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.”