Robert van Koesveld – ‘Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto’

Robert van Koesveld’s project ‘Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto’ – an intimate observation of traditional Japanese culture in Kyoto to honour this continuing artistry and grace.

The Kyoto terms for ‘geisha’ are ‘geiko’ for the fully trained artists and ‘maiko’ for those still in training. Geisha is the term used in other parts of Japan.

Robert van Koesveld - Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto

Robert van Koesveld – Geiko and Maiko of Kyoto


“Late one night in an empty cobblestoned street in Kyoto, a woman sheltering beneath a red umbrella glided past me. I saw in an instant something in her face – luminous eyes, an aloof expression – that gave her beauty a sense of timelessness and exquisite grace. What I experienced as presence. This moment took place on my first visit to the city that had been Japan’s capital for over a thousand years. And it was this image of an unknown woman in an empty street that impelled me to begin this book three years ago.”