Three maiko (apprentice geisha) posing next to a stone lantern at a Japanese garden.
Japanese photographer Nobukuni Enami photographed this lovely scene of three maiko in gorgeous kimono at Yokohama’s famed Nozawaya Garden.
This private garden was on the grounds of a villa (別荘庭園) in Nogeyama (野毛山) owned by the Mogi family (茂木家). This rich merchant family ran, amongst other businesses, the successful Nozawaya department store.
The company was launched in Yokohama in 1859 as a silk store, known as the Nozawaya Silk Store (野澤屋絹物店).1 It was located on No. 30 Benten-dori Nichome in Yokohama, for many decades the most important shopping street in the city.
Over the years, the family expanded into banking, real estate, general retail and other industries. The family was extremely successful, the silk business for example had stores in Yokohama, New York, Lyons, Paris and London.
The garden, popularly known as the Nozawa or Nozawaya Garden (野沢庭園、野沢屋庭園) was opened to the public twice a year. People would line up to admire the plum blossom in spring and the chrysanthemums in autumn.
In 1892 (Meiji 25), British horticulturist James Herbert Veitch (1868–1907) visited the garden. He described his impressions of the garden as part of a series of letters published in the British horticulture periodical The Gardeners’ Chronicle between March 1892 and December 1894:2
Sadly, the garden didn’t survive the Great Kanto Earthquake. Where once the garden was, now stands the Yokohama Municipal Nogeyama Zoo (野毛山動物園).
1 Wikipedia, 野澤屋. Retrieved on 2021-12-26.
2 Veitch, James H., The Gardeners’ chronicle : A Traveller’s Notes. Written March 28, 1892, published April 1, 1893. Retrieved on 2021-12-26. In 1896, the letters were privately printed as A Traveller’s Notes.
Reference for Citations
Duits, Kjeld (). Yokohama 1900s: Maiko at Japanese Garden, OLD PHOTOS of JAPAN. Retrieved on May 27, 2022 (GMT) from https://www.oldphotosjapan.com/photos/854/maiko-at-japanese-garden
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