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Old Sep 8, 2005, 2:18 AM   #1
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I took these pictures recently in Kyoto in an area called Gion, which is famous for it's geisha houses. The geisha are very difficult to photograph as they are either walking very quickly or emerging only briefly to get into taxis. These are the best results I had, the first is quite a heavy crop, therefore a little noisy and all are dramatically reduced in quality to achieve a small enough file size to post here.
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 2:18 AM   #2
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 2:19 AM   #3
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 11:37 AM   #4
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I dont know if its the makeup, but she doesnt look like a cheerful person.
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Old Sep 8, 2005, 12:17 PM   #5
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simon,

good jobon the photos. very nice!


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Old Sep 8, 2005, 8:10 PM   #6
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Simon,
Nice shots. Kyoto is fascinating.

If you get another opportunity, try asking permission to take the photo. When Geisha and Maiko are out in public they are typically on their way to an appointment, but they can be very nice and give you a second to snap a quick shot.

As far as the lack of expression goes, as I understand the culture, and I'm not sure why, they are taught to smile only with the corners of their mouths. So a facial expression is rare.

If you care to check out my one attempt: http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/view_topic.php?id=32125&forum_id=5

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Old Sep 8, 2005, 8:58 PM   #7
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Thanks for the comments everyone.

I would have liked to ask permission to take pictures, but the streets were very busy with tourists all waiting to snap an approaching Geisha or Maiko so I don't think they would've stopped for fear of being mobbed!

Regarding the smiling and facial expressions, it is a very old Japanese custom (dating back to Samurai days) that people shouldn't show their feelings and emotions. I read somewhere that to show emotion is a sign of weakness. Even today, many Japanese will cover their mouths with a hand when they laugh or smile, and getting them to express their opinions on a subject is like getting blood from a stone!
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Old Sep 9, 2005, 1:13 PM   #8
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Busy streets in Japan?Who would of thought? And I didn't even think about all of the tourists milling around. I was there on a Sunday night in thewinter.An entirely different situation, I'm sure. And thanks for the culture information.

Please post more Japan shots. I miss it.
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