oiran by KUNITOMI


There are many styles but this collection consists of full size, standing images which show kimono and obi designs in their full splendour.

Why do I call them presentation prints?
Basically because they were used in the same way as today's business cards in telephone booths advertising the same type of business. The difference is that they were just much more elegant in appearance and concentrated more on the clothing than the bodies of the ladies themselves. The images are basically used to decorate this business flyer. When seeing several prints you wil find that they don´t have any distinctive features, but mainly differences in styles of dress, hair style and hair decorations, but no distintive features in the faces. Compare them with the original postcards of the early Meiji era, where there is definitely a big difference in the facial features of the women, less so in the prints.

The courtesans in these print show the following features:

- standing position
- full size image
- doll like appearance
- 3 different typical tayû and oiran hairdoos
-blackened teeth
- elaborate kimono designs and heavily padded hems
- full dress-up obi styles for courtesans
- completed with the name and address of establishment and courtesan

The background generally filled with a fence with lamps and blossoming cherry trees by night. The time that these night creatures came out to wander around the compound to show themselves in their best attire.