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Ogawa Kazumasa Studio 
Tokyo Geisha 
Albumen print, tinted 
245 x 190mm 
Old Japan 
Images and text courtesy of Terry Bennett (Old Japan - - 1015123) 
This image is one of a number produced by Ogawa specifically for exhibition at the newly-opened Ryounkaku (better known as the 'Twelve-Storey Tower') in Asakusa, Tokyo. A main event at the Ryounkaku in July 1891, the exhibition comprised one hundred portraits of geisha from the major pleasure quarters of Tokyo, including Shimbashi and Yoshiwara, and visitors were invited to vote on their particular favourite, with prizes being awarded to the five most popular girls. The winner was the 19-year old O-Tama who attracted the patronage of an anonymous admirer who paid for her release from the Tamagawaya Geisha house in Shimbashi. 

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