A Geisha's Journey.
My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice.


Photography by Naoyuki Ogino, text by Komomo.
Kodansha International, 2008. 144 pp., 10x7½".



Publisher's Description
This is the story of a contemporary Japanese teenager who, in a search for an identity, became fascinated with the world of geiko-as Kyoto's geisha are known-and discovered in herself the will and the commitment to overcome the many years of apprenticeship necessary to become one.

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

His photographs follow the entire narrative of her journey, from her first tentative visits after finding the geiko house on the Internet, through her commitment as an apprentice and the hard schedule of learning arts that go back centuries. He continued shooting all the way to the ceremony of her officially becoming one of the rare breed of geiko-and beyond. From the cobbled streets where she walks in her elaborate dress to the inner sanctums of her dressing room, he has captured a very rare look at a very unique, living art.

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

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