Sunday, February 8, 2009

Geisha Madness

So I read Memoirs of aGeisha about a month ago and now I'm hooked. I remember that my mom really hated the book because she found it to be a bit of a cheap romance novel. Admittedly, the love story in the book is one of its weaker points, but I found the world of a geisha and all the customs surrounding them to be totally fascinating. Now, I'm not a man so maybe I just don't get it, but I don't especially find them erotic. They seem to me to be something like a made-up, aesthetic, but thoroughly untouchable doll. But that there is a tradition for everything and that they wear these gorgeous kimonos that are worth thousands of dollars and are women of art, all of this is somehow both appealing and scary at the same time. I found a great video about an apprentice geisha on You Tube called Becoming a Geisha.
It follows the story of Youkina as she goes through the training in Kyoto in 2005. Pretty brutal training and she's not allowed to see her family for a year even though she's only 15. I won't tell you if she makes it or not. ;)

A friend of ours works for a photography auction house here in Berlin. Every time they have an auction (about twice a year)she sends us the catalog. Gorgeous books full of the photographs for sale printed beautifully. In one of the catalogs there are some vintage photographs of Geisha that have been hand-tinted. I will probably make copies of them because it would be a shame to mutilate the book, but I really must make some sort of collage or art work from them. We'll see when the inspiration calls....

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