The Magic of Disney

A few nice Photos images I found:

The Magic of Disney

Image by Stuck in Customs
If you want to see how I made this (and how you can too!), visit my HDR Tutorial. I hope it gives you some new tricks!

This was taken this evening at MGM Studios in Disney World before we went to go see the big fireworks show. The only problem with making your family and 6-year-old son (he is now 8) stand around while you set up your tripod and take a bunch of shots is that it gives them ample opportunity to see little toys they cannot live without.

I took so long to nail this shot that we ended up buying two things that lit up in garish colors and made a lot of racket.

This is a 5 exposure HDR shot at 100 ISO. Whenever there is anything like streaming lights, sun rays, search lights, and the like, the HDR process always makes them pop a bit.

from my daily photo blog at


Image by Okinawa Soba
Yes, I know this is a long caption. It was put up in batches, and needs a good "once over" by a sympathetic editor. One of these days I will cut it in half. Until then, here you go…

GEISHA. Also correctly called "GEISHA GIRLS", "GEIKO" [down in Kyoto], and "SINGING GIRLS". GEIGI is another form, but I don’t personally know anyone who uses this more obscure tag, and have not seen it used in the standard old references from the Meiji and Taisho eras. In any case, the generic term that covers all the variations is GEISHA.

MAIKO. In the old photo captions, Geisha-to-be understudies, were commonly called "DANCING GIRLS" (a close English translation of MAIKO). However, in Japanese speech and writing, they were often referred to as HANGYOKU (reference to costing half-as-much as a Geisha to hire for your party), and OSAHKU (the one who pours drinks). Of the three terms, one early Japanese writer on the world of the Geisha personally used the word OSHAKU more than he did MAIKO.

The post-WW2 squabble over the use of the term "GEISHA GIRLS" (as opposed to just plain "GEISHA") is discussed at the bottom of this flickr caption.



WHAT FOLLOWS IS SOME STRAIGHT TALK ABOUT THE GEISHA, and include short sections on relevant topics such as MIZUAGE; why some people confuse Geisha with PROSTITUTES; a look at SEXUAL MORES and the LOVE LIFE of the Geisha; and her job as an ENTERTAINER in a wide variety of venues from WILD PARTIES HELD ON BOATS to DINNER SHOWS held in the BROTHEL DISTRICTS. And of course, the reason she is here on Flickr in the first place — the Geisha’s job as a PHOTOGRAPHER’S MODEL.

The life and labors of a GEISHA in old Meiji-era Japan was a far cry from the anachronistic, though still pretty and talented Geisha of the 21st Century. Way back during the Meiji-era time of these photos, she was truly an integral part of Japanese society who was called upon for numerous social functions and odd "media" related jobs that sometimes took her far from the "Geisha House" we usually associate her with. The Geisha were very busy girls !

First, a few words about the above photo, and then we’ll get right to the REAL DEAL concerning these iconic symbols of "classic" old Japan.

THE ABOVE PHOTO is one of 260 hand-tinted, real albumen photographs tipped into the best editions of the 10-volume JAPAN — DESCRIBED AND ILLUSTRATED BY THE JAPANESE (Published in Boston, USA in1897).

It was probably taken ca.1890-96 by K. OGAWA in his Tokyo studio.…

Although there were plenty of other Geisha photos in this publication, the above image was chosen by the Japanese themselves to illustrate the only short but important statement in the book that specifically defined what a Geisha really did with her professional time. (The full statement is transcribed further below in this caption). I have amplified those comments with confirming descriptions from other sources.

There is quite a bit about the Geisha already on-line. Some of it is very good. The below is just my particular take on it. Some of what I say below will jive with what you see elsewhere, and other statements I make might be at odds with what you know. Some discrepancies might be due to my focus on the realities of Geisha life 100 years ago, whereas you might be thinking strictly of Geisha who inhabit 21st Century Japan. There is lots of overlap between the two worlds, but there are also differences.

No doubt, my life in Japan, and former profession as a photographer there had something to to with driving me to make this Geisha statement on my photostream. I hope that something in both the content and links will be of some value to you.




[GEIKO is a Kyoto term for a GEISHA. Same thing. Six of one, Half a dozen of another]

The first character GEI 芸 is usually translated into English as Art, or the Arts.

The second character SHA 者 simply means Person, or Person who does.

Together they mean A person of the Arts. Therefore……ARTIST, or PERFORMING ARTIST.

Some translations say "ACCOMPLISHED PERSON"

That’s simple enough.




The two Chinese characters for GEISHA are specifically reserved for the women in this so-named Geisha profession who have been trained from childhood in the Performing Arts such as Music, Dance, Speaking, or Singing for the purpose of entertaining others in venues clearly defined for them.

ENTERTAINERS is probably a better translation of the word, but that, too, is far from sufficient, and is more likely to conjure up images of Stand-up comedians or Lounge Singers in a Las Vegas Night Club act. Besides, there is already a general Japanese word for TV Personalities and "entertainers" in this category : 芸 能 人 GEI NOH JIN. (Notice that the first part of that word also uses the same 芸 GEI character used in GEISHA).

Actually, there is no good English equivalent for 芸 者, as the Geisha is purely a Japanese phenomena. Not even their neighbors, Korea and China came up with the exact same thing. Thus, it is simply better to use the word Geisha, and simply know what the word entails when you are talking about her.

IMPORTANT QUESTION : Returning to something already touched on above, if "Geisha" literally means "Artist" (or "A Person of the Arts"), then what words(s) do the Japanese use for other "Artists" like painters, sculptors, potters, engravers, and etc ?

EASY ANSWER : There are many other words in Japanese to describe the various artistic disciplines and art related subjects (some that use the same written character GEI 芸 of GEISHA as a part of the word or words, and others that do not include GEI). This goes for the different Japanese words used for Artists who are painters, potters, engravers, sculptors, and etc.

Even in English, we know that a RECORDING ARTIST is not the same as an artist like PICASSO or MICHELANGELO. The Japanese language is the same, and they have everybody covered with the right words and titles for whatever the heck they do.




The GEISHA (along with their MAIKO understudies) were in a class of their own.

Beautiful, talented, intelligent, and quick-witted — they were also, on occasion, full of passion for the men that pursued them.

Although it is understood that they were NOT prostitutes, what they did in the old days (and even what they do now) has always been a little bit fuzzier in most peoples minds. The most common [and partly accurate] perception is this :

The "Geisha Girl" sings and dances the night away while pouring drinks, serving endless plates of hors d’œuvres, lighting the customers tobacco, making witty small talk, raising eyebrows and heartbeats with coy looks and innuendo, and building the egos of the male clientele — all at drunken dinner parties held in the secluded, private "restaurants" attached to the famous Geisha Houses of the larger towns and cities.

Yes. She did do that. But in most cases, the Geisha of Japan entertained men at TEA HOUSES (Ochaya) scattered all over the open country and in urban Geisha districts.

In the larger cities, she was also called on to provide "pre-show" entertainment to guests in the "Yoshiwara" brothel districts, prior to the customer moving on to another room for his encounter with a chosen prostitute. (This is discussed farther down in the caption).

While being hired out to these various venues via strict protocol (and unless she was a free agent) she would live at an OKIYA — a type of "boarding house" for Geisha and Maiko.

But, there’s more….


Geisha were also hired to "man the parade floats" and other stages set up for open-air, public performances during certain festivals. They would sing and dance, and also put on little skits and plays for the merry-making public crowds.

These exhibitions were held both in public park areas, as well as inside the walls of the "Yoshiwara" red-light districts.

And from the late-1870s to the early 1920s — the time of the photographs found on this photostream — there was also this very important aspect of a Geisha’s employment….


I have mentioned in some of my captions that the Geisha also served as models for the photographers, donning all sorts of garb to portray all classes of women in Japan. Some comments from flickr users expressed surprise (and doubt) that they were also "models", and wondered if that was really so.

Yes. Before the advent of Movie Stars, Takarazuka Girls, and "Professional Models", that was really so. From roughly the 1870s until the early-1920s, Geisha pretty much owned the world of fashion and character modeling throughout the photo studios of Japan. Please read this caption (and observe the photo) very carefully :

But again, there’s more. Here’s another living witness from the past……


Professional Photographer HERBERT PONTING, who spent many years in Japan during the last decade of the Meiji era, was highly enamored with the Geisha, and hired them to appear in many of his commercial photographs.

Ponting , who was well aware of how the west perceived the Geisha, wrote in both defense and praise of them in his 1910 book , LOTUS-LAND JAPAN. In addition to his extensive use of the Geisha as hired models, he was also careful to explain that not only were they the entertainers at the dinner parties and tea houses already mentioned above, but also in popular demand to…..

(1) accompany the DINNER BOATS as companions and entertainers as they plied the waterways of parks and rivers…


(2) take part in outdoor PICNIC events.

