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Kyoko Aihara,   third visit to Budapest.

The famous book writer of the lives of the Geisha’s



September, 6-10.

Over the past 10 years, this is the third time Kyoko Aihara, the fascinating and detailed book writer of the lives of the Geisha arrived to Budapest.  This time she bought along her own design collection of amazingly beautiful, rich in patterns kymonos and self taken photos, hand painted personal cards, hairpins, hand-made coloured silk and cotton shawl, wooden made footwear, special socks,  wooden and pearl made headdress  accessories. Kyoko Aihara  was wecomed  by Rita HALASI, the owner of the outstanding  PONTON Gallery  (Budapest, First District, 65-67 Batthyány Str.).  Dr.Györgyi FAJCSÁK, Director of the Ferenc Hopp Museum of Eastern-Asia Arts talked about the tradional background of the Geisha’s past and present lives. Kyoko also greated with kind  words  the huge gathered crowd of interest.

Asked Kyoko about her experiences throughout  the times of her visits. She said. “It’s been now almost 10 years since I first visited Hungary and ever since my first stay, I felt and saw so much beauty in the country’s landscapes and met friendly people. Been to  the Lake Balaton, at Villány and the surrounding mountain side, visiting also a vineyard area. Traveled  through  the country’s north-east part to Tokaj.  One of the famous wine areas in Hungary. Of course, tasted the worldwide know Tokaj wine. Have to admit  the rich taste was really enjoyable.” Kyoko also  spoked about the Hungarian traditional dishes, saying: “Even though my body was raised on the Japanese meals, I am  very much fond of the Hungarian food.”  Moving along from her past visit’s experiences she talked about her present exhibition regarding to the Geisha’s world and culture. This time  her stay is for 10 days, visiting sights before and after the exhibition and some other parts of the country.  Kyoko also said: “I am very happy to be again in Hungary. I feel very close to the Hungarians and hope I’ll be able to come back in a short time. From   Hungary I will be off to do another exhibition with this collection  in Lithuania”.

(Kyoko Aihara was born in Yokohama in Japan.
She graduated in History of Art from Keio University in Tokyo. Since 1994 she has been working as a freelance journalist and a photographer in Japan.)

Asked her how she went into writting a book of the Geishas. She said: “One day a representative from the BBC got in touch with me saying he read my articles and asked me to write a book of the Geisha’s.” At this point her whole world changed in 1999  within the realise of her book marked with her own photos she has collected among the Maiko and Geikoin. Her unprecedented access to the city’s tea houses of Kyoto, made her uniquely to write this outstanding book. With Kyoko’s original photos, her informative and honest text provides a fascinating and detailed portrait of a distinctive and intriguing aspect of Japanese society. During the period of collecting material and taking photos for her book was the time when she fell inlove with the Kymono. Kyoko also discovered that the to-day’s individuals have completely forgotten of the beauty that lies in wearing the traditionally artwork of the kimonos and only can meet the eye reading old books and seen in the world of the Bohemians.

Here in Hungary the first edition of  the Geisha’s book of 6000 copies had entered many homes. Hopefully, there will be a second edition coming sometimes in the near future.

The exotic appearance interest in Geisha world have spawned various popular culture both in Japan and in the West. Now-a-days mainly in Kyoto, whereas it has always been a deep tradition of the existing  strong  culture.

Special thanks goes to dr. Györgyi Fajcsák for the background assistance.


Update and snaps by: Aggie Reiter

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris on 08/09/2011 at 10:12

    Seems like many things of interest happen in Budapest, much appreciated to read of these occasions in such a clear and concise manner….Thanks again….

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