• Robin Yong

Geisha Goddess 镜 · 花 · 水 · 月

Updated: Jun 30


I come to Kyoto 4 times a year, to pray at my Ancestral Temple, visit my Geisha friends (believe me, we all go to pray at my Ancestral Temple) and tour the many serene gardens and temples. And of course with my beautiful Geisha friends we take souvenir photos at these pretty locations. My Ancestor is being worshipped as the Goddess of Beauty in Kyoto, so I come here to pray for good luck and of course beautiful photos. I usually prefer the less touristy temples for such photo shoots. I have never liked overcrowded places wherever I go. Within temples, strict rules apply, no footwear inside temples, no talking loudly, no flash photography and no tripods. So everything is done using natural lighting only. Here, the Geiko Tomitsuyu sitting serenely by the window. Her pose reminds me of the Goddess Kannon (Avalokiteśvara). I have never asked Tomitsuyu how to pose or what to do in photo shoots and when I saw this photo, I know the Goddess have answered our prayers.

The title of this photo is 镜花水月, the Chinese idiom of “Flowers in a mirror and the Moon’s reflection in water.” - a popular theme in Chinese and Japanese art. This illustrates the idea that something that is beautiful may be an unattainable dream, a mirage.