Keeping the above in mind, we will now expand the duties of the Geisha even more ! Here is the interesting and concise "MANIFOLD DUTIES statement referred to at the beginning of this caption, written in 1897 by the Japanese themselves during the Meiji era, in order to clarify a few things for those foreigners who erroneously thought that "real Geisha only work in Geisha Houses" :

♥ ♥ ♥


"……..A geisha receives from early childhood an elaborate training under severe discipline to fit her for the MANIFOLD DUTIES that await her. She is taught etiquette, grace, polite speech, playing on musical instruments, singing and dancing. She must learn GAMES, the SERVICE OF BANQUETS and WEDDINGS, and the art of dressing and making herself attractive. Her services are in demand at PUBLIC and PRIVATE ENTERTAINMENTS, and occasions of SOCIAL FESTIVITIES. She is purchased from her parents in early childhood under a contract by which for many years all she earns belongs to her employer…….."

♥ ♥ ♥


Note again that her "services were in demand". By arrangement with the many Geisha Houses, THIRD PARTY businesses and "event coordinators" could hire the Geisha Girls as greeters, companions, helpers, up-scale waitresses and servers, special receptionists, singers, dancers, and at festival times, leaders of the games and fun — and yes, even as the popular and ubiquitous models for most of the photographic images portraying the various classes of Japanese women (from a Farmers wife to a mythical Goddess, if need be) in most of the classic photos from the Meiji era [1868-1912]. (See the above link to commentary that explains the increasing involvement of the Geisha as photographers models during the last half of the Meiji-era.)

Other books written later would further expand on the details of a Geisha’s life, explaining in many ways how she was an indispensable part of Japanese life and culture, as interwoven with the flow of society as were the silken threads of her Kimono.


The Geisha served…..

(1) …..the festival-going, picnicking, partying, and ceremony-attending PUBLIC — both at indoor and outdoor venues at locations ranging from "RESTAURANT DINNER BOATS", to WEDDING RECEPTIONS, to staged events in the LOCAL PARKS.

(2) …..the rabble-rousing PRIVATE CUSTOMERS at parties held in banquet halls, tea houses, and the restaurants of the Geisha districts, and popular tourist locales…..

(3) …..the PHOTOGRAPHERS who needed poised and pretty models who knew how to take direction as they posed in all manner of studio dress…and sometimes undress.

(4)….the looky-loo tourists who partied in the Yoshiwara Red-light districts, and the hordes of men who wanted some song and dance entertainment before hooking up with prostitutes ! The famous NECTARINE No.9 and the other ubiquitous brothels of Japan usually had contingents of Geisha under contract to do this non-sexual entertaining.

Unlike the largely "decorative, anachronistic" Geisha of today, the Geisha of the Meiji-era were an integral, broadly functioning part of the society that gave birth to their very existence.



This problem is often complained about, but rarely (or never) explained.

The Okinawa Soba answer to this question is an important one, so log it in your brain. I am also writing this to help instill a bit of patience in the hearts of Geisha-lovers who might be tempted to quickly pounce with disdain on those who, lacking a more intimate knowledge of the subject, continue to confuse Geisha with prostitutes.

Although everyone familiar with Geisha realities understands that they practiced their arts and entertainments in designated TEA HOUSES and GEISHA DISTRICTS, it has been generally forgotten that one of the other main entertainment venues for the GEISHA was in the YOSHIWARA [or "Red Light" Districts] found in the major cities scattered throughout Japan.

To say that a good portion of the hi-class "real world" Geisha of old Japan were inseparable from their non-sexual working association with Brothels might be hard to take for some modern "Geisha purists", but the fact remains that houses of prostitution is where fame and fortune awaited many of these talented women.

Even in Kyoto, there were some Geisha attached to Brothels whose talent and reputations exceeded that of the "Gion Girls" and their lively sisters along the banks of the Kamo River.


Geisha were hired by Brothels to provide entertainment for waiting guests, as well as to be in attendance at various festivals and outdoor venues within the walls of the Yoshiwara. Geisha could be seen walking around, and riding in jinrikisha as they went to-and-fro about their business.

Many visitors — both the curious looky-loos and the real "Johns" — sometimes made false assumptions about the women they saw, based on lack of knowledge about the broader female society that existed within the walls of these pleasure districts.

Both Japanese and foreign men who traveled from city and country-side to "get laid" would often partake of entertainment provided by Geisha — usually some song and dance while eating dinner or a light snack — prior to heading off to the rooms where the prostitutes awaited them.

Even the famous brothels — usually seen in the old photos with prostitutes lining the balconies — had large contingents of Geisha working for them to provide guest entertainment.

The fact that numerous Geisha worked inside these brothels in a non-sexual capacity, and were generally seen in their comings-and-goings throughout the Yoshiwara, would obviously lead to misunderstandings on the part of some guests — especially the FOREIGN men — who were not always clear about the distinctions of the various women they saw.

Over time, both writings and rumors proffered by some of these guests led to general confusion amongst the uninformed, who were not (and are still not) able to separate the two in their minds.

It might have greatly helped to quell the confusion if the Geisha held their dinners and other entertainments only outside of the Yoshiwara areas (prior to sending their customers on their way by ‘rickshaw to the "other side of town"), but such was not the case; the "Red Light Districts" — just like the dedicated "Geisha Districts" — were filled with Geisha at all hours of the day and night.

Again, the hard-working Geisha inside the Yoshiwara districts — many of whom the less-than-knowledgeable patrons could not tell apart from the working Prostitutes — wound up getting lumped together in stories about Japan, told by transient tourists and sailors to anyone who would listen upon their return home.

So, now you know. Understanding this will help you "Geisha Lovers" (who bristle at the ignorance shown by those who think the Geisha are prostitutes) to summon up a bit of patience as you kindly correct and explain the difference between the two very different professions.



Depending on who you talk to, or what book you read, questions involving possible sexual aspects of graduating from Maiko to the rank of Geisha (or Geiko) — a ceremony or rite-of-passage called mizuage — cannot be avoided in any full discussion of the Geisha.

Some modern-day Geisha are adamant that the term mizuage, when applied to the world of the Geisha, is a non-sexual term of ceremony or graduation when a Maiko attains the rank of Geisha. Geisha taking this position today say that only the Oiran (high class prostitutes) used the term mizuage for the ritual deflowering — that is, the auctioning off of a younger girl’s virginity to the highest bidder — when describing the initiation of their young Kamuro understudies into the actual business of prostitution.

Those who adamantly take this position are correct, but only as far as it applies to the world of Maiko and Geisha of today.

(NOTE: Oiran and Tayuu are still around today, but have been "de-fanged" of their prostitution activities, and exist only to parade around as "cultural shells" of a bye-gone era. However, taking away their true sexual purpose as prostitutes, while still calling them Oiran and Tayuu is about as nonsensical as calling a guy a SAMURAI when he’s just posing in some old armor and swinging a plastic sword around.)

Keep in mind that, "Today" and "Yesterday" are two different worlds, and when reading the documentary narratives of the Meiji era of 100 years ago or more, one cannot escape the fact that Maiko attached to most (and possibly all) Geisha Houses during the pre-WW2 Meiji, Taisho, and early Showa eras did experience a sexual initiation into the rank and world of the Geisha.

AGAIN : The experts are right when they say that "Mizuage" as a sexual initiation (or rite-of-passage) for Maiko is no longer practiced. However, those who say "it never happened in the past except in the case of prostitutes" are completely wrong.

Although the old books and testimony of history are clear that many different ceremonies accompanied what was called Mizuage, they are also clear that sexual initiation was a part of it — obviously this was true for the world of prostitution, but also held true in the world of the Geisha. Here is a modern comment derived from someone well-respected when discussing these matters :

"…..During the Edo period, courtesans’ [prostitutes] undergoing mizuage were sponsored by a patron who had the right of taking their virginity. This practice became illegal in 1959. All maikos had to go through this ceremony in order to become a full fledged geisha. Once the mizuage patron’s function was served (of deflowering the young maiko) he was to have no further [sexual] relations with the girl.

Mizuage was not considered by geisha to be an act of prostitution. The ceremonial deflowering of the Geisha [-to-be] is not only a rite of passage, but a commercial transaction. The money acquired for a maiko’s mizuage was a great sum and it was used to promote her debut as a geisha……"

Liza Dalby is quoted in more detail here :

Referring to comments already made concerning the sexual deflowering of a Maiko, it should be obvious that the phrase "no longer practiced" clearly says that it was practiced.

Further, concerning the use and understanding of the word mizuage, what might have been the exact customs of the Geiko working in the Gion or Pontocho districts of Kyoto, might not have been the custom of the Geisha in Tokyo, Yokohama, or elsewhere in Japan. This remains a gray area of study with both regional differences and pre-and-post WW2 differences not completely addressed.

Unfortunately, no matter how orderly the "mizuage at the time of graduation" might sound, there were Geisha House owners who allowed high-paying customers to "initiate" the Maiko almost as soon as they arrived (!), long before any graduation to the rank of Geisha. That’s just the way is was.

Read this caption about the experience of the Geisha TERUHA — who was sexually deflowered as a 13-year-old Maiko — as a representative experience that must be considered in any discussion of mizuage, and the child-Maiko’s initiation into the Willow World of adult male patrons.

