MEETING AT THE GATE -- Japanese Girls in Kimono at the Entrance to an INN Near the Genkyu-en Gardens in HIKONE (玄宮園)
The young girls are MAIKO --- apprentice Geisha, also called "Dancing Girls" at that time.
A classic 3-D image by T. ENAMI. View number S 49 from his 3-D Catalog.
♥ SEE THE ABOVE STEREOVIEWS IN BEAUTIFUL FULL SIZE HERE : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/2328678714/sizes/o/in/...
THE FLYING CRANES OBI in CLOSE DETAIL : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/4288866837/
SIGNS BY THE GATE : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/6558175093/
Until 22 May 2010, only the middle view was seen on this page, After two years like that (and just over 18,000 views), I added two more images to make the three you see above --- on the top, an original un-transposed, variant proof-print from the same session; and on the bottom, another hand-colored and mounted version for those interested in comparing subtle differences in the work of the colorists.
They are also titled differently. MEETING AT THE GATE and WELCOMING A GUEST are both appropriate titles. The location is an Inn for travelers in the town of Hikone, near the Genkyu-en Gardens in HIKONE.
Enami is known to have had a thing for alternate titles, including those titled in Japanese instead of English. Occasionally, an old erroneous title is corrected on a later mount. Those were the days of hand-setting the type, and printing the captions one-by-one as needed.
The top and bottom images are from the same negative, and upon close inspection reveal a third Maiko looking at the camera from just inside the gate. She is "hiding" in a visual line through the saplings on the left. The central image is from a variant negative.
For a better look, hit the link below. The B/W proof at the top can be free-viewed by the "cross-eyed" method, and the two colored variants by the "parallel" method.
The three images were scanned together on a flatbed scanner, so the relative differences in tone, density, and color between the prints can be easily seen.
Aside from its natural beauty as a finely composed stereoview, the set of three is far better than the previous post showing only the central image, and has more value for those wanting to seriously study more closely the results of hands-on production of commercial stereoviews in Japan during the 19th and early 20th Centuries.
It is hard to find stereoviews by other Japanese publishers whose compositions, coloring, and basic production values exceeded that of Enami.
GIF animations of over 20 other of my Enami stereoview posts revealed some annoying differences that are not so noticeable when free-viewing, or viewing in a stereoscope.
CHECK OUT THE GIF 3-D ANIMATIONS OF MY FLICKr POSTS HERE (CONVERSIONS DONE BY OTHERS, NOT ME!) : pinktentacle.com/2009/10/animated-stereoviews-of-old-japan/
IN PRAISE OF THIS STEREOVIEW :
Photo by T. Enami, ca.1898. Beside being a nice view in 3-D, it is a wonder of skillful hand tinting.
While looking at the photo on your screen, keep in mind that the girls in the original photo are only an inch-and-a-half high, and their kimono's and obi are even smaller !
Knowing the working sizes of the original, you can appreciate the tedious, near-microscopic work needed to color this image by hand....as well as all of the other similar images I've posted.
The yellow flying birds of the Obi design are all individually tinted. The deep red color had to be hand applied around the birds without spilling over into the yellow. The nearest girl's kimono is delicately graded in two colors from top to bottom, with hair pin details caught as well. Other details in the scene are also attended to.
The subtle tinting of the wooden fence and gate work, the foliage, and the ground itself approach the accuracy of a color photograph. And...the colorist had to do all of this twice...once for each image, taking care that all matched up for perfect fusion in the stereoscope.
If you have the ALL SIZES button above the photo, click on it to enlarge the image. The hand tinting of the view can then be appreciated a bit more.
Enami's stereoviews and lantern-slides took hours (some say days) to tint. All done under a magnifying glass with extremely fine brushes -- some as fine as a single hair.
By the way, here are some nice slides of the same subject as well, where the flying birds on the OBI are hand-tinted in even more exacting duo-tones : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/3369236910/in/set-7215...
Coloring issues aside, actual Obi motif and kimono design detailed can best be seen at the ALL SIZES button above the copped image found here :
WHERE DOES THE ROAD BESIDE THIS OLD GATE LEAD ? www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/4402444559/
SEE MORE OF ENAMI'S CLASSIC IMAGES IN THIS FLICKr COLLECTION : www.flickr.com/photos/24443965@N08/collections/7215761388...
RANDOM SOBA : www.flickriver.com/photos/24443965@N08/random/