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About Deviant Artist Fuyou-himeFemale/United States Recent Activity
Deviant for 9 Years
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Fuyou-hime

Artist
United States
Current Residence: Washington DC
Favourite photographer: my grandfather
Favourite style of art: hand-drawn manga
MP3 player of choice: ipod
Favourite cartoon character: Ichihara Yuuko, Yomiko Readman, Amir Halgal
Interests
  • Listening to: Patrick Ball's The Butterfly
  • Drinking: Coffee
Just don't do it.  Seriously.

This is a popular thing to do in photography and digital/traditional art, but it's all a bad idea for various reasons.  

First, the entire idea of a "modern" interpretation of a geisha's look is predicated on the idea that geisha haven't evolved their look at all for a long time.  Geisha don't wear the exact same style of clothing they did hundreds of years ago.  They don't even wear the exact same style of clothing they did eighty years ago.  Even if we were to just talk about Kyoto geiko, the inclusion of son-nari (aka wearing their kimono's excess hem tied up, with western makeup, and a chignon instead of a traditional Japanese hairstyle) is a pretty big sign that there has been some change in how geisha style themselves.  But if you were to get particular about it, stylistic choices in kimono designs and in the kitsuke (how the kimono, obi, and accoutrements are worn) have also changed just in the last eighty years.  Design choices in fact change all the time.  Kimono fashion is not dead, even for geisha who by all accounts are not exactly radical in their design choices.  A geisha of the fifties does not look like a geisha of the seventies who does not look like a modern-day geisha, unless all you care about is the fact that they're wearing a kimono.  So the idea that artists need to "modernize" geisha is arrogant because they're already modern.  Even a geisha in her most traditional clothing is still wearing a modern rendition of an old look.  They are not wearing historical costumes. 

Second, when people make a "modern" interpretation of a geisha's look, they always do it by adding Western elements and sexualizing geisha with Western sexual markers in the fashion and/or pose.  Seriously, why do people say "modern geisha" when they mean "a sexy pin-up in a Western dress that has some vaguely kimono-esque design elements"?  Too wordy?  Well it's the truth.  The thing is, it's not like there isn't a mind-set in Japan that has survived since the Meiji period that modern=Western, and between 1868 through the mid 1930s, geisha navigated this mindset and what it means for them before deciding that their image isn't "modern"... aka Western.  But during that time, they did pick up a lot of Western things that they decided to keep even when they decided to eschew Western style.  They picked up Western hairstyles, Western accessories, and Western make-up just to name a few things.  So frankly there's no need to add extraneous Western elements to their look, because geisha have already decided which Western elements they like.

And third, and frankly most importantly, it is not some random artist's job to design and define geisha for them when they're still here.  How exactly do you "interpret" a real person without fundamentally removing their ability to define themselves?  Geisha are not a figure from the past to be used as a starting point for your latest piece, to be used as an "idea" or to serve as a muse for your latest interpretation of sexualized womanhood.  They're real people, who live here and now and are perfectly capable of interpreting themselves.  The image they present now is how they want to be presented.  Why are you going out of your way to change that?  

So, in summation, stop doing this.      

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:icondrowelfmorwen:
DrowElfMorwen Featured By Owner Dec 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hello Fuyou, how have you been? I hope you are well!
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:iconbellaisa77:
bellaisa77 Featured By Owner May 24, 2015
Hello!!! I really do enjoy your art very much and being myself a big fan of the traditional Japan, I'm looking for someone who could support my new web side, where I offer ancient hand made traditional skin care from Japan...I need someone who could support me with their pictures and found your pictures to be very vibrant and authentic, also your enormous wisdom about the tradition is just so exciting!!! I'm sure you know a lot of things about geisha & samurai their culture and rituals....please let me know if you would be interested in some correspondence. I'm living in Germany btw...:-) Bella
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:iconpleaseimjustagirl:
PleaseImJustaGirl Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2015
 Honto no Attamagaii.
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:iconwessonnative:
Wessonnative Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2014
Thanks very much for the Favorite.
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:iconrevolver-edakunsisda:
REVOLVER-edakunsisDA Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014  Professional General Artist
Awesome work, Love your DA. :)
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:iconfuyou-hime:
Fuyou-hime Featured By Owner Apr 23, 2014
Thank you very much :).
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:iconrevolver-edakunsisda:
REVOLVER-edakunsisDA Featured By Owner May 20, 2014  Professional General Artist
Welcome!
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:iconxxxjrosesxxx:
xxxJRosesxxx Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2014  Student General Artist
Hello,
    My name is Julia Rose, I've just been looking at some of your photos, journals, and art. Just who are you? I mean that in the most flattering way possible because you seem to have a wealthy knowledge of Japan and rather than reading all your journals I'd thought I'd ask. Are you Japanese? I figure you are, but I didn't want to simply assume. Awww, your photos of geisha are the first thing that caught my eye and when you mentioned living in Japan in the description my eyes sparked with fascination and curiosity!
                                                          Sincerely, Julia Rose
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:iconfuyou-hime:
Fuyou-hime Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2014
Thank you for the message, faves, and watch!  I'm glad to hear you enjoyed my photographs.  To answer your question, I'm not Japanese.  I've been interested in and studying Japanese art and traditional culture for some time, and I spent my junior year studying abroad in Japan.  That was when I had the opportunity to photograph maiko and geiko in Kyoto.  If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask :).
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:iconxxxjrosesxxx:
xxxJRosesxxx Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2014  Student General Artist
So I take it you can speak in Japanese then? When did you begin to learn Japanese? I hear the Japanese are very polite to foreigners, but are difficult accepting them the way they accept their fellow Japanese (especially the older generations). I've also heard of Tokyo referred as the city of progress and Kyoto the city if tradition.  
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