Monday, February 18, 2013

March 29 - 31, 1954 Painting a Girl in a Boat and Lessons from Mrs. Sawada

Diary Entry:  Mar. 29, 1954

"After lunch we left the children & went to Osaka again.  B's suit supposed to be ready & topcoat to be fitted.  Pants not quite finished.  Looked for me some shoes.  All too short.  Can have them made.  Walked thru fabric wholesale center.  I've never seen so much material.  Got some dress linen & hankies for B."

Diary Entry:  Mar. 30, 1954

"Spent day doing nothing much.  Cut Ann a blouse and embroidered a little on her jumper.  B went to Kobe to shop for groceries.  Called Schultz & Levines to arrange visits. Letter to Helen Norton."

Diary Entry:  Mar. 31, 1954

"Painted young Kyoto Geisha girl in boat this morning.  Conversation about hair.  Mrs. Sawada gave some facts.  Before the war all women used that hair style, then perms & short hair after war.  Slept on porcelain pillows.  Could preserve hairdo for 5 days or a week without combing.  Old women have large bald spots from pinning up hair over years. Geisha were young girls sold into bondage. Women all wore kimono until war.  Mrs. S. sold many (70) of hers after war when everyone (occupation army presumably) wanted kimonos.  Saved only favorite ones but didn't know how many she had.  Prefers western clothes.  Kimono heavy & clumsy.  Even maids required to wear kimono & big hair before the war.  Letter to Phyllis."

At Heian shrine, Kyoto, 1954

Black/white images from Japan, by Horace Bristol, 1953
NOTE:  Geishas are few in number in Japan now compared to  the 1950s.  For an interesting explanation of Geisha culture, use the link:     

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