The Maiko Taneju of Miyagawa-cho

The maiko Taneju of Miyagawa-cho in June 2006
The maiko Taneju of Miyagawa-cho in June 2006

Before I get to today's photo, is anyone familiar with the site ink361.com? I just came across a Facebook page with a link to one of my photographs there, and of course neither the Facebook page nor ink361 mentions my name at all.

Even more troubling, ink361 seems to be a service for printing photos, so ink361 users might be selling my images there. One of my photographs I saw there (Tanewaka dancing in Kyo Odori) had my logo watermarked on it when I uploaded it to this blog, but the person on ink 361 has cropped the watermark out. That is usually a sign of malicious intent.

If anyone has any insight, I'd appreciate it if you could let me know.

On to today's post of the maiko Taneju in June of 2006. I try to keep my posts somewhat timely by writing about photographs taken in the same month (or close) as the month of the post, so I've been going through my archives and looking for photographs I made in June or July that I have not published before in a book or online.

Back in my days as a street photographer (2002 - 2006), June and July were my most prolific months when it came to photographing geiko and maiko in Kyoto. Now I try to avoid photographing in June and July as much as possible!

It's just too hot in Kyoto to be setting up lights and reflectors for three hours or more before the photo session even begins, and I know it is less than comfortable for a geiko or maiko to have to hold a strenuous pose or dance the same dance two or three times, even with air conditioning.

Looking back to my street photographer days, I have many wonderful memories of my encounters with geiko and maiko, but no memories at all of how hot it was in June and July. I enjoyed what I was doing so much that I never noticed the extreme heat, and since I had no equipment to set up, my only worry was getting a geiko or maiko to pause for a few seconds for me to make a portrait.

In those days, Gion Kobu or Miyagawa-cho was a great place for me to be, mentally, physically, and metaphorically!