I entered the enchanting world of geisha and specifically Ichimaru, 20th century's most famous geisha, and was struck but the beauty of this unique culture. Among the beautiful embroidered and hand painted kimonos, were little placards giving background and history of geisha and the fascinating Ichimaru. In the 1930's, Ichimaru left geishahood and secured a recording contract. She rose to fame, not only in Japan, but around the world. In 1950, Ichimaru performed in Hawaii and became the first entertainer to be invited to perform abroad following World War Two. But even after she left geishahood, Ichimaru continued to performed in full geisha costume. After her death in 1997, she left her treasured kimonos to Dr. Fumi Suzuki, who in turn found a home for them with The Art Gallery of Victoria, in British Columbia.
I don't know why I waited so long to visit this charming museum in the heart of Toronto! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to The Textile Museum of Canada, and I will be visiting more. There were smaller crowds than the ROM or AGO, so I had the time to wander and fully appreciate the exhibits. There were 2 more exhibits running: Telling Stories and Fictions and Legends: Heather Goodchild and Jerome Harvre, that I will post about soon! For more information on Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru or The Textile Museum of Canada please visit www.textilemuseum.ca.
|Listening to a recording of Ichimaru singing|
|Young Ichimaru playing the shamisen|
And P.s!: Wednesday nights are the perfect night to visit TMC. Not only are they open late, but admission price is "pay what you can", and there are free workshops offered! See all the exhibits and learn Origami, for less than its costs to see a movie!