By the way, the "Federal" age of consent in Japan remains as 13 even in the 21st Century. The "No, it’s age 18" thing that Japan recently put up in the 1990s is actually a "misdirection law" or "facade regulation" to show Western countries that Japan is "civilized"…. and which all 13 to 17 year old girls easily get around with enjo kosai dating, and any other number of maneuvers…none of which are pursued or prosecuted by the authorities.

About once a year, the Japanese police will arrest a 16 or 17 year old "Soap Land" prostitute to prove to Western nations that Japan is cracking down hard on vice…upon which they return to their normal duties of patrolling and protecting the red-light districts…including the protection of the girl they arrested who has also returned to her profession in the "Soap Land", Cabaret", "Ryokan" and etc.



To be a Maiko or Geisha meant you must be "single" — that is to say, not legally married. But the Geisha were human beings, and their "sisterhood" reflected the world at large when it came to matters of love and romance. The difference was how the Geisha were allowed to handle these "affairs of the heart" while still working within the rules of their profession.

Amongst them were those who fell passionately in love with a customer or patron — whether he be married or single — and she would become his mistress or lover on the side. That some (or even many) Geisha entered into these "dedicated and monogamous sexual relationships" with "patrons" who provided certain remuneration to their Geisha mistresses or lovers seems beyond dispute.

NOTE : While the above paragraph seems to state the understood "ideal" of "honorable Geisha-hood", a pre-WW2 Japanese writer on the subject felt that truly monogamous Geisha were a rare thing, and that the "norm" for Geisha was to juggle a few good patrons at the same time — at least as many as could be effectually alternated without them bumping into each other. Keep in mind that this was one writers opinion, and there are no personal anecdotes or "Geisha paramour statistics" to back up these suppositions. If such really was the norm, just how many of a Geisha’s "personal harem" were for "Love", and how many were for "Money" is something I will leave up to your imagination. In any case, even if a Geisha was discretely rotating a few men at one time, she was still not considered a prostitute. If it was today, American teenagers would probably call her a slut.

No doubt there were gold-diggers, too, and lesbians as well. And who’s not to say that many of them were just like many Japanese girls of today — totally lacking a libido of any kind.

Perhaps (unfortunately) it is the stories of those Geisha who did enter into "private, sexual relationships" — some developed while still teenagers — that has led to confusion about mizuage in specific, and the generally persistent but entirely mistaken notion that the Geisha was some kind of prostitute.

Suffice it to say, the Geisha were not prostitutes — either then, or now.

As just mentioned, the Geisha were all unmarried. However, they were also free to marry, though marriage brought an automatic end to their career as a Geisha. Like all human beings everywhere, some had happy marriages, some were only tolerable, and other ended in divorce. The famous Geisha TERUHA was married and divorced a few times, as well as having lived in a lesbian relationship for a while. She also had a daughter.…

Okinawa Soba has a friend who married a true Geisha. They are now happily married with a cute n’ spunky little daughter who’s a karate nut.

In any case, the Geishas everyday lives and the jobs they worked at were usually far from the romantic, and often highly-charged, sexualized images attached to them by romantic writers from the West.

In general, the Geisha were a hard-working lot who — looking back on those times — deserve far more respect for their contributions to Japan than most of the sleezy Politicians, Bankers, and Bureaucrats who formed a part of their regular customers and patrons.

Keep in mind that MOST of the female subjects depicted on the classic "UKIYOE" woodblock prints of old Japan were PROSTITUTES from the YOSHIWARA ("Red Light Districts"), and not Geisha.



There were independent Geisha — usually from among the more famous or popular girls who had "paid their dues" — who lived outside the dictates of a "Geisha House Mama", and plied their trade as "free lancers".


Please note that many of the Geisha who appear half naked in my "BABES & BOOBS" set were the NEXT DAY probably busy at any number of venues — attending a wedding (as servers, helpers, and entertainers), at a public festival (dancing, singing, escorting guests, or playing games with the visitors — both young and old), or entertaining VIPs at a private banquet or ceremonial reception.

The occasional use of prostitutes by Yokohama photographers to appear as topless models in studio shots seems to have been during the first half of the Meiji-era. By the 1880s, the transition to using Geisha and Maiko as models had already begun in earnest, and most of the "nudes" seen today from the "Yokohama Albums" and the ubiquitous "penny postcards" are really Geisha, and not prostitutes.…



I have often expressed an opinion of modern-day Geisha being nothing more than "empty shells" of days gone by. However, I having seen the error of my ways, I duly REPENT…..sort of.

While it is a FACT that the Geisha of 100 years ago and more were a "necessary", integral, ubiquitous working part of broad swaths of Japanese society — and that the Geisha of today are NOT "integral — it is only fair to acknowledge the value of modern-day Geisha as "living encyclopedias" of an age gone by.

The modern Geisha keep alive the songs, musical heritage, classic conversational banter, games, stunts, and especially the immaculate hair, makeup, and beautiful kimono kitsuke seen in the old Studio Photos of the Meiji era. Their dedication to preserving this once-ubiquitous part of Japan’s social life clearly sets these modern-day girls and women apart.

And positive changes make the doing-it-by-choice 21st Century Geisha more appealing as a cultural institution than their original "sisters" who were sold into the business as children.

Stripped of need to draw on the sale of little girls to maintain their ranks, and of the custom of selling off the virginity of the 13-year-old Maiko to local bankers and bureaucrats, they are now above reproach in that regard, and their "decorative presence" for shutter-bugs and anachromaniacs has been nicely cleansed of such distasteful "culture".

On the other hand, their place in society no longer has the broad reach and involvement in the everyday life of Japan as it once did, and they have found themselves reduced in many ways to a niche, cultural decoration….not unlike the once-ubiquitous and socially functional Kimono that, for most of the young women across Japan, now comes out only on special occasions.

That being said, the Geisha must be recognized as "decorations with substance" — a "cultural anachronism" that, even in their smaller numbers, still defines a large part of the world’s romantic image of Japan.

Although the Geisha have now withdrawn behind the walls of the Okiya and Ochaya [Tea Houses] and specialized venues where the bulk of their entertaining now goes on, their talents in that smaller sphere — provided for a smaller range of clientele — are no less than what they were 100 years ago.

Just for fun, here’s an example of the many odd "games" passed down by the Geisha from at least the 19th century (and probably earlier) this little maneuver done by two Geisha is illustrative of the discipline and care given to maintaining and passing on traditions. Please look at the OLD PHOTO first (and my goofy caption), and then click to see the 21st CENTURY VIDEO of the same eclectic moves :

Again, no matter how anachronistic these girls might be, they remain as pretty and talented as ever — a favorite subject for never-ending hordes of camera-toting tourists and locals hoping to catch a glimpse of them, and fodder for any number of books that try to "explain them" to the world.

I seriously doubt that they will ever disappear from the varied landscape that makes Japan the unique place that it is…and in that sense, the Geisha will always be — even more so now than in the past — the Immortal Geisha of a dream inside a fantasy, all wrapped in a mystery…

* * * * * * * * * *

NOTE : While the TECHNICAL descendants of the Geisha continue to ply their trade in Kyoto and other cities large and small, the PRACTICAL descendants scattered throughout Japan are now called BAR GIRLS or HOSTESSES who work in what are generally called "Snack" and "Lounge" bars — multi-story buildings and entire districts given over to their trade.

In one sense, you could call these Snack Bar Gals the "Poor Man’s Geisha" because they are accessible to anybody with at least ¥2,000 to spare. At least that’s what poor salarymen tell themselves, and then end up spending at least ¥10,000…. !

At the higher-class Lounges, Bar Girls in Kimono entertain Company Presidents, Gangsters, and Politicians (sometimes there is no difference between these three) and it is not uncommon for these customers to drop at least ¥50,000 a night to chat these women…hoping to score big-time, or gain a mistress along the way.

I have made a more light-hearted comment about these modern Bar Girls / Hostesses at this old photo of a couple of Geisha having a beer during their day off in a park :

I hope the above photo and straightforward caption was helpful.



A Defense of the Compound Term "…GEISHA GIRLS…"

Several modern-day Websites and hard-copy sources that deal with (and attempt to correct) the eternally false perception that the GEISHA are a particular breed of Japanese prostitutes, usually say something like the following :

"…..The term "Geisha Girl" or "Geisha Girls" should never be used in reference to the true Geisha — either in the singular, or as a class description — as that term carries a connotation of prostitution, and refers to the class of prostitutes who, during the American Occupation of Japan following WW2, dressed in varied approximations of the true Geisha (and even called themselves Geisha) in order to lure young servicemen who only had nominal and exotic expectations based pre-existing false perceptions passed down by the ignorant and misinformed…."

