The Geisha Kimina Adjusts Her Katsura

Geisha_Kimina_with_Mirror-1
Geisha_Kimina_with_Mirror-1

The geisha Kimina of Miyagawa-cho checks her makeup and katsura (wig). Most geiko have only one katsura, and it is sent out for cleaning and maintenance every few months. More senior geiko who have remained in the profession for some time will have two katsura.

Kimina's wig and makeup did not really need any adjustments here, but I asked her to act as if she really did need to fix something. One of the recurring themes in my portraits of geiko and maiko in recent years is to photograph them with mirrors and adjusting their hair and makeup. I particularly like the long wooden combs they use to check their hair and wigs like the one Kimina is using here. I find the tools people use in their jobs fascinating, particularly tools used by traditional craftsmen in places like Kyoto. It might be because I am so unskilled with any tools myself, except perhaps a camera...