Book Review: Geiko & Maiko Of Kyoto


Book Title: Geiko & Maiko Of Kyoto By: Robert Van Koesveld

ISBN: 978-0-9944501-0-4 Review: Over the years I have acquired a rather impressive collection of books dedicated to traditional Japanese kimono, Japanese textile arts, and Geisha. As I have collected these books I continue to find in them photos of women labeled as Geisha and Maiko, who are not. Instead commonly tourists who are paying for a dress up session are frequently cited and published as being a Geisha or Maiko, this book is NOT that case. This book offers a high quality photo review of a handful of Kyoto's Geiko and Maiko. The pages themselves of this book are a high quality heavy weight glossy paper, which includes a selection of elegant photos. The photos themselves are professional works of art, a powerful testimony to the eye of Robert who has captured these photos. The book itself is broken down in sections. The first section of the book is dedicated to various Maiko, a chapter per artist which is full of photos that include high quality headshots and even a few of the maiko performing in various settings.. The next section is dedicated to Geiko, with chapters full of photos of them performing and even some tidbits of life behind closed doors. Though this book is mostly a photo book, there is a wealth of information to be had within it. Most interesting to me were the autobiographies in the back of the book. More so, there is even a selection dedicated to the people who play supporting roles such as Shamisen teachers, Managers of Ochaya, and even the Owner of a respected kimono store. In particular I really like the attention paid to the supporting roles and businesses that are connected to the Maiko, and Geiko. Review Summary: 5 stars, our of 5 stars. From cover to cover you will find in this book a wealth of high quality professional photos that accurately portray the Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto. Neatly tucked among the photos are various bits of text that provide additional information and insight into the 'Flower And Willow World'.

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