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)2391 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)2322 viewsDancer's name is Maiko 舞子
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria) by Kagurazaka geisha1792 views
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3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo)1663 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1650 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1597 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1414 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1388 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)1348 views
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The star and main focus of the festival and procession, the oiran or tayu courtesan.1239 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.1172 views
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり1164 views
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Oiran dances.1137 views
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2. Hitozato ひと里1045 views
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4. Sakura Kazashite 桜かざして1019 viewsDancer 舞子 (Maiko)
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり1016 views
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3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo)1013 viewsAfter this dance was a 20-min. intermission.
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3. 梅にも春 Ume nimo Haru927 views
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Oiran Dochu procession, Ichiyo Sakura Festuval, Tokyo921 views
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Elaborate oiran wig weighing about 7 kg or 15 pounds.909 views
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2. Sumidagawa (Sumida River)777 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき762 views
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The kamuro attendants precede the oiran.761 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750 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748 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)739 views
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Part 1 - Edo Scenes (江戸風情): 1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria) 藤むらさき731 viewsDancers: 小奴、千佳、由良子、舞子
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Oiran Dochu procession, Tokyo730 views
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり723 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)710 views
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The procession is headed by tekomai geisha who sing.669 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ648 views
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At the starting point of the procession, the oiran gets ready to wear her high and heavy wooden clogs.628 views
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621 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)612 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.596 views
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花魁道中592 views
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3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo)587 views
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3. 梅にも春 Ume ni mo Haru586 viewsDancers: 千丸、史織
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Four ladies in waiting called shinzo, follow the oiran. They are future oiran.579 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ572 views
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Edo Scenes: 2. Sumidagawa (Sumida River)569 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565 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557 views
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Tomioka Hachiman tekomai geisha541 views
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Facing the right in thanks...519 views
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April 8, 2006 at Ushigome-Tansu Kumin Hall in Kagurazaka, Tokyo488 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 view483 views
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476 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465 views
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Stage entertainment held on one end of the street. 街角ステージ459 views
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457 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき453 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)439 views
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Baton holder428 views
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428 views
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4. Sakura Kazashite 桜かざして407 viewsDancers: 舞子、万り (Maiko and Mari)
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Asakusa hangyoku (apprentice geisha in Tokyo). 半玉 千福404 views
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1. Fuji Murasaki (Purple Wisteria)401 views
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5. Otsu-e 大津絵401 views眞由美
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A large crowd line the narrow street.398 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.398 views
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Lighting a tobacco pipe. (Real smoke)386 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき382 views
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Singers and musicians370 views
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Edo Scenes: 3. Edo no Nigiwai (Liveliness of Edo) 江戸の賑わい368 viewsDancers: 竜也、英子、万り
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With okami-san367 views
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Kamuro364 views
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359 views
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359 views
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Oiran dances with her kamuro attendants359 views
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Her customer smokes the pipe.357 views
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Great show354 views
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I was shooting like rapid-fire continuous mode.352 views
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Oiran drinks sake.348 views
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5. Otsu-e 大津絵344 views眞由美 (Mayumi)
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344 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340 views
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The name of her teahouse was Matsubaya which was the last teahouse in the Yoshiwara district.338 views
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Spectacular kimono336 views
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Ichiyo sakura cherry blossom trees line the street where the Oiran Dochu procession will proceed. 一葉桜334 views
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At the end of the oiran show, they posed for photographers.334 views
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Her attendants keep her steady as she changes her footwear.334 views
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Part 2 - 浴曲三味線草: 1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり327 views
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327 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325 views
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The Oiran Dochu procession proceeds slowly along the Ichiyo cherry-lined street.325 views
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1. Kagurazakari 神楽ざかり324 views
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324 views
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324 views
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Oiran Dochu procession, Tokyo322 views
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3. 梅にも春 Ume nimo Haru321 viewsOffering a drink of sake.
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おいらんショー321 views
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321 views
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I can only wonder how much this kimono costs.318 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき316 views
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The gold folding screen, koto music, and dance made it a real visual treat.316 views
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314 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313 views
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310 views
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Tossing free hand towels to the audience, a real crowd pleaser...307 viewsThey do this every year. Most people sitting in the front can catch one.
