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70215-0017 - The Geisha Manryu


Studio Taisho 1910s Unknown
The famed geisha Manryu (万龍) was born in 1894 (Meiji 27) as Shizu Tamukai (田向静). At age 7 Manryu was adopted by an Okiya (lodging house for maiko or geisha) in Akasaka. She nearly drowned during a flood in Hakone, but was rescued by a Teikoku University graduate whom she later married. He died only a few years later, after which she married the architect Shinicihro Okada (岡田信一郎). After his death, she taught tea ceremony.

Manryu was a very popular model for postcards of beautiful women (美人絵葉書, Bijin Ehagaki). At one time she was voted the most beautiful woman in Japan by readers of a magazine. She also appeared in posters of cosmetics and kimono shops and her beauty was praised in the book Kindai Bijinden (近代美人伝, Stories of Modern Beauties), published in 1936 (Showa 11).
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