The Geisha Influence on Kimono Fashion

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Venue:FIU Modesto A. Maidique Campus, MARC Pavilion

Dr. Joseph Murphy from University of Florida will be a guest visitor on Friday, January 28, 2011.

Excerpt from "The Geisha Influence on Kimono Fashion”:

Justified or not, geisha loom large as cultural icons of Japan to the outside world. Yet the foreign image of geisha completely misses one of their most important contributions within Japan—that of fashion arbiter in the world of kimono. Historically, geisha were the ones to develop the understated aesthetic called iki, which went on to become a hallmark of Japanese taste in general. Especially through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, when kimono was still the most common mode of dress found in Japan, geisha formed the vanguard of what defined fashion, setting trends that filtered into the respectable mainstream of ordinary women.

Even now, in the 21st century, though kimono's presence in everyday life has dwindled, geisha still maintain a hold on what defines good taste in contemporary traditional dress.

Liza Dalby is an American anthropologist and novelist specializing in Japanese culture. She received her Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1978. The title of her dissertation is "The Institution of the Geisha in Modern Japanese Society." In 1975, she went to Japan on a Fulbright scholarship to research geisha for her thesis. Dalby's previous knowledge of the shamisen (a three-stringed instrument) unlocked the doors for her acceptance within the geisha community, and her book "Geisha" is based on her experiences with the geisha community in Kyoto's Pontochō. Liza Dalby is also the first westerner to have trained as a geisha. Her works include "Hidden Buddhas," "The Tale of Murasaki," "Kimono Fashioning Culture," and "East Wind Melts the Ice: A Memoir through the Seasons." For more information, please click here for Liza Dalby's website.

Dr. Joseph Murphy received his Ph.D. from Cornell University and is a professor at University of Florida specializing in modern Japanese literature and film. For more information about Dr. Joseph Murphy, please click here.

Main Event

Topic: "The Geisha Influence on Kimono Fashion"
Date: Friday, January 28, 2011
Time: 11:00 a.m. - 01:00 p.m.
Venue: Marc Pavilion, Modesto A. Maidique Campus

NCTA Event

Date: Saturday, January 29, 2010
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Venue: GC316, Modesto A. Maidique Campus

Co-sponsor: Department of Modern Languages