28 August 2010

Maiko Ichiwaka 市和佳

#Maiko Ichiwaka, Portrait
Gion, Kyoto, 2010

How lucky to bump into Maiko Ichiwaka. She is lovely and so kind. I saw her going out of a pharmacy when I was going back home. I asked for her permission to take a picture. She kindly suggested to move to another corner because the background of this old pharmacy was not that nice. But with such a beautiful subject, the background could be anything and the picture would still be great. I am so grateful to her to take the time to make some portraits and to hold such a nice pose. Thank you, thank you, thank you !

27 August 2010

Cosplayer portrait, smoker

Cosplayer Portrait
Kyoto Manga Museum, 2010

What a stunning character! I set the focus on her "blue eyes" and "blond hair". The cigarette is fake as it's not allowed to smoke at the Manga Museum...

Click here for explanation about Cosplay 

23 August 2010

Maiko Chikayoshi 千賀美

Maiko Chikayoshi, portrait
Gion Kyoto, 2010

Lovely Maiko Chikayoshi. She is from the Hanamachi (Maiko district) of Miyagawacho. Her Misedashi took place in 2009 and she is now in her second year as a Maiko. It was a real pleasure to have a chat with her at this beergarden located in Gion. Later on she performed the "usual" Gion-ko-uta dance (below photo) as well as a seasonal dance with Uchiwa (round fan) usually performed in the summer. Her Kanzashi represents Suzuki grass as it is common in August.

22 August 2010

Cosplayer portrait, school girls

Cosplayers portrait
Kyoto Manga Museum, 2010

Lovely school girls cosplaying...school girls. Young but already talented characters.
Click here to view another post about cosplay.

20 August 2010

Maiko Fukusato ふく里

Maiko Fukusato, Portrait
Kyoto, July 2010

Maiko Fukusato ふく里 is from the hanamachi (Maiko district) of Miyagawacho. Her Misedashi took place end of 2009. So she is only on her first year as a Maiko but she is already a promising dancer.

Fukusato-san performing Gion-Ko-Uta

Her Kanzashi (hair ornament) represents Uchiwa (round fan) which refers to Gion Matsuri (Kyoto most famous festival) that takes place in July.

17 August 2010

Wagasa 和傘

#Wagasa 和傘, Japanese traditional umbrellas
Kyoto, Handicraft center, Aug 2010

Wagasa are a popular symbol of the Japanese and Kyoto culture. Widely used since Edo period, they're not only a protection against the rain or the sun but became a fashion accessory that comes in all sort of colors. Nowadays, they are used in ceremonies such as wedding or tea ceremony, as well as by Maiko and Geiko.
They're made of bamboo and washi (paper) that is changeable. So the good ones can be kept for 20 years !

The following link will answer anything you always "dreamed" to know about Wagasa...

Wagasa 和傘, Japanese traditional umbrellas 
Kyoto, Handicraft center, Aug 2010


14 August 2010

Shokokuji 相国寺, black and white

Shokoku-ji temple, wall
Kyoto, 2010

Another Kyoto treasure located next to Kyoto Imperial Palace. Always a relaxing walk just a few minutes from home.

Click here for a link to Shokoku-ji official page.

13 August 2010

Cosplayer portrait, black and white

Cosplayer pair, black and white
Kyoto Manga Museum, 2010

Stunning characters! They look scaring but actually both girls were so gentle and easy-going. They held such a good pose for this portrait.

12 August 2010

Cosplayer portrait, blue eyes

Blue Eyes, #cosplay
Kyoto Manga Museum, April 2010

Is she Japanese ? Yes, she is a cosplayer, costume player. Cosplays regularly takes place at Kyoto Manga Museum. I am always impressed how Cosplayers reproduce the characters of their favorite Manga to the single detail. Cosplayers are always friendly, creative and they love taking pictures. For this portrait, I set the focus on her "blue eyes" to obtain this nice lightening.

3 August 2010

Miyabikai, Yasaka Shrine

Maiko Mamemaru 豆まる entering Yasaka Shrine at Miyabikai
Kyoto, July 2010

So Kyoto ! A Maiko entering a red entrance of a shrine carrying a red umbrella. The scene is so photogenic that you just need to be there and press the shutter to shoot a great photo.

2 August 2010

Hanagasa Junko, Maiko Fukuya

Maiko Fukuya, Hanagasa Junko/Parade
Kyoto July 2010

Maiko, (apprentice Geisha) are mysterious, beautiful and so photogenic. There were certainly too many people around all the Maiko before the start of Hanagasa Junko (flower hat procession). But that gave to Maiko Fukuya this lovely shy expression.

Maiko Chizu, Portrait at Gion Matsuri

 Maiko watching and encouraging the float in Shinmachi during Yamaboko Junko, the grand parade of Gion Matsuri. Kyoto July 2010