Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ruben Vicente & João Maia | Hidden Gion

Here's a lovely multimedia piece (in video form) of photographs by Ruben Vicente and João Maia of the famous Gion neighborhood.

Gion is a district of Kyoto, Japan, originally developed in the Middle Ages, and built to accommodate the needs of travelers. It eventually evolved to become one of the most exclusive and well-known geisha districts in all of Japan. The geisha in the Gion district (and Kyoto generally) do not refer to themselves as geisha; instead, Gion geisha use the local term geiko. While the term geisha means "artist" or "person of the arts", the more direct term geiko means essentially "a child of the arts" or "a woman of art".

I read that Gion's structures boast wooden lattice windows made of thin wooden beams in a grid pattern to create a lace effect, and its streets are lined with stores selling traditional Kyoto crafts, such as 'kanzashi' (ornamental hairpins), incense and kimono accessories.

Ruben Vicente is travel photographer based in Lisbon who, apart from loving photography, is a senior programmer in the telecom industry. João Maia is a part-time freelance photographer in Lisbon specializing in landscape, nature and travel. He is also a software architect with a major Japanese company.

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