JAPAN PHOTOS by Philbert Ono

*Be sure to wear a mask when in crowds.


Most viewed - Tokyo Geisha 東京の芸者
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2. Sumidagawa (Sumida River)2380 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)2311 viewsDancer's name is Maiko 舞子
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria) by Kagurazaka geisha1782 views
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3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo)1655 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1643 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1590 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1404 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1382 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1342 views
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The star and main focus of the festival and procession, the oiran or tayu courtesan.1233 views
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Unlike normal kimono, she wears the obi sashi in the front instead of the back. This is so that she can show off her beautiful obi which would otherwise be covered by the uchikake outer garment.1162 views
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり1158 views
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Oiran dances.1133 views
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2. Hitozato ひと里1038 views
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4. Sakura Kazashite 桜かざして1011 viewsDancer 舞子 (Maiko)
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり1009 views
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3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo)1007 viewsAfter this dance was a 20-min. intermission.
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3. 梅にも春 Ume nimo Haru921 views
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Oiran Dochu procession, Ichiyo Sakura Festuval, Tokyo912 views
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Elaborate oiran wig weighing about 7 kg or 15 pounds.905 views
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2. Sumidagawa (Sumida River)775 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき755 views
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The kamuro attendants precede the oiran.755 views
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Oiran. Her wig and geta clogs weigh the same (about 7 kg or 15 pounds each) to keep her head and feet balanced. Her whole outfit weighs about 60 pounds (27 kg). That's why she needs his shoulder for support as she walks. 花魁743 views
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Close-up of Ichiyo sakura cherry blossoms. "Ichiyo" means "one leaf." You can see that the flower actually has a small green leaf inside. 一葉桜741 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)737 views
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Part 1 - Edo Scenes (江戸風情): 1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria) 藤むらさき728 viewsDancers: 小奴、千佳、由良子、舞子
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Oiran Dochu procession, Tokyo722 views
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり717 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)708 views
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The procession is headed by tekomai geisha who sing.663 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ646 views
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At the starting point of the procession, the oiran gets ready to wear her high and heavy wooden clogs.622 views
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616 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)610 views
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Oiran Dochu procession, Ichiyo Sakura Festuval, Tokyo. Her obi sash is tied in the front in a knot called manaita-musubi.592 views
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花魁道中588 views
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3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo)585 views
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3. 梅にも春 Ume ni mo Haru584 viewsDancers: 千丸、史織
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Four ladies in waiting called shinzo, follow the oiran. They are future oiran.575 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ570 views
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Edo Scenes: 2. Sumidagawa (Sumida River)567 viewsSolo dancer: 眞由美 (Mayumi)
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Head of the Edo-Yoshiwara Oiran Dochu procession which started at 1:30 pm. 江戸吉原おいらん道中559 views
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Entrance to the Ichiyo Sakura Matsuri festival site on Komatsu-bashi-dori near Asakusa, behind Sensoji temple. 小松橋通り553 views
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Tomioka Hachiman tekomai geisha530 views
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Facing the right in thanks...517 views
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April 8, 2006 at Ushigome-Tansu Kumin Hall in Kagurazaka, Tokyo486 viewsStarting at 4 pm, this was the third and last show of the day and all 400 seats were sold out.