In fact, the Wikipedia has this to say :

"….."Geisha girls"

"Geisha girls" were Japanese women who worked as prostitutes during the period of the Allied Occupation of Japan. They almost exclusively serviced American GIs stationed in the country, who incorrectly referred to them as "Geesha girls." The term is a mispronunciation of the word geisha. The mispronunciation persists among some Westerners.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that these women dressed in kimono and imitated the look of geisha. Americans unfamiliar with the Japanese culture could not tell the difference between legitimate geisha and these costumed prostitutes. Shortly after their arrival in 1945, occupying American GIs are said to have congregated on the Ginza and shouted in unison, "We want geesha girls!"

Eventually, the term "geisha girl" became a general word for any female Japanese prostitute or worker in the mizu shobai ["water business"] and included bar hostesses and streetwalkers.

Geisha girls are speculated by researchers to be largely responsible for the continuing misconception in the West that all geisha engaged in prostitution….."

To be honest, such pronouncements do sound very authoritative, and seem to settle the matter that the use of the term "Geisha Girls" — when referring to actual Geisha — is a complete no-no, such use simply reflecting the ignorance of the user.

Due to such indoctrination of today’s lover of all things Geisha. Okinawa Soba understands that this is how the term is general regarded today, and due to this sensitivity, I respect those do not want themselves or others to use the term "Geisha Girls" when referring to modern-day Geisha.

However…..the WIKIPEDIA and all the rest who toe this line are more confused than the poor G.I.s they are writing about.

Okinawa_Soba now goes on public record to inform all who read this that the so-called "scholarship" that produced (and still does produce) such post-WW2 anecdotal folk histories and condemnation of the term "Geisha Girls" is — generally speaking — simply the result of these writers placing their trust in other post-WW2 writers on the subject who were also copying others like them ad infinitum — none of whom ever took a serious look at (or gained an understanding of) the myriad pre-WW2 19th Century and early 20th Century uses of the term "Geisha Girls".

The sad result is that these amateur "scholars" and historical "spin doctors" have ruined the perfectly historical, valid, and acceptable use of the term GEISHA GIRLS.

First of all, the reason the American G.I.s used the term "Geisha Girls" was because that was a perfectly acceptable word for the true Geisha in the world they, their parents, and their grand-parents lived in. The fact that US Army Private Zeke from Battle Creek couldn’t tell the difference between a real Geisha and a prostitute in a Kimono had nothing to do with the already well-established use of the term "Geisha Girls".

Similarly, in the days after WW2, the term "Geisha Girl" no more (and no less) carried the connotation of "Prostitute" than did the term "Geisha". Geisha Girl and Geisha were equally acceptable terms for an actual Geisha even after WW2 (just as they were before WW2), and both terms were equally afflicted with the general confusion and long-running misunderstanding of what a Geisha really was.

The artificial division between the two terms is a late Western construct devised by a few well-meaning souls who wanted to protect the realm of the true Geisha, though while doing so remained (1) in complete ignorance of the original equality of the terms, and (2) not understanding that the young men of the Occupation Forces generally labored under the old and false assumption handed down to them that the Geisha were some kind of prostitute.

During the 19th and early 20th Centuries — the period of time during which the Geisha images on my photostream were taken, and during which time the Geisha were effusively written about and explained to the adoring world by both the Japanese, and foreigners in the know — the terms "Geisha" and "Geisha Girls" were used interchangeably with respect and approval across all forms of media. Books, Magazines, Newspapers, Periodicals, Photo captions, Stereoview captions, Commercial Products from that time can all be found using the terms "Geisha Girl" or "Geisha Girls" when describing the true Geisha, and not prostitutes.

Even in the Japanese language, the root of "Geisha Girl" can be found in the earlier appellation of Onna Geisha (女芸者) — "Woman Geisha" or "Girl Geisha", used to differentiate them from the male Geisha (or court entertainers).

Here is one example of thousands, and this by a Japanese writer also conversant in English :

If you are going to allow your modern-day use (or condemnation of) the historically-correct, bona fide term "Geisha Girls" to be dictated to you by a few lazy-assed American G.I.s and some prostitutes who wore Kimonos instead of skirts — along with late-20th Century, high-sounding, copy-cat "scholars" who never cracked open a book older than 1945 — then please go right ahead. Language and usage does change and Okinawa Soba will not stand in the way of it, even if the change is, regrettably, brought about by ignorance, as is the case here. You can’t unscramble scrambled eggs.

In the meantime, and in temporary deference to those who have (unfortunately) adjusted to the uncalled-for change in English usage, I will not call the modern Geisha of Japan "Geisha Girls here in my Flickr captions.

However, as concerns the Geisha in the old photos I post on this photostream, Okinawa_Soba will continue my absolutely correct, historical, affectionate, occasional and respectful use of the term "Geisha Girls" to refer to true Geisha of the pre-WW2 Meiji and Taisho eras throughout my photo titles and captions. And not only that, you can, too !

Outside of flickr, I will continue to call the modern Geisha of Japan Geisha Girls if I want to, and am fully prepared to answer on the spot those impassioned souls who, in their own ignorance, wrongly accuse me of being ignorant for calling a Geisha a Geisha Girl !

NOTE: I still call a “Female Cabin Attendant” a Stewardess, and don’t object when, in the 21st Century, the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awards the Oscar for Best Actress.


Now,excuse me while I return to writing my normally wacky titles and goofy captions that spoof our oft-misguided perceptions of old Japan.


  1. T in CHINA - Until they grow Tea i Switzerland : ) says:

    I knew I shouldnt have had blue cheese before bedtime

  2. razik says:
  3. rivadock4 says:

    This is unique. Very 3D.

  4. Lumiere2005 says:

    Great photo…I love the purple lights !!!

  5. (Andrew) says:

    Wow fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Seen on my Flickr home page. (?)

  6. james acklin says:

    This is more than a little disturbing. Great shot!

  7. SergioRT says:

    This is… magnificent!

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  8. ftoomschb says:

    …made more magical. Gorgeous work.

  9. wphj says:


    Your photos make me run out of new adjectives…

  10. SueZeeCue says:

    This is so very cool on so many levels!

  11. mona, eh says:

    That’s was the first Disney park I worked at.

    I’m jealous you got to go. The long exposure and treatment made it look ‘magical’

    Seen on my Flickr home page. (?)

  12. Gary Wong Photography says:

    wow….nicely done…..

  13. John King IV says:

    This is magical, Disney is always great!

  14. ZuRe says:

    Absolute magic mate!

  15. Ivan Makarov says:

    To give justice to the magic of Disney World one can only really do it in HDR. Well done, Trey.

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  16. grufti says:

    This Great Photographic Art was made by a Diamond Class Photographer!
    Please add your photo to Flicker Diamond The Diamond Class Photographer
    Read the group rules please and tag your photo DiamondClassPhotographer
    You may tag your photo again as flickrdiamond

    This is great!! Very well done!!

  17. HintOfKizzle says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called * Magical Worlds * – Comment per Post Required!, and we’d love to have your photo added to the group.

  18. Autism Mom says:

    An Awesome ShotAn Awesome Shot Award
    You are invited to add this image to An Awesome Shot!
    Please tag the photo with "AnAwesomeShot"

  19. VRfoto says:

    What a nice and incredible shot!!!

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  20. carolOnline says:

    Fantastic image. Love the color and it looks 3D on my screen. I think I want to go to Disney. Have Granddaughters, will travel.

  21. justsade says:

    slightly disturbing

  22. the-father says:

    You are my winner!
    Please add this photo to

  23. lalla80 says:

    very nice

  24. R.o.b.e.r.t.o. says:

    Nice shot!

  25. modowd says:


    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  26. CrowJay says:

    Congratulations your photo has been WOWed and awarded with a WowieKazowie!

    You are invited to join the WowieKazowie Group!

    Please tag your photo with "WowieKazowie"

  27. Spencer Jarvis says:

    wow, that hat and glove really "pop"

  28. loca64 says:

    Nice shot!

  29. DenaKel says:


  30. BMan-sama says:

    doesn’t look real…

  31. Ducatirider - The Original says:

    You should sell it to Disney, probably better than any promotion photo they have.

  32. A n d r e a s L o. says:

    Wooow!! Nice!! :-)

  33. Sandmania says:

    Awesome…this is so cooool!

  34. neilalderney123 says:

    Brilliant Trey!

  35. SAHMlovingit (aka Squiz1210) says:

    Truly magical :)

  36. Billy Hoyle says:

    I can only agree with Ducatirider!!!! unreal!!!!!

  37. Stuck in Customs says:

    Thanks all! I’m glad you like it.

  38. Baz... says:

    Niice shot

  39. ThePres says:
  40. nj dodge says:

    superb shot (twtme)

  41. extranoise says:

    perfect use of hdr

  42. Heliøs says:

    the hat and the sky are really impressive!

  43. calidoscopy says:

    Beautiful shoot. It’s surreal!

  44. fridgeirsson says:


  45. stevej_1960 says:

    Beautiful shot.

  46. Johny Day says:

    Magical photo of a magical subject mix with your magical post processing deserves a magical invite ;o)

    Congrats !! Your HDR is one of the Best on Flickr ….

    I have faved and tagged your picture with Magic Donkey and this serves as an invitation toMagicDonkeyPlease read the rules. (You must be invited to four other invite only groups, and one must be either Quality or The Best: Bravo before posting here.)

