningyo since I was very small, and this was the jump I needed to really begin taking charge of my interests in art!

I apologize now for not having proper scans. This article is very worn, and I have no access to a scanner just yet (working on it!) You can sometimes find copies of this magazine at Amazon or Ebay, if you look up the month and year with the title 'Marie Claire'. It is not posted on the internet elsewhere, and the website does not have it archived, so that is your only chance to find a copy yourself. Please click on the photos for larger versions.

I present to you "Gucci Geisha", from Marie Claire: April 2001.

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