Ponta in a Summer Kimono 1896

Ponta was a famous Hangyoku (Young Geisha) of the Shinbashi hanamachi (geisha district) in Tokyo.


This image appears in a couple of different publications by Kazumasa Ogawa, including the booklet entitled “Photographs of Japanese Customs and Manners”, first published in 1898, which has the following caption:


“A Japanese Belle – This represents a fair type of Japanese beauty. She is in her [tasteful] summer dress, and is in the attitude of taking a breeze on a verandah which is always attached to the back of a house facing the garden. A polygonal paper lantern, with long paper [tassels], is a common decoration to be seen in a Japanese home during the hot season. The pose of a fair maiden such as represented in this picture in a light summer robe, holding a fan, is a favorite subject for Japanese artists.”


See: www.baxleystamps.com/litho/ogawa/ogawa_customs_manners_44...

  • rosarote PRO 3y

    Great photo. I wonder if this was taken as part of a beauty contest, like similar ones by Ogawa?

  • Blue Ruin 1 PRO 3y

    rosarote This photograph might well have been taken for a beauty contest like the one you mention. Her good friend O-Yen (Oen) was the youngest contestant in the 1891 contest (above), Ponta was three years younger than O-Yen and would only have been 9 or 10 years old at the time. However, both of them were frequent models in Ogawa’s photographic books.

    You can certainly see Ogawa's hand in the styling a the photograph and the pose of the model.
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Taken on June 22, 2012
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