    Seen in the interestingness archives. (?)

  47. sarvagyak says:

    Very nice!
    How did you get the streaks of light (in the background) right with the multipe exposures?

  48. Carlos Cazuza says:

    Wow. Cool. Well done. Congratz

  49. DennisBullockPhotography says:

    This is excellent. I love Disney!

  50. Leonardo Martins says:

    Ah! Magical!!! :-D

  51. beforethecoffee says:

    Great shot Trey. I think clouds add a nice touch with the light rays. Is Mickey giving my kids the finger? …what they teach kids today.

  52. Alex(inyoureyes) says:


    Seen on your photo stream. (?)

  53. RtOaNn says:

    love this man!

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  54. ash2276 says:


  55. Laurent Henocque says:

    Beautiful on Explore at rank 5 as seen on Darckr
    permalink to the Darckr view of your Flickr stream

  56. Giorgos~ says:

    Great great shot!!!!!!

  57. bO_s3ayD says:

    very niCE

  58. Take A Peek says:

    This is nice but I guess everyone of your HDR makes a statement…so what can I say….KUDOS!! Great work man…

  59. Dario Maurelli says:


  60. richietown says:

    this is fantastic. really well done. it is kind of a scary shot. disney scares me.

  61. cfwee says:

    Great 3D effect. Another excellent HDR. Enjoy the rides.

  62. haydesigner says:

    Nice photo.
    Disturbing content.

  63. Dorina15 says:

    Awesome picture!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I very like it!!!!

  64. songsforbears says:

    you never cease to amaze me!


  65. susan_r4 says:

    Whooowee! Spectacular alright!! Super one Trey!

  66. Mrs. Wicked Awesome says:

    Super sweet

  67. _annie_ says:

    I hate that hat. But this is a great shot of it!

  68. KaroliK says:

    How do you get these shots with no people? I always have folks moving through my shots right when I take ‘em.

  69. Stuck in Customs says:

    THanks all – Drums – the HDR bit sometimes takes all the people out by magic! :)

  70. tollen says:

    I just saw this on Explore.

  71. myfear says:

    Amazing! Great !!

    Seen on your photo stream. (?)

  72. Alison Chains says:


  73. Sandmania says:

    This is an awesome shot…looks so 3d…amazing

  74. ToniVC says:


  75. rtv75 says:

    Great details!

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  76. VJ Spectra says:

    Yep that just about takes the cake! Amazingly surreal image. Genius!

  77. macisback says:

    Really looks almost cartoonish, but it captures Disney well!

  78. tom-ek--b says:


  79. angelabams says:

    Great shot of such a Magical place too cool Trey!!

  80. The Real Ferg says:

    This is too cool, awesome shots!

  81. Valpopando says:




  82. •LATI• says:


  83. Rubba Dragon says:

    Incredible shot. I was there in February and took some pictures of that, they don’t even come close to looking that good. Bravo!

  84. Shervane says:

    Magical and fabulous!

  85. says:

    Is that heavily photoshoped or what? I have seen that hat a million times and it never came close to that!

    Vacation In Orlando Florida

  86. Kuby! [Away for a while] says:

    Magic of Disney meets the Magic of Trey!! Great image!!!

  87. shapeshift says:

    wow, this is so great. it’s totally surreal…

  88. Pixelin Pictures says:

    Es un sueño!!! Woooww!!! Fantático!

  89. fotoJENica says:

    Great shot… this is very beautiful!!!

  90. TM23 (Taking a Break from Flickr!) says:

    Beautiful nightshot!

  91. simrosebud1961 says:

    Beautiful shot the colors are fabulous.

  92. BradMcGonigle says:

    Amazing looking. I live in Orlando and that’s probably the single best photo of Disney I’ve seen. How many pictures are put into the HDR?

  93. mihn says:

    cool =]

  94. kristofferdahl says:
  95. Stuck in Customs says:

    Thanks all – glad you like it!

    I do about 75% of my shots via HDR – I have a tutorial up at

  96. nrose101 says:

    Similar photos can be found at by Tim Devine.

  97. Derek Purdy says:

    Truly Amazing!

  98. Tom O'Neill says:

    I think this photo is a
    Super Shot
    Please add your photo to
    After you add it to the group pool, please tag this photo as a SuperShot

    Seen on the Web. (?)

  99. Prizas says:

    Awesome picture. Kudos on the HDR tutorial

  100. Calico182 says:

    incredible shot!

  101. Lord-Lance says:

    Looks great!


  102. Krypto says:

    Best HDR shot I’ve seen – fantastic! Found via BoingBoing.

  103. alucard835 says:

    Wow definitely one of the best HDR’s I’ve seen.

  104. ultimate_ed says:

    Very nice!

  105. paurian says:

    Fantastic use of HDR!

  106. kainet says:

    surreal! almost looks computer generated… awesome!

  107. MrGrigg says:
  108. PTOONE says:

    Yeah, great shot! Sorry someone ripped it off.

  109. andreriekes says:

    Great memories, great shot.

  110. mac_raw says:

    wow! magical!!!

    Congratulations! This beautiful image is currently (or was recently) one of Flickr’s Top 10 most interesting photos. (It is/was on page one of the calendar view.) Would you please add it to the Top 10 Interestingness pool? It would be a great addition!

  111. Big DumpTruck says:

    This image is jaw-droppingly great. I have been to Disney 10 times and I have never seen anything as gorgeous as this. Disney + HDR = Amazing amazing stuff.

  112. kgmphoto says:

    ditto above comment -What a fantastic image

  113. theseanbee says:

    “Hi, you are invited to post this lovely work to “ Oneness – Labyrinth" where it will count as three trophies towards your winning total. It gave me feelings of Love Joy and Beauty and deserves a place in the Labyrinth."

  114. ckm2005 says:

    very nice… it..

  115. hdr_okinawa says:

    The wonder of HDR, nice shot.

  116. jon madison says:

    a good HDR! hallelujah!

    very appealing, mate.

  117. CMP73 says:

    Great great shot.

  118. theevilmightyf says:


  119. Hawg.Tide says:

    One of our favorite places to be : ) Excellent!

  120. neat1325 says:

    That is awesome

  121. my_soladio says:

    nice shot! I took a similar photo when I was in Orlando. greetings from Germany

  122. Madame_Trash says:

    That’s wonderland !!!! c’est magnifique..

  123. andy castro says:

    Absolutely brilliant.

  124. southkonapapa says:

    This is unreal! Great!

  125. Leaving Flickr - Family more important says:

    Congratulations! You’ve managed to find THE PERFECT ANGLE!

    Perfect Angle Award

    You are invited to post this photo at
    Please tag your image with perfectangle

  126. Nature Photos by Scott says:

    Wow what a shot FANTASTIC !!!!!

  127. Andres Garzon says:

    wow que foto!

  128. YUxCRAKKxMIIxUPP says:

    I just got back from Disney, but I couldn’t get a nice pic of the hat in MGM. This is a pretty awsome pic though. (Check out mine too! :)

  129. The Studio B Photography Atlanta says:

    So amazing!! It’s insane. Great shot!

  130. Oº°‘¨ ß. ¯|¯. ™ ¨‘°ºO says:

    amazing shot

  131. I can't paint so i photograph says:

    nicely done…..

  132. Patrick Lauritzen | says:

    Great shot. To bad with the people though.

  133. roofable says:

    Man, this is the quintessential Disney shot! Would you consider adding it to the Roofable: Orlando Real Estate Pics group?

  134. Paola! says:

    Wonderful shot.
    Does not even look real.

  135. hdr_okinawa says:

    MY hdr photography tutorial is up at

  136. Alfonso1977 says:

    que magico es la imagen

  137. Alternative Life Photography & Design says:

    oh my god my heart stop beating for a sec! I LOVE IT! what depth and color. SO MANY MEMORIES!

  138. iceman9294 says:

    Sweet…. I was just there last night…. Got about 4 gigs of Disney stuff….. Didn’t get Minnie’s house though…

  139. s@tyros says:


  140. Proverbs 31:10 says:

    I looooooooooove all your photo stream!!!

    You are a genious!!!!!!!

  141. oregon ducatisti says:

    Wow. This is exactly what I saw with my eye and couldn’t capture with my camera. Awesome work!

  142. allaboutworld says:


  143. raspberrytart says:

    Your shots have a 3-dimensional quality to them. Very cool!

  144. iliv4bears says:

    This shot makes me want to get in the car and head to the center of the state, and see Mickey RIGHT NOW!!!

  145. coconut.merengue says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Modern Floridiana, and we’d love to have your photo added to the group.

  146. .:[yorch]:. says:

    Hola, soy el administrador de un grupo llamado the biggest buildings in HDR y nos encantaría agregar tu foto al grupo.

    Congratulations on the pictures with your daughter, I suppose. They are magnificent. As you get those colors saturate draw?


  147. stevestreet says:

    Superb image!!
    Graphic and dynamic!

  148. stuartguthriemusic says:

    Wow!!! That’s so cool. I LOVE the colours!