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Tomioka Hachiman tekomai geisha306 views
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The oiran in clear view near the stage.304 views
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Bravo!303 views
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2. Hitozato ひと里299 views
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Oiran have their obi sash tied in the front instead of the back like geisha in Kyoto.299 views
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Her obi sash is also very ornate.294 views
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She put her clogs again and completed her return trip.292 views
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My YouTube video of the oiran show in 2010.285 views
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Very colorful under the sun.284 views
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Before crossing the busy intersection, oiran takes off her clogs to wear normal slippers.283 views
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(Applause)280 views
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Tekomai geisha from Tomioka Hachimangu Shrine walk toward the stage.279 views
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Kamuro attendants and oiran courtesan at the Ichiyo Sakura Matsuri Oiran Dochu Procession in Asakusa, Tokyo.279 views
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275 views
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Oiran273 views
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After the oiran show, the Oiran Dochu procession is held again for the return trip from 3 pm.272 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき271 views
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6. Hahha Kudoki ハッハくどき269 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ269 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.268 views
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The procession nears the main stage where the procession ends.267 views
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Oiran266 views
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Clogs264 views
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7. Sawagi さわぎ257 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.255 views
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Be sure to see my video at YouTube.251 views
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The person in black is the kurogo attendant.247 views
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Arigato243 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.243 views
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Waving these white streamers created a dazzling visual effect. It must have been either the wind or river.234 views
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229 views
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Asakusa hangyoku (apprentice geisha in Tokyo) named Ichigo posing in April 2001. 半玉228 views
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226 views
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The procession passes by Ichiyo sakura trees.213 views
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209 views
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Tekomai geisha posing for photos.206 views
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22nd Asakusa Odori, April 2001. Also see the official Asakusa geisha Web site here.201 views
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Tomioka Hachiman Tekomai geisha perform at Kiba Park.190 views
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She posed for me too.183 views
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Oiran stopped and posed for me. How nice of her...183 views
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Back of oiran.182 views
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The day's entertainment was capped by taiko drummers.172 views
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168 views
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Lots of eye candy in this show.162 views
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Their right shoulder is "exposed" to show a peony flower design. Also see the video at YouTube.156 views
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22nd Asakusa Odori, April 2001.154 views
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A beautiful day for an oiran matsuri.153 views
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Asakusa hangyoku (apprentice geisha in Tokyo). 半玉 こず江150 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.130 views
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They perform in mid-Oct. on the same day and place as Kiba Kakunori log rolling.119 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.112 views
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They only chant, no dancing.107 views
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Kamuro. They might be high school age.107 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105 views
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Also see my video at YouTube.105 views
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The first oiran group arrives in front of the stage.101 views
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Then leans sideways mimicking the slope of Mt. Fuji.101 views
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98 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98 views
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98 views
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Tekomai geisha98 views
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I took the intermission time to photograph an Asakusa geisha.97 views
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Kamuro attendants.97 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...96 views
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Kamuro and oiran95 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.94 views
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The second oiran then appeared on stage.94 views
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93 views
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Oiran show begins. Also see my video of this performance at YouTube.93 views
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The show was almost the same as before. She leans back like this.93 views
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Leaning right, then...92 views
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She gives an approving (seductive?) glance at him.92 views
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They pose for pictures.91 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.90 views
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The tekomai geisha first appeared and posed for photos.90 views
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There were only four dancers, but they went through several costume changes onstage.89 views
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She receives a smoking pipe from her kamuro.89 views
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She lights the pipe.87 views
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Then they got up and left the stage.87 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. 87 views
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Oiran and her court pose for pictures.86 views
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85 views
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Fourth part of the Finale. 笠森おせん85 views
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End of the first oiran show.85 views
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Leaning left.85 views
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Asakusa Meibutsu (浅草名物)85 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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Hokan-gei (幇間芸) or Female male geisha (?)84 viewsThere used to be a few hundred male geisha in Japan. They were jesters providing comical entertainment. Now there are only seven of them, all in Asakusa. And she is the only female one. Call her a "female male geisha" (??).
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She gives the pipe to her customer.83 views
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He smokes it. Also see my video of this performance at YouTube.83 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.82 views
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She wears normal footwear and not the high clogs. Too bad...82 views
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Yuko nee-san of Asakusa82 views
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