Vintage: Japanese Maikos and Geikos Girls (Taisho Period – 1910s-1920s)

Vintage: Japanese Maikos and Geikos Girls (Taisho Period – 1910s-1920s)


Maiko originated from women who served green tea and dango (Japanese dumpling made from rice flour) to people who visited the Kitano Tenman-gū or Yasaka Shrine (these are the two of the famous shrines in Kyoto) at teahouses in the temple town about 300 years ago. At first, women served only green tea and dango, but they gradually started to perform songs and dances for visitors. In the morning, maiko take lessons to polish their performances. At night, they go out to work. They are usually given the opportunity to eat at high-quality Japanese-style restaurants or stay in Japanese-style hotels. They perform dances, songs, play the shamisen, and serve visitors with sake. Recently, their jobs have expanded to include visiting nursing institutions or hospitals. Some maiko are also dispatched overseas.

A group of Maiko girls on a balcony overlooking the Kamo River in Kyoto, ca. late 1910s

A group of Maiko girls on a balcony overlooking the Kamo River in Kyoto, ca. late 1910s

Drinking Kirin beer, 1920

Drinking Kirin beer, 1920

Five Maiko girls posing for a shot, ca. 1920s

Five Maiko girls posing for a shot, ca. 1920s

Fourteen Maiko girls in Komonos, ca. 1920s

Fourteen Maiko girls in Komonos, ca. 1920s

Geikos on a summer balcony, 1920

Geikos on a summer balcony, 1920

Maiko girls have an afternoon tea, ca. 1920s

Maiko girls have an afternoon tea, ca. 1920s

Maiko girls in a Takase-bune, 1926

Maiko girls in a Takase-bune, 1926

Maiko girls with umbrellas in the 1920s

Maiko girls with umbrellas in the 1920s

A group of Maiko girls playing a game, ca. 1920s

A group of Maiko girls playing a game, ca. 1920s

Maikos by the river in the 1920s

Maikos by the river in the 1920s

Maikos in Kimonos in the 1920s

Maikos in Kimonos in the 1920s

Maikos with dragon obi Kimonos in the 1920s

Maikos with dragon obi Kimonos in the 1920s

One Maiko taking a photograph of another withe an early Kodak folding camera, ca. 1920s

One Maiko taking a photograph of another withe an early Kodak folding camera, ca. 1920s

Playing the Taiko and the Kotsuzumi, ca. 1910s

Playing the Taiko and the Kotsuzumi, ca. 1910s

Playing Toryanse, ca. 1920s

Playing Toryanse, ca. 1920s

Posing for a shot by the Kamo River, ca. 1920s

Posing for a shot by the Kamo River, ca. 1920s

A group of Maiko girls standing on the riverbank, ca. late 1910s

A group of Maiko girls standing on the riverbank, ca. late 1910s

Two young girls sitting on a park bench, ca. 1920s

Two young girls sitting on a park bench, ca. 1920s

A Maiko girl taking a photograph with an early Kodak folding camera, while being guided by another Maiko, ca. 1920s

A Maiko girl taking a photograph with an early Kodak folding camera, while being guided by another Maiko, ca. 1920s

Beautiful girls in a hot summer evening, ca. 1920s

Beautiful girls in a hot summer evening, ca. 1920s

Climbing an escarpment, ca. 1920s

Climbing an escarpment, ca. 1920s


Comments

comments