I have a fascination with geisha, not because I ever wanted to be one or had any hankering for the life style but because they were and still are depicted as such beautiful creatures; I just want to enjoy the astounding gracefulness and beauty as depicted in Japanese Art.  Therefore I have several pieces in what I call my “geisha collection”.

I have a wonderful framed exhibition poster of  Kotondo Torii “Morning Hair” from the 1982 exhibition at the Riccar Art Museum GEISHAkotondoMORNINGHAIR in Toyko.

I have four figural  wall pockets of geisha; one of which depicts a geisha with a child just like my wood block above.  I cherish both of these because a geisha had to retire if she got married and if she had a child; a girl was sent away as soon as possible to train as a geisha and a boy child was kept mostly isolated from society if he was kept by his mother but more likely he was given away, adopted, sold, or even abandoned.  So representations of geisha with a child are rare and I have found two.

I am however trying to sell my print because I can’t afford to frame it and it has been taped to my geisha “wall” for years in a plastic bag.  So if you are interested, my auction link is:

If this draws no more attention that my auction for the water color of the Buddhist Monks are be just as happy to put it back on the wall encased in plastic but I thought I’d give it a one time chance at auction.

I also have one Japanese snuff bottle with a geisha painted on it, several more wall pockets that have geisha painted on them, a vintage painted ivory hair comb and box, and finally a Plasticine geisha being pulled in a rickshaw; so I will hardly miss this woodblock if it does sell.

Japanese culture is very distinctive, from the prestige of the samurai to the art of Kabuki theatre; the traditions of Japan are numerous and have developed throughout the various eras.  One aspect of the Japanese culture that is unique is the geisha. The traditions of the geisha are beautiful and create an environment for Japanese women that empowered them during the time when the women of the rest of the world were unable to have power.  This paper discusses the history of the geisha from its beginning form and what has affected the geisha to change during the years up to its decline.

  The word geisha literally means performance person.  The geisha are the entertainment people of Japan that date back to the 1600s during the Edo Period.  The Japanese view geisha as professional entertainers.  However, the majority of the world thinks of a geisha as a white-faced lady with her hair in a bun and a kimono on.  The geisha are much more than women with too much make-up on.  To become a geisha, it takes years of training that begins when a young teenager is slowly transformed into an entertainer of high society.

Source: Daniel J Meissner
Associate Professor
Asian Studies
History Department
Marquette University


Geisha (芸者?) (/ˈɡeɪʃə/; Japanese: [ɡeːɕa]), geiko (芸子?), or geigi (芸妓?) are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various arts such as classical music, dance, games and conversation, mainly to entertain male customers.  Source:  Wikipedia

As I’ve said geisha are fascinating and wonderful subjects for antique and contemporary art. 

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