Collection online

Onsen geisha 温泉芸者 (Hot Spring Geisha)

  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Title (object)

    • Onsen geisha 温泉芸者 (Hot Spring Geisha)
  • Description

    Photobook. One volume. First edition.

  • Producer name

  • Date

    • 1975
  • Production place

  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 26.8 centimetres
    • Width: 18.5 centimetres
  • Curator's comments

    A superb documentary-style book about the lowest class of Geisha in Japan. Onsen Geisha are those who make a living in one of the numerous hot springs in Japan, having fallen out of favour in one way or another, (or who were never quite up there in the first place). Often elderly or a little bit less than attractive they entertain guests in the hot springs of Besso Onsen (Nagano Pref.) never to form any binding relationships, or if they do, to suffer the consequences. The stark black and white images chillingly convey the sadness of their existence, made all the more peculiar by the veneer of tradition. No copy in OCLC. (Titus Boeder, 4/07)


  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    2010 Feb-Jun, BM Japanese Galleries, 'Japan from prehistory to the present'

  • Associated places

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Department


  • Registration number


  • Additional IDs

    • PB.61 (Photobook number)

There is no image of this object, or there may be copyright restrictions

Image service:

Request new photography



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: JCF16232

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help