    Stu :-)

  149. Discaciate says:

    It looks so surreal and dreamy like.
    Perfect photo.

    Found in a search. (?)

  150. Kaunokainen says:

    ooooh :O this is my future home :P

  151. BdwayDiva1 says:

    I love this photo-it’s my desktop wallpaper! Great job!

  152. trie_boen says:

    it’s that true???

  153. Nature Photos by Scott says:

    Great shot!!!

    Disney weekend 12-14-07 070

  154. superjimmyjimbo says:

    Digg nihilists… we believe in nothing! (except Ron Paul, the iPhone, and screwing Comcast)

    great photo btw!

  155. scaturchio says:

    Great capture!

    Found in a search. (?)

  156. felix_le_chat says:

    this is amazing!

  157. lageni80 says:

    As an ex cast memeber of WDW i gotta say:
    LOve ITTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

  158. Mustangaly911 says:

    We have (7) FUN threads! @ America, America!
    Check it out* COLOR MAKES ME HAPPY! **NEW THREAD**
    PLEASE post ALL Old Glory photos in our FLAG DAY thread.
    Posting in ANY THREAD makes you eligible for the front page.
    Thank you for posting in America, America!

  159. Assaf_F says:

    Wonderful shot, great colours! great everything !

  160. davidng150 says:

    Everything about this photo is great! I went to MGM Studios a couple of weeks ago and my pictures of Mickey’s hat don’t even come close to this… great job!

  161. appleiphoneapple says:
  162. N@n!s says:


  163. jProgr says:


  164. crystalglasseyesforyoutogazeinto says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Different., and we’d love to have your photo added to the group.

  165. Sarah Lauren Photography says:

    Looking at this picture is making me want to go to Disney again! Great shot, love the lights! : )

  166. lnkn52 says:


  167. pinkyia™ says:

    wow! gr8 pic

  168. Ekz . says:

    Que excelente Foto! esta foto esta nominada
    favor de adherirla (What an amazing picture! It has been nominated, please add it)

    Solo fotos invitadas (Invite only images)

  169. stephen453 says:

    What an AMAZING shot!!!! a fave for SURE!!!

  170. [ AM ] Photography says:

    Wonderful HDR!

  171. necee_white says:

    omfg this is 2 cute i will stay there if i had 2 lol

  172. Tri_Poodle says:

    Magic at work! Wow!

  173. Eugene1959 says:


  174. Davic says:

    wow! amazing!!!

  175. A L 7 a l m a says:



  176. fofoto says:

    It’s beautiful!
    Very Nice!

  177. hopeisalot says:

    Just got to love it!

  178. alexa.wermie says:

    wow, that is amazing!

  179. rainbowlover says:

    Just amazing !!

  180. Romer Nakata says:

    Another super photo of yours. Those ghosts and light streams of various colours make it even better.

  181. The Couple Next Door says:

    I love your photo.

  182. Blair Stirrett says:

    5 Star Photo!

  183. says:

    beautiful shot

  184. POONDOG says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called PHOTOSHOP GONE WILD, and we’d love to have your photo added to the group.

  185. Totallypink. says:

    { WoOoOo ] !! ~

    [ NiCe } Taken Walla ~ =D

    KeEp { !t ] UuPp ~ *^

    ComMent Please ^_^

  186. sarah lownes says:

    this is gorgeous, i recently went to disney, and this really makes me miss it :(

  187. Growl Roar says:


  188. rimidu says:

    Awesome photo !!!!

  189. MacroMint says:

    I love the luminosity in this pic!

  190. Charlie-Kilo says:

    Great fantasmicko !!!!

  191. Walter Sánchez says:



  192. beckyannee says:

    This Is Amazing.
    I took a picture of it in the day light
    does’nt look the same so mine sucks. D:

  193. scaturchio says:


    Found in a search. (?)

  194. dora31 says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called got blues?, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  195. Lucy (嘉莉) says:

    wow..what a stunning image! magical, indeed.

  196. Preciouscn says:

    Please join me at Disney Photo Challenge we’d love to have you in this group!

  197. LoUeLLa <3 says:


  198. Micheal Martin says:

    I want you to add this picture to my group Dusk and Dawn

  199. Nikki is i love him! says:

    Omg this is an amazingggg shot its crazyyy

  200. @itsMaryam_ says:

    faaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaav XD

  201. siinphotography says:

    OMG this is beautiful shot. I’m going later this year for the first time, this pic just got me excited all over again!!

  202. sonyanews says:

    Very cool! You should upload some of your photos in the Around Disney gallery:

  203. Alessandro Casagli says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called * World’s best Nikon shots *, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  204. loh_junwei says:

    Love the lights!

  205. Alberto Marín says:

    Brutal! shot of the week. Quality: perfect!

  206. vero50 says:

    this picture looks so magical


  207. phil and addie says:

    Hi, this is an amazng photo. I have used it in my Hollywood Studios Lens on Squidoo (I’ve linked back to you etc. as per Creative Commons). Please take a look and let me know if you are happy with it being included. If not I will of course remove it.

    Hollywood Studios Lens



  208. Me despido! Gracias a todos! says:

    Interesante lugar!

  209. Λl℮Roda® says:

    Brilliant work! Very magical, just like Disney!

  210. Portfolio: Beethoven Delano says:


  211. Vpa277 says:

    Pasaremos unos dias de nuestras vacaciones alli en Orlando, dentro de 15 dias, me muero por tomarme miles de fotos, en tan espectacular lugar……

  212. Dead Air says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Weekly Theme Photography, and we’d love to have this added to the group

    This Week’s Theme is Travel!

  213. jared.wickham says:

    This is a cool picture

  214. stl_kutie says:

    absolutely amazing!

    [discovered in the photophlow main room] (?)

  215. Daisy's Little Cottage says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Life After Childhood, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  216. HB2 Photo says:

    Impressive, most impressive.

  217. nosillaa says:

    This is AMAZING.

  218. Disney's 100 Years Of Magic 132 Dvd Treasure Chest says:

    Wow! Awesome!

  219. Growl Roar says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Imagineering, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  220. Mariah Escossia says:

    This is… magnificent!

  221. mazzyskuik says:

    it make me dream the magic world of disney
    yeah its kinda cool!

  222. olasisucsd says:


  223. Tropicdiver's Daughter says:

    awesome photo, great detail… color is amazing!!!

  224. daiana_d says:

    i love it.

  225. RiSinG-Q8™ ♀ ,, In USA says:


  226. Elysia in Wonderland says:

    I would LOVE for this photo to be added to my group:

  227. David G9 says:

    that is freakin cool

  228. kia's r kid says:

    WOW, Amazing shot. This is just Magical!

  229. Stephreak says:

    very nice!

  230. ¨°•√♥ no0o0o0di♥√•°¨ says:

    lovely pic really… ^_^

    comment me please

  231. ON THE MOON STUDIO says:

    Makes me feel like a kid again with the magic of your camera.

  232. *Miss~Mikaela* says:



    OMG! I think it might be…


    Your photo has been nominated at "OMG! I think it might be… THE BEST!" group.

    Come join us at today!

    Thanks for making me "OMG"!


    "Miss Mikaela" creator & admin

  233. Cartoon Girl says:

    Awesome photo!

  234. A ♥'s Ba7rain says:


  235. projectmoonlightcafe says:

    Even after going through your tutorial I am absolutely perplexed as to how you get your pics to look the way they do. I just came back from there with my own HDR shot of the Hat and it’s nothing like yours!

  236. SESBO says:

    Great photo , I just love Disney

  237. 'N. says:

    oh thats in hollywood studios
    FAV XD

  238. *ChioBaby* says:

    Sorprendentemente GENIAL!!!!!!!

  239. Ř8 ãđđīƇŧèř says:

    Nice pic. keep it up.

    Amazing photo of disney love it a lot

  240. Disney's Princess says:

    wow what a shot just amazing!

  241. .●๋•.Carol Martins.●๋•. says:

    wonderfulll !

  242. - =Ben= - says:

    Amazing Shot

  243. Robert mc Mullan says:

    amazing :) :)

  244. stechico says:

    Awesome +fav

  245. Lochithea says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Masques & Devices ~ Post 1 / Comment 1, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

    You are INVITED to Masques & Devices:

    ♠ Post 1 / Comment 1

  246. LostMyHeadache: Absolutely Free * says:


    Just incredible!

  247. cltan47 says:

    excellent shot

  248. Dirk65 says:

    Ecellent. :-) Fantastic colours and point of view :-)

  249. solipsia says:

    Love the three stars of the Orion’s Belt constellation in the background!

  250. adicsapic says:

    totally amazing shot and HDR!
    very smooth and noiseless.

  251. Amanda's Weekly Zen says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Disney at Night, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  252. Cervy says:

    Discovered! This is invitation to add your photograph to Discovery Photos

  253. hubsio says:

    very nice!!!!!!!

