Kazuhiko Matsumura

Subtle Beauty




This is a story about the lifestyle of the Maiko and Geiko of Kyoto. In Kyoto there are five communities where Maiko and Geiko live. A lot of girls who aspire to become a Maiko come to these communities but most of them leave soon because of the strict lifestyle.

They entertain mainly rich male guests at exclusive Japanese-style parties. They have to be elegant, polite and beautiful, but also entertaining.

They live in a house with the housemother who manages all their affairs and other Maiko and young Geiko. They are thoroughly trained in how to behave by a housemother and the seniors.

After several years as a Maiko, and after they reach 20 years of age, they become a Geiko. This means being an adult in their community. During this period both their appearance and their inner maturity develop.

After becoming a Geiko, they keep improving their hospitality and performing art skills. The true essence of the Maiko and Geiko’s beauty isn’t only their physical appearance but their subtle internal beauty.

Subtle Beauty
Kazuhiko Matsumura

Self-published
2014

126 pages
8.5 x 6.5 in

Limited edition of 100
Every book is bound by the same craftsmen as the ones who make the Buddhist
scriptures in Kyoto.