Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile

Overview

Renowned Throughout The World as icons of beauty, mystery, and allure, geisha have come to represent the epitome of Japanese elegance and chic. The rich 250-year history of these performance artists is vividly presented in this volume, taking the reader behind the masklike makeup and into the studios where the geisha train and rehearse and the teahouses where they entertain. Geisha have altered definitions of feminine beauty and identity and remain symbols of Japanese womanhood. Their influence on Japan's ...
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Overview

Renowned Throughout The World as icons of beauty, mystery, and allure, geisha have come to represent the epitome of Japanese elegance and chic. The rich 250-year history of these performance artists is vividly presented in this volume, taking the reader behind the masklike makeup and into the studios where the geisha train and rehearse and the teahouses where they entertain. Geisha have altered definitions of feminine beauty and identity and remain symbols of Japanese womanhood. Their influence on Japan's decorative arts is documented by their beautiful kimono and hair ornaments and by the musical instruments and fans they use in their performances. The contributors to this book, all prominent specialists on Japanese culture, each consider a particular aspect of geisha tradition and aesthetics, from their music and dance to misperceptions of the profession by foreigners, from the portrayal of geisha as recurring characters in theater and film to profiles of talented women who choose this life and work today. Illustrated with woodblock prints and paintings as well as historical and contemporary photographs, this groundbreaking study also explores the dynamic tension between image and reality in the art of these exquisite entertainers. Geisha: Beyond the Painted Smile is a comprehensive presentation of geisha culture from its origins nearly three centuries ago to contemporary Japan. Disciplined performance artists of supreme grace and beauty, they are unique ambassadors of Japan's traditional culture.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807615454
  • Publisher: Braziller, George Inc
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 998,850
  • Product dimensions: 9.38 (w) x 12.32 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Table of Contents

Director's Foreword 8
Acknowledgments 10
Lenders 13
Preface
Why Do Geisha Exist? 17
Part I Understanding Geisha
A World Behind Closed Doors 23
Identifying Geisha in Art and Life: Is She Really a Geisha? 37
Part II Confronting the Image
First Encounters--Emerging Stereotypes: Westerners and Geisha in the Late Nineteenth Century 51
The Exotic Geisha 67
The Floating World Today: Photographs by Yoko Yamamoto 81
Part III Living Art
Performance and Play: The Art and Accomplishments of Geisha 103
Geisha to the Fore: Niwaka Festivals and the New Luminaries of Edo 123
Geisha on Stage and Screen 139
Bibliography 148
List of Illustrations 151
Index 157
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