The lives of the Japanese Geisha are part of an extremely mysterious and closed-off world. There are many rules that govern the social sphere. For a start, you usually have to be personally invited in order to see them perform. Even Japanese people themselves know very little about the Floating World of flowers, kimono, traditional music, and painted red lips. The GEISHA exhibition in Leiden, however, offers an extremely rare glimpse into the everyday life of a Geisha.
Visiting the GEISHA Exhibition in Leiden
The new Geisha exhibition at the Rijksmuseum Volkenkunde is now on show. Last week, I visited the museum and blissfully explored the exhibition for a few hours. I hope these photos give you a a bit of a preview of the collection. I posted a video and took lots of photos. Unfortunately, it was pretty much impossible to include all of them in this blogpost alone. Please check out my Flickr page for many more photos. For now, read on for more inside information about the exhibition!
A Rare Kimono Collection Up Close
The Geisha exhibition seems to be garnering quite some international attention. The impressive number of kimono was especially wonderful. It must have taken a lot of time for the museum to collect the dresses and put all of them on display. The beautiful thing about geisha kimono is that they each have seasonal designs and colours. You wouldn’t just wear any kimono on any random day. You have to wear them at the right time and pair them with the right season.
A secretive, mysterious culture revealed
Geisha culture is notoriously mysterious and famous for being inaccessible to the general public. Evidently, getting to see these items in the Netherlands is an incredible opportunity. You can watch and listen to interviews with real-life, experienced geisha. There are also many cool objects, like instruments, wigs, and hair accessories. If you happen to be in the area, I definitely recommend a visit!