  254. BottleLeaf says:

    Definitely one of the best shots of the sorcerer’s hat I’ve ever seen.. beautiful done

  255. noriko pata pon says:

    woooooow , i’ve no words for this picture, i just love the colors and the lights, the purples , awesome, felicidades

  256. agulec ツ says:

    ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (and yes, I was yelling!) OMG!!!

    You are invited to display your image and join our group.
    I wish I’d taken it!!!

    Damn! I Wish I’d Taken That!!!
    Invited Images Only
    Post 1–Award 2

    Please respect this group by giving awards
    if you accept the invitation

    invited with SICI (2008-12-01)
    This picture is a perfect fit for the Pictures Worth A Thousand Words group!

    Please join us and add your picture to our group.
    invited with SICI (2008-12-01)

  257. David Miskinyar says:

    Your Photo Wins a Heart
    From Heart Awards Group

  258. jeffdoolittle4 says:

    Wow !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  259. miley_34539 says:

    and i want to go to disney land

  260. miley_34539 says:


  261. Durall069 says:

    Absolutely outstanding photo! Great HDR treatment!!

  262. Annasananas says:


  263. hleibac says:

    You can find a huge collection of free high resolution

  264. Ayda A. says:

    Great HDR! Thanks!

  265. dev: in medias res. says:

    HDR is the perfect medium for Disney, it brings back all those butterfly feelings you had when you were actually there :]
    Sensational shot!



    très belle photo

    Félicitation !

  267. Harry Ball says:

    this is great

  268. gracianocrib says:

    wow ur famous

  269. shotzy says:

    Fabulous shot.
    I’m going to visit Orlando soon … and only have a few days. Any suggestions for photo ops? I’m trying to research to maximize my time there. I’d really appreciate your ideas in a flickr-mail if you can.

  270. Nibby Wallace says:

    This looks half Photo, half Cartoon!
    Disney should use this!!

  271. Scott9432 (Back) says:

    Fantastic! Simply Amazing!

  272. wyliecutegurl says:

    wow what a nice photo of mickey’s hat..
    i also know photos from Florida in this site

  273. Scott9432 (Back) says:

    Congratulations, This Photo Gains the 5-Star Disney Award!!

    Please add your photo to the 5 Star Disney (Admin Invite Only) Group.
    Please join as a member too!

    Also, you may add the ’5StarDisney’ tag to this photo.

  274. Renégat says:

    Amazing HDR. :)

  275. Nuragic Man says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called All beautiful shots and many more., and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  276. nellleo says:

    hehe, photo on acid.
    good job trey:)

  277. armmani2001 says:


  278. ElizbaethVeronika says:

    I love this! You really captured the lights, and it really stands out, captures the magic of disney, love it!

  279. CaleKeane says:

    Absolutely beautiful. It upsets me a bit, because I took at least 20 pictures- almost the same shot, only to realize my memory card had been corrupted once I returned home (8 hours from orlando). Great work though.

  280. DisneyDreamin says:

    I think this is the best shot of "the hat" I have ever seen. Fantastic!

    Seen in your Disney World set. (?)

  281. Sbotiel says:

    Just magical

  282. tecotavio says:

    In 2011 I’ll be there! ;)
    I’m from Brazil ! :D DDDD

  283. Jesse Danger says:

    mad props, mad props

  284. epatygs says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called disney orlando, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  285. mustsik says:


  286. The Dawg! says:

    Come Vote! You seem like you would have a good argument.

  287. rbpdesigner says:

    absolutely perfect!


    well done!


  288. keith rodney says:

    fantastic shot …just perfect

  289. marcXdynamite! says:

    Magical! :D

  290. Imagíname says:


    Perfect Photo!!

    I feel like a kid. XD

    Imagíname - View my most interesting photos on Flickriver

  291. Tai-Pan says:


  292. Nuragic Man says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called ***Photos around the clock {Admin invite only} , and we’d love to have this added to the group!


  293. artland says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called artland, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  294. sixty8panther says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Star, universal symbol, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  295. christian.senger says:

    An HDR masterpiece, amazing!

  296. MªCristina says:


  297. sdw`s world says:

    very nice!

  298. A.G. Photographe says:

    It’s like a dream, incredible shot, incredible place, perfect treatment, you’re the best

    Found in a search. (?)

  299. PirateTinkerbell says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Favorite Disney Park Pictures, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

    Please feel free to join and add some more of your favorites!

  300. lakern26 says:

    Awesome pic – thanks for sharing your tips!

  301. PhilippaDaisyH says:

    This is such a gorgeous shot! The colours are so pure and outstanding! Everthing in that photo is just perfect! I love it! =)

  302. jordi61 says:

    great work :)

  303. benpalmer says:

    Holy sh*t amazing

  304. B.I.L.NYC -100- says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called A view looking UP!, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  305. Tony Carlos Br says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Flickr Hive Mind, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

    explore your tag in fiveprime org
    be among the top 50, add here
    his tag was found among the
    50 most important

  306. *Sefora* says:
  307. carolynfrisbie says:

    This is just stunning.

  308. Khaled Al Sharah says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called DASMAN, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  309. AnAmazementPhotography says:

    So beautiful!

  310. MagicWand76 says:

    Been there. wish I could have taken a shot like that :)

  311. Chepe Leña says:

    This is one picture that makes me work extra on my techniques.

  312. Anime35 says:

    I wish I can go there

  313. chloelymay says:

    That is time very well spent it’s incredible!

  314. mozartz says:

    great ideas

    i love in it!

  315. e.malakqarmash says:

    hhhhhh….wooow…its looks a magic …very nice shot

  316. +EsTeLa+ says:


  317. says:

    We are working on a monthly travel and adventure sport competition, all winning entries will be published in an online magazine. Judge panel will selected from Flickr.

    There are 3 parts of the competition, 2 parts are currently under development:

    A Flick group called :

  318. Victoria*G says:

    Wow, this almost looks 3D! And the details, and stars are great!

  319. candiRSX says:

    I remember this picture long time ago before I started using flickr. It’s good to know I’m still a fan of your work ;)

  320. artland says:

    This is a wonderful shot!
    You are invited to post it to:


  321. High quality wallpapers says:

    these are very nice and beautiful wallpapers..i really liked it.thanks to share with us…

  322. carlosviajero89 says:

    Visto en All beautiful shots and many more.
    Todas las cosas son hermosas a los ojos sinceros.

  323. Anto57 * says:
  324. Nuragic Man says:

    This Timeless beauty was Seen in-Vista su,
    Photos Around the Clock!

    Photos Around the Clock

  325. Doeki says:

    That is a great synopsis of what was expected of a geisha. So, if I understand, then, a geisha is a geisha or geisha-in-training from the time she’s a toddler. What happened to her if she had no talent for singing or dancing? This young lady appears to be VERY young.

  326. Okinawa Soba says:

    Doeki — I have heard, but cannot verify as I sit here and reply, that the ones who were hopelessly untalented (though pretty) were taken across town to become helpers and understudies to the prostitutes…

  327. jackie ramo - busy busy busy says:

    Gosh, the Japanese sold a lot of their children. I’m sure males were sold as well but less often. Where did the servants come from, we see them in the pictures were they sold into servitude or were they already owned?

  328. Muiz Anwar says:

    (As Keanu once said . . . ) whoah . . .

  329. Greg Miles says:

    Beautiful photograph and interesting background information on Geisha.

  330. Tokis-Phoenix says:

    I love her kimono, such a pretty picture- the meiji era geisha explanation was also very interesting too.

  331. Miles Benjamin Buffalo says:

    amazing quality of photograph

  332. Okinawa Soba says:

    Hi Miles. It’s scanned from the original 8 x 10 inch shot.

  333. Hrefna S says:

    Amazing! Really, Really Amazing!

  334. Okinawa Soba says:

    Hi Hrefna ! It is also amazing how big your mouth is ! OH..WAIT…that’s a magnifying glass you have there. Oooops. Sorry about that ! ;-)

  335. ・ku・ says:

    Thank you for making the distinction between geisha and prostitutes. Considering I practice two of their trades. I’ve got a deep love and respect for these women and I’m tired of people mixing up the two and then making generalized statements about these hard working women. I admit I am bias but as we have discussed many times now. There is a dark side to everything.

  336. Okinawa Soba says:

    Hi KU. Glad you approve of the caption above. Interestingly, at least in Japan, both the Geisha and the Prostitute were sold into those trades as young children, neither having a real choice in the matter. Yes, there is a dark side to everything — and everyone. What do you mean by, "Considering I practice two of their trades" ?

  337. ・ku・ says:

    Mmm, yes. From what I rememeber reading (I haven’t picked up either of my geisha related books in sometime) that’s right. It’s very sad when you think of people selling their children. That’s if the child could stand up to all the discipline. Then I believe they would be cast out if they couldn’t.

    Should I of said arts instead? Oh well.i I’ve practicing both chado and koto since I was 16. :) Though I’m afraid I haven’t done much of either in about a year. Too busy.

  338. says:

    Oh wow, I went through those links, and the links under the photos the links guided me to, and then some more links, and… I didn’t get lost :D wow, that was good and plenty information, thanks:)

  339. Okinawa Soba says:

    Wow. You sure are reading a lot of English. Be careful, or you will forget how to read Polish !

