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January 20, 2013

25 Rare and Fascinating Vintage Photos of Geisha and Maiko Without Kimono From Between the 1900s and 1920s

When the word "GEISHA" is used, the mind automatically sees her in character, and in full dress wearing a Japanese kimono. However, a Geisha [her job and profession] was what she was 24 hours a day -- no matter what she was wearing.

Part of being a GEISHA was modeling for the photographer. They were hired on a regular basis to "entertain" the photo-viewing public by appearing in all manner of dress and character. This could be anything from a "Hillbilly Housewife" to a "Bathing Beauty" in the latest swim-wear fashions. Or, in the case of pictures in this group -- visions of the exotic "Occident", or simply an ethereal creation of the photographer.

No matter what, when the sun went down, and the studio skylights grew dim, she would be back at her "Geisha House" donning her beautiful kimono, classic hairstyle, and white face in preparation for a busy night working hard at her true profession.

These old photos from the late-Meiji and early-Taisho eras show Japanese girls in a range of atypical poses and dress. Regrettably, photographers unknown.

(Images via Okinawa Soba's Flickr)


  1. Preciosas estas fotos. aunque son niñas tienen una seriedad de adultas.Me encanta sobre todo esa ausencia que tienen delante de la cámara.

    Feliz día saludos.

  2. exotic versus exotic. thank you for sharing.




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