Torii and toro, “Starlit Night, Miyajima”, shin-hanga by Hasui Kawase, 1928.
Geisha with flower, c. 1910.
Teruha, the “Nine-fingered Geisha,” c. 1910
“The geishas have a special dancing style of their own with a choreography that, like all other Japanese dances, has no resemblance to what we call dancing.
“The dancers glide along with bent knees and on stockinged feet like a kitten’s paws. But there is no more dancing in those paws than when a Danish kitten dances around a ball of wool.
“The actual dance is move from the floor to the arms and hands. The hands are so inconceivably supple, gentle, and expressive that nobody knows what a hand can tell before having seen a Japanese dance.
“And above all of it the fluttering fans, the most indispensible requisite in Japanese dancing. The golden fan slowly lifted behind the long kimono sleeve is the rising full moon. The green fans are the woods in spring and the white fans the snowflakes.
“The dancer can throw the fan up in the air to make it look like a bird and she can catch it again as safely as the bird landing on a swinging twig.”
– The Moon of Beauty: Woman and Love in the East, Jørgen Andersen-Rosendal, 1958