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One Hundred Beauties in Takasago-zome Light Kimono - Beauty and Hydrangea  by Shinsui Ito 1898-1972

Beauty and Hydrangea - Ad for "Takasago-zome" dyeing process. LITHOGRAPH by Shinsui Ito Series, "Takasago-zome Yoku-i Bijin Hyaku Shi" One Hundred Beauties in Takasago-zome Light Kimono

中村 大三郎 Nakamura Daizaburo (1898-1947)

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The nape (komata) is the part of the body considered focal in Japanese eroticism. While all the face and the remaining visible part of the neck is completely painted in white, the geisha will leave a “V” shape unpainted to enhance the sensuality of this area. For special occasions, for instance when a maiko becomes a geisha, they leave three lines forming a “W” unpainted. The naked skin shown on the nape is a veiled reference to other intimate parts men would be longing to discover.

The art of being a geisha partially lies in the meticulous application of her make-up. Let’s discover its history and characteristics…