Image: T. Enami / Guy Thiophene
Five geishas stop to smell the flowers.
Geishas are said to live in an alternate reality known as karyūkai, or the “flower and willow world.” It is a parallel domain, far from the banalities of everyday life, filled with beauty, art, music, and dancing. On the surface, this was the world of the geisha during their golden age, the Meiji era, which extended from 1868 to 1912. From the pouring of tea to the making of conversation, everything a geisha does is elevated to an art form.