  340. shizuka na ame says:

    I just wanted to commend you and thank you for your very clear and to the point explanations of what it means (and meant) to be a geisha. I have always admired and respected them, (well, what little I knew of them: being people who devoted their time to the arts and to cultivating sharp minds) and am happy to see that my information was correct. I probably still have a romantic view of them despite the apparent decline of today’s generation into the pretty "empty shells" you described. I am, however, happy to know that my always having told people that they were not prostitutes was the right thing to say. Because 99% of the time that was the first thing that would come out of people’s mouths when the subject of the geisha and their world would come up in converstion.

  341. shizuka na ame says:

    Oh, and I think this is a beautiful image!


  342. Okinawa Soba says:

    SHIZUKA — Thanks for the comment. Yes, you were right before you even read my caption. The Geisha were a hard-working lot, and (as I mention) I think they deserve more respect for their contributions to Japan than most of the male Politicians, Bankers, and Bureaucrats that were their customers.

    As for the "empty shells" comparison I made with modern-day Geisha, I stand by that comment. However, notice that I do call them "as pretty as ever". Okinawa Soba happens to really like "empty, pretty shells", and has even been known to collect a few of them ! ;-)

  343. sunnybrook100 says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called Journey to the Old Orient, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  344. CMSi says:


  345. Okinawa Soba says:

    Glad you like it !

  346. masparera ;-) says:

    Hi, I’m an admin for a group called ☼ il filo d’Arianna °°P1 – C2 °° NEW CONTEST!!!!!!!!, and we’d love to have this added to the group!

  347. Sharon Irla says:

    Excellent composition and post processing!!!!

    I have seen this beautiful photo in:

    ☼ il filo d’Arianna group

    il filo d'arianna

    You can tag your photo…… "☼ il filo d’Arianna "

  348. Okinawa Soba says:

    SHARON — "….Excellent composition and post processing!!!!…."

    I agree, Great composition. I only wish I had taken it ! The only post processing was putting a frame line around it, though.

  349. masparera ;-) says:

    “filo d’arianna” ‘ s NEWS
    Post a photo on the fourth contest
    Post a photo on the third contest COUNTRYSIDE – RURAL LANDSCAPES


    ☼ il filo d’Arianna group

    il filo d'arianna

    You can tag your photo…… "☼ il filo d’Arianna "


  350. sunny-drunk says:

    I have seen this beautiful photo in:

    ☼ il filo d’Arianna group

    il filo d'arianna

    You can tag your photo…… "☼ il filo d’Arianna "

  351. joninnihon says:

    Very informative write up. Thanks.
    It’s not just the non-Japanese that have that mistaken image of the Geisha as prostitutes. The world that the Geisha lived in is so far off from this one I live in now in Tokyo that I notice that most Japanese too don’t really have a clue.
    Anyway, I will keep checking out your stream. It’s interesting.
    Forgive me if I don’t manage to read all your comments though!

  352. Okinawa Soba says:

    JONIN — Thanks. No need to read anything around here. Just look at the pics, and fly through !

  353. xXBryonyXx says:

    I love your photos but having taken an interest in modern Kyoto geisha, I find it hard to see why you call them empty shells.
    They may be anachronistic but they still have to learn the tea ceremony, learn to play the shamisen and other instruments and dance. They also have to learn to wear kimono correctly and become competent at applying oshiroi makeup. Even modern Okaasans expect a high standard from their apprentices as it costs a huge amount to equip and train a girl to Maiko level.

    Plus they’re expected to learn to converse with Japanese men often much older than themselves and flirt and flatter their egos.
    This can’t be easy for a modern Japanese teenager!

    Modern Kyoto geisha are just as able to converse with intelligent men of high status and give them the discreet, tactful service their predecessors did. Yes, their lives are less harsh and trying than they were before the war but they work hard, often into the early hours and manage to look as serene and lovely as they did when the evening began.

    I doubt many modern teenagers could do what they do.
    Anachronistic, yes. Highly skilled, sophisticated, misunderstood entertainers, definitely!

  354. Okinawa Soba says:

    BRYONY — Hmmmmmm. That’s a pretty fair appeal for me to dump my "empty shell" description. OK. Let me rethink my choice of words and see if I can come up with something better to describe the situation. I’ll be back !

  355. gaigekameron says:

    @ xXByronyXx : "…and give them the discreet, tactful service their predecessors did."

    which tactful service is it of that you speak? sex?
    I doubt it, most geiko in kyoto are still virgins until well after their mizu-age. today’s mizu-age and the mizu-age of long ago never involved sexual auctioning of virginity, it was a ceremony performed by a trusted patron of the okiya, and the ceremony took course over seven days. The mizu-age ceremony was used to represent the harshness of the geisha’s life. Now it simply involves a party and the cremonial cutting of a maiko’s topknot of the sakkou hairstyle.
    And If they aren’t still virgins, it isn’t because of a special service that was paid for, it was out of sexual attrcation or love.

  356. +gAbY+ says:

    so delicate and gorgeous.
    loved the reading. thanks (and the comments are a plus, specially because I know nothing about geishas other the little best seller…)

  357. xXBryonyXx says:

    To gaigekameron :

    Kyoto Geisha entertain clients from top companies as well as members of Japanese government. Kyoto Geisha are highly respected for keeping conversations with these people private and confidential, as they’ve always done!

    Prostitution became illegal in Japan in 1957 and Geisha were never allowed to compete with Tayuu/Oiran and other Yujo before that time by law.
    I’ve read works by Liza Dalby and Lesley Downer and I know about the more intimate side of pre-1957 Karyukai, including the realities of Mizuage not the Memoirs Of A Geisha fantasy.

    I wouldn’t dream of posting on Soba-san’s pages without having done my homework.

    PS It’s xXBryonyXx not Byrony. Thank you.

  358. Okinawa Soba says:

    GAAB — Thanks. We are all still learning around. Especially me.

    GAIKEKAMERON — You commented that "…the mizu-age of long ago never involved sexual auctioning of virginity….". To say that it never happened is totally incorrect. In fact, generally speaking it was quite the opposite. Of course, you are correct when you say that it does not happen today.

    xXBRYONYXx — The section you raked me over the coals about has been revised. Thanks for giving me a kick in the asss about that. You were very right to have been concerned about my opinion. I hope the real Geisha and Geiko of today will have mercy, and not tar and feather me for my shallowness. ;-)

  359. xXBryonyXx says:

    Soba-san…I had no desire to rake you over the coals or kick you anywhere. I admire your Flickr uploads and enjoy your comments.
    Please keep up the good work! ;-)

  360. Okinawa Soba says:

    Well, it was a very very gentle "raking" and "kicking", in just the right amounts ! ;-)

  361. Okinawa Soba says:

    LUBSTEP — You’ve got a lot of sex forever there in Russia, huh !

    I hope you are not one of those human trafficking Russian mafia guys. Folks around here might get SUSPICIOUS THAT YOU ARE A SPAMMER BECAUSE YOU HAVE NO PHOTOS UP, AND ARE COMMENTING WITH A BUNCH OF SEX SITE LINKS ! God forbid that I, Okinawa Soba, would ever think such a thing about you. (cough)

    My photos are CC rated and may be downloaded without my prior permission for any blog use…including blogs about Sex Forever in Russia. However, as per Flickr rules of use, all photos must provide a link back to their Flickr page(s). Thanks.

    By the way, I don’t think the Geisha photo would be an appropriate match for your sex-oriented dating site. The Geisha were not in the sex-forever dating business. They are still not today, and no real Geisha would be found on a modern sex-dating Website in Japan.

    I can see that the confusion over what it means to be a Geisha continues on to this day.

    How about this photo….she’s ready to rumble with any guy willing to date her. After reading the caption, you can decide if she’s the ex-geisha who fits the bill for your Russian Website :

  362. hippie_mama_michelle says:

    Okinawa Soba, thank you for posting such an informative ‘caption’ to this pic! If there’s anything i like better than lots of pretty pictures, it’s tons of information and trivia to go along with them :) Your photostream brings me much joy. <3

  363. gaigekameron says:

    well, I knew that it was involved. Its just that it was usually a patron hired by the mother of the okiya, to kind of ‘ teach-a-lesson’ to the maiko that this life was difficult and sometimes you had to swallow your feelings. But, you are correct, there was sexual interaction involved, but it wasn’t really, ‘prostitution’, because the men didn’t normally pay. He was only paid, if the maiko in particular wasn’t all that attractive.

  364. Vanilla Pocky ~† says:

    very nice picture!!

  365. SeRgEhAsTiEr says:

    I Like your work

  366. Okinawa Soba says:


  367. 76 Totters Lane says:

    Hi, I really love this work -
    would you please add it to TOTAL ART

    Click here to add your Work

  368. krishtinamayers says:

    It’s official. Geisha rock!

  369. Johantti ~ Mini treasures says:

Speak Your Mind


Blog WebMastered by All in One Webmaster.