Size: 9 x 11 3/4 in. (229 x 298 mm.).
Item#: SD-087 Artist: Yasuo Hirai
Image or title: a maiko apprentice giesha (taken during a Kyoto photo excursion with Shinzo and Roso Fukuhara).
Date: 1936 Medium: vintage semi-glossy gelatin silver print. Price: please inquire

Description: this image by Hirai shows a maiko, or apprentice geisha dressed in an elaborate kimono, taken in Kyoto. This maiko was also photographed by Roso Fukuhara (brother of Shinzo Fukuhara) in the same costume, presumably at the same time. This took place during a 1936 trip when the Fukuhara family and a small circle of photographic friends toured Western Japan visiting Kyoto and the Seto Inland Sea. Roso's maiko portrait was published in the September 1939 edition of “Nihon Shashin Kaiho” (Vol. 27, no. 3), the journal of the Nihon Shashin-kai (Japan Photographic Society). Below is are two examples of Roso's photographs of this same maiko.

An inscription on the reverse reads: "Maiko, Hirai Yasuo satsue". Translation: Maiko, taken by Yasuo Hirai.


Condition: very good (for specifics, please contact us).

Yasuo Hirai (c1914 -1986):

Hirai was born in either 1914 or 1915. It is not known how he learnt photography, but in 1935 he joined Shiseido’s shashin-bu, or photography department as a staff photographer. His superior was Akira Ibuka, the Director of Shiseido’s Design Department. Internal records from Shiseido indicate Hirai worked for Shiseido from 1935 to 1943, taking a hiatus due to World War II. He then rejoined the company in 1946, working in the same capacity until 1966 when he was appointed director of the Shiseido Gallery. This gallery located in Tokyo's Ginza district was founded in 1919. A protégé and personal aide to Shinzo Fukuhara, Hirai often accompanied Shinzo and his brother Roso on photo excursions around Japan. Hirai died in 1986 at the age of 71.

Same maiko by Roso Fukuhara (reference only, not available).