Geisha: A Photographic History 1872-1912 documents the intimate life and culture of the nineteenth-century geisha. It portrays these artists in a cultural reality created by staged studio photography, private scenes, and rare outdoor images. Geisha are pictured performing daily rituals and various arts — bathing, dressing, hairstyling, dining, dancing, and playing instruments. Images of courtesans and other working women are presented alongside the geisha to show all sides of this enchanting aspect of Japanese culture. Completing the story are insightful essays on the history of nineteenth-century Japanese photography, the social history of the geisha, and the history of the opening of Japan.