Geiko Kayo - in Winter Dress 1870s

Geiko (geisha) Kayo dressed in winter clothes ready for a snowy day. This type of headscarf is called an Okoso-zukin.


Era Kayo 江良加代 was a popular geiko (geisha) in Gion, Kyoto during the early Meiji period (1870s). At one time she became the mistress of Saionji Kinmochi (1849 – 1940), who was a politician, statesman and twice Prime Minister of Japan. Although, Kido Takayoshi (1833 – 1877), a statesman during the Meiji Restoration, pursued her and promised to pay for her stage costumes, he died before he kept his word. After Kido’s death, Ito Hirobumi (1841 – 1909), four times Prime Minister of Japan, paid for her costumes in his stead, but she jilted Ito to become the mistress of Mitsui Gen’emon (1867 – 1945), a noted businessman.


Her name is written in kanji on the reverse, sometimes with the honourable prefix O (お), e.g. O-Kayo.

  • lucas kathy 2y

    This text may be value everyone’s attention. How will I learn more?

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  • Blue Ruin 1 PRO 2y

    lucas kathy There is very little written about Era Kayo in English, except for passing mentions in the history of the Meiji Restoration period. Most of the information about her is in Japanese bijin (beautiful people) books or websites.

    If you want to find out more about her, I suggest you search the kanji for her name 江良加代 on google.

    I have included a little bit more information about her under the following photo:

    Maiko Kayo in a Crow and Wisteria Kimono 1876 by Blue Ruin1
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