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A Geisha’s Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice

A Geisha’s Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice

Author(s): Komomo, Naoyuki Ogino

Location(s): Kyoto

Genre(s): Autobiography/Memoirs

Era(s): Modern

This is the story of a contemporary Japanese teenager who, in a search for an identity, became fascinated with the world of geisha, and discovered in herself the will and the commitment to embark on the many years of apprenticeship necessary to become one.

It is also the story of a young Japanese photographer who grew up overseas, and who also was captivated by the traditional lives of these women who choose to dedicate themselves to their art. He began following and documenting the life of teenager Komomo as she studied and grew into her role.

Naoyuki Ogino’s photographs follow Komomo’s entire journey, from her first tentative visits after finding the geisha house on the internet through her commitment to the hard schedule of an apprentice, learning arts that go back centuries, all the way to the ceremony where she officially became a geiko, as Kyoto’s geisha are known, and beyond. From the cobbled streets where she walks in her elaborate dress to the inner sanctum of her dressing room, these pages offer a rare look at a unique, living art.

The photographs are accompanied by autobiographical text and captions by Komomo, as she shares her thoughts and emotions, and describes the day-to-day existence of a Kyoto apprentice. It is an illuminating view of seven years in the life of a very special young woman.

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