Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

This post is in response to the Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge.


Well this was a difficult challenge if there ever was one! This week’s theme “juxtaposition” took a little thinking about how to interpret it, but I finally decided on a few photos of ‘old Japan’ juxtaposed with the modern era.

1) If the newspaper headlines a few hundred years ago had read “Geisha stuck in traffic“, no one would have believed it! The fact that there are still real geisha today is amazing, considering everything around them has changed and modernized.  This poor geisha had a hard time navigating her way around speeding taxis in Kyoto’s Gion district. In retrospect, it was kind of funny to see this clash of ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’.

2) One of the oldest festivals in Japan playing out in front of the newly completed Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower.

3) Lastly, the Marunouchi side of Tokyo Station is a typical juxtaposition of old vs. new in Japan. The station building was restored back to its old Meiji Era (1868~1912) appearance and contrasts sharply with the surrounding flat, grey skyscrapers!


8 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Juxtaposition

  1. Very pretty, though the “Geisha stuck in traffic” Is actually a Maiko, a girl training to become a Geiko ^^ It’s a great catch~ Sadly, the picture is just a little too blurry for me to confidently say who she is. Do you remember which Hanamachi this was near?


    • Thanks for pointing that out. I wasn’t sure if she was geisha or maiko. How can you tell the difference… age? We saw her and a few other girls near “Ichirikitei” teahouse on Hanamikoji dori. By the way, nice blog – you seem to know a lot about geisha!


      • Well, there are a lot of differences. To be honest, besides the white makeup and the fact they wear Kimono, they look next to nothing alike. Their hair styles are different, Maiko will wear lots of Kanzashi (Hair ornaments), while Geiko wear next to none, maybe a comb which you don’t often see when looking at them straight on, and a little tiny kanzashi stuck at the front, but most of the time they go without. Maiko also get their natural hair done, while Geiko can get their natural hair worked into the style, they usually wear wigs, unless there’s a special occasion like tea ceremony, then they’ll get their natural hair done. The Obi that a Maiko wears sits much higher up on her, it’s much thicker, so while the bottom part will be in about the same spot, if not a little bit lower, the top part will be way up on her torso, like up on the breast, Geiko wear an obi that is thinner, so it’s more around her abdomen than anywhere else. The back of the Maiko’s obi is very very very long, it’s called a darari obi (Basically means dangling obi) There is a stage before the Maiko stage called minarai, where the obi is tied in the darari form, but it is much shorter. Geiko wear a type of knot that is very square, it’s called a box knot. The sleeves of a Maiko’s kimono are very long, with tucks in the sleeves and shoulders to mimic what i done to children’s kimono. The sleeves of a Geiko are very short and of course as women they don’t tuck the sleeves or shoulders ^^ Those are the bigger signs, there are others, but they’re very small and you can’t see them very well here. ^^ Hope this helped~


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  4. great pictures and I think you really captured the word for the week! also, loved the Maiko in traffic and the blurry feel adds to the rich and raw feeling of that shot. and of course, I really appreciated learning about the Maiko/Geiko in those detailed comments by your reader moushifi! So cool!!! :)


    • thank you! :) I wasn’t too sure if I was on the right track with the theme, but this was my interpretation anyway! And yes, moushifi seems to know a lot more than most Japanese people! Very cool :)


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