John Paul Foster is a photographer of the Floating World.
He creates images of the rare beauty of geisha, maiko and tayū and the bittersweet sorrow of Jizō and other Buddhist icons.
Born and raised in New York, he first moved to Japan after graduating from Washington and Lee University with a degree in literature and religion.
He is the author of four books on traditional Japanese culture: Now a Geisha (2017), Geisha & Maiko of Kyoto (2009), One Hundred Views of Kyoto (2008), and One Hundred Views of Maiko and Geiko (2006). His photographs and books have gained currency all over the world and his fine art portraits can be found in private collections from Australia to the United States.
John teaches a course in the culture of geiko and maiko to professionals in the tourism and hospitality industries and works with select destination management companies to introduce discriminating visitors to Kyoto’s geisha districts.
Living in Kyoto feels like being on permanent vacation to him, but he still returns to New York to visit family and to savor several slices of pizza at Umberto’s of New Hyde Park.