The performance had two parts separated by a 20-min. intermission. Each part had several different dances.
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Back view478 views
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470 views
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Oiran and her attendants then performed a short but spectacular oiran show on the stage from about 2 pm. おいらんショー461 views
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Stage entertainment held on one end of the street. 街角ステージ455 views
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453 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき451 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)436 views
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424 views
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Baton holder423 views
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4. Sakura Kazashite 桜かざして404 viewsDancers: 舞子、万り (Maiko and Mari)
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)399 views
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5. Otsu-e 大津絵398 views眞由美
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Asakusa hangyoku (apprentice geisha in Tokyo). 半玉 千福397 views
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A large crowd line the narrow street.393 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.393 views
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390 views
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Lighting a tobacco pipe. (Real smoke)382 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき380 views
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Singers and musicians368 views
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Edo Scenes: 3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo) 江戸の賑わい366 viewsDancers: 竜也、英子、万り
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With okami-san365 views
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Kamuro359 views
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355 views
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Oiran dances with her kamuro attendants355 views
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354 views
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Her customer smokes the pipe.353 views
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Great show350 views
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I was shooting like rapid-fire continuous mode.348 views
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Oiran drinks sake.344 views
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5. Otsu-e 大津絵341 views眞由美 (Mayumi)
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340 views
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Asakusa Kokaido Hall in Asakusa, Tokyo, venue of the 23rd Asakusa Odori geisha dance held on Oct. 28-29, 2008. It has been seven years since the last time the Asakusa Odori was held in April 2001. 浅草公会度338 views
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The name of her teahouse was Matsubaya which was the last teahouse in the Yoshiwara district.334 views
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Spectacular kimono332 views
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Ichiyo sakura cherry blossom trees line the street where the Oiran Dochu procession will proceed. 一葉桜330 views
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Her attendants keep her steady as she changes her footwear.330 views
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At the end of the oiran show, they posed for photographers.329 views
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Part 2 - 浴曲三味線草: 1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり325 views
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり322 views
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322 views
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The festival lasts all day long, from morning until late afternoon. Incudes a flea market. 小松橋通り321 views
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The Oiran Dochu procession proceeds slowly along the Ichiyo cherry-lined street.321 views
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3. 梅にも春 Ume nimo Haru319 viewsOffering a drink of sake.
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おいらんショー316 views
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Oiran Dochu procession, Tokyo315 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき314 views
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I can only wonder how much this kimono costs.314 views
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The gold folding screen, koto music, and dance made it a real visual treat.312 views
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310 views
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Festival banner. The Ichiyo Sakura Festival is held in April along the main Komatsu-bashi-dori street lined with Ichiyo cherry blossoms. These photos were taken on April 14, 2007. 小松橋通り309 views
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306 views
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Tossing free hand towels to the audience, a real crowd pleaser...305 viewsThey do this every year. Most people sitting in the front can catch one.
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Tomioka Hachiman tekomai geisha300 views
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The oiran in clear view near the stage.300 views
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Bravo!299 views
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2. Hitozato ひと里297 views
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Oiran have their obi sash tied in the front instead of the back like geisha in Kyoto.294 views
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Her obi sash is also very ornate.290 views
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She put her clogs again and completed her return trip.288 views
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Very colorful under the sun.280 views
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My YouTube video of the oiran show in 2010.280 views
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Before crossing the busy intersection, oiran takes off her clogs to wear normal slippers.279 views
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(Applause)278 views
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278 views
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Tekomai geisha from Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine walk toward the stage.273 views
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271 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき269 views
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Kamuro attendants and oiran courtesan at the Ichiyo Sakura Matsuri Oiran Dochu Procession in Asakusa, Tokyo.268 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき267 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ267 views
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After the oiran show, the Oiran Dochu procession is held again for the return trip from 3 pm.267 views
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The procession nears the main stage where the procession ends.263 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.263 views
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Oiran262 views
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Clogs260 views
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Oiran257 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ255 viewsThe finale where all the geisha appear on stage.
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They pose in front of the stage and bowed before going backstage.251 views
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Be sure to see my video at YouTube.247 views
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Arigato241 views
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The person in black is the kurogo attendant.239 views
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Spreading her wings. She did almost the same thing as the first oiran, except for the latter part of the show.235 views
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Waving these white streamers created a dazzling visual effect. It must have been either the wind or river.228 views
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Asakusa hangyoku (apprentice geisha in Tokyo) named Ichigo posing in April 2001. 半玉225 views
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The procession passes by Ichiyo sakura trees.209 views
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22nd Asakusa Odori, April 2001. Also see the official Asakusa geisha Web site here.199 views
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Tekomai geisha posing for photos.199 views
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Tomioka Hachiman Tekomai geisha perform at Kiba Park.184 views
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She posed for me too.175 views
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Back of oiran.175 views
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Oiran stopped and posed for me. How nice of her...175 views
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The day's entertainment was capped by taiko drummers.168 views
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Lots of eye candy in this show.155 views
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Their right shoulder is "exposed" to show a peony flower design. Also see the video at YouTube.153 views
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22nd Asakusa Odori, April 2001.152 views
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Asakusa hangyoku (apprentice geisha in Tokyo). 半玉 こず江147 views
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A beautiful day for an oiran matsuri.146 views
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I also saw the 22nd Asakusa Odori held in April 2001 at the Asakusa Kokaido. The lobby had two hangoyku greeting the audience.127 views
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They perform in mid-Oct. on the same day and place as Kiba Kakunori log rolling.116 views
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The oiran herself. This year, the oiran and other women were portrayed by women who applied for this job voluntarily. I don't think they performed professionally in any oiran shows.108 views
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They only chant, no dancing.105 views
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Kamuro. They might be high school age.103 views
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The dance consisted of four numbers. The first one was called Sara Sanban-so (晒三番叟) which was first performed in Edo in Nov. 1755. 宝暦5年102 views
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101 views
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100 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.100 views
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The first oiran group arrives in front of the stage.97 views
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The second number was called Matsuri (Festival). It featured these three young village girls and two geisha dancers. 藤間流 まつり96 views
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Then leans sideways mimicking the slope of Mt. Fuji.95 views
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I took the intermission time to photograph an Asakusa geisha.94 views
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Tekomai geisha94 views
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Kamuro attendants.93 views
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On the way back, both oiran did not wear the high geta clogs as they did when they arrived. Too tiring...91 views
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Kamuro and oiran91 views
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This time I focused on the Oiran Show and didn't chase the procession heading to this stage. The opening act were these musicians playing festival music.90 views
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The second oiran then appeared on stage.89 views
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Leaning right, then...88 views
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She gives an approving (seductive?) glance at him.88 views
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There were only four dancers, but they went through several costume changes onstage.87 views
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Oiran show begins. Also see my video of this performance at YouTube.87 views
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The show was almost the same as before. She leans back like this.87 views
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They pose for pictures.87 views
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I saw this festival again on April 10, 2010 and these are the pictures. The highlight was not one, but two oiran entourages who appeared.86 views
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The tekomai geisha first appeared and posed for photos.86 views
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She receives a smoking pipe from her kamuro.85 views
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Fourth part of the Finale. 笠森おせん83 views
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She lights the pipe.83 views
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Then they got up and left the stage.83 views
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Oiran and her court pose for pictures.82 views
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End of the first oiran show.81 views
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Leaning left.81 views
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Tokyo's oldest geisha Yuko was an Asakusa geisha since age 16 and an unofficial Living Treasure of Asakusa. I was lucky to see her because she does not appear at every show. 81 views
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They carry a red paper lantern imprinted with their names and use their right hand to drag along a metal wand.79 views
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She gives the pipe to her customer.79 views
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He smokes it. Also see my video of this performance at YouTube.79 views
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Asakusa Meibutsu (浅草名物)79 viewsSong about Asakusa's many famous attractions like Matsuchiyama Shoten temple, Hanakawado, Hanayashiki Amusement Park, Sanja Matsuri, Sensoji temple, and Asakusa geisha.
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