I just laid out the last three images of my first book YAKUZA next to the first three images of my second book MONO NO AWARE...
Completely different project, timeframe, approach, thinking, mindset, everything.... yet...
food for thought I guess...
I just laid out the last three images of my first book YAKUZA next to the first three images of my second book MONO NO AWARE...
Completely different project, timeframe, approach, thinking, mindset, everything.... yet...
food for thought I guess...
Remember the posters you used to hang up on your bedroom wall as a kid? I wonder where they've gone. I even remember there used to be entire poster shops, right? You know, with big plastic covers over the posters and you could leaf through them like a huge book, and when I was a kid sometimes I couldn't even turn over the pages that's how heavy they were. And then when you bought a poster the shop keeper would go into this back room to a huge rack full of rolled up and folded posters and somehow magically knew which poster to give - like he could see through the paper.
What I've always loved about posters is that they're so tangible: you get to wear them out with thumbtacks or tape... and then... then they really start looking good. Just like books... I love books when they're dog eared, coffee stained, and fall apart at the seams... the signs of living a full life.
For a while now I've offered these posters for sale at every exhibit, as a bonus for those who come to visit. On typical thin poster paper, pre-folded, add a little white or black space and some minimal type... they scream "abuse me, hang me up, fold me, tape me, tack me, tear me, let the sun bleach me... or be very careful and frame me. Just don't put me away somewhere dark and lonely..."
7,5€ (approx. $8.5) for a poster and a matching envelope (excluding shipping). They come pre-folded so they ship flat & inexpensive. And I've signed them on the front with a big fat marker pen. Twenty-five times cheaper than an 8"x10" archival quality signed print. Nine images, nine posters.
Yeah sure, you can buy all of them if you want :-)
Oh my. This is fun. Did I mention that I only printed 100 copies of each? The stock isn't gonna last long.... hurry hurry.
So the opening of the Yakuza exhibit in Rome at Officine Fotografiche was fantastic. So heartwarming the welcome when I arrived, so professional the help to get the installation built, so overwhelming the opening night... An incredible experience all around. Thank you Tiziana and Emilio for welcoming me, and for trusting me to deliver... and what a great festival fotoleggendo is.
I like to get my hands dirty. For an exhibit installation, usually they expect the artist to kind of "hang around", giving directions when needed and such. Not me... I am first in, last out, working hands on with everyone all the time. Even if all is planned as much as possible, with layouts and 3D models and exact measurements & positions... at that moment, none of that counts anymore. It's the people and their dedication that really make it happen.
And of course always Diego Orlando is there... as a curator, photographer, close friend and absolute eagle eye, it's him who somehow always makes that extra magic happen. I constantly nag him at every build up, telling him I'm waiting for his "genius moment" to come, and that he'd better hurry.
"NOW Diego, it's time for your genius. NOW."
Of course there is no such thing as planning a genius moment. Yet I feel that moment should always happen. It will happen, as long as the energy in the room is right. It's something unplannable, but to me, it's required to make things one hundred percent perfect. So all I can do is be open for the moment... I can never push it, nor expect it. I can only allow it to happen...
In this case, at the very last minute, we decided to change half a dozen images that were already installed 12 feet high up on the walls (you know how it goes, you change one image and the whole edit falls apart). On top of that, we kind of felt that a double row of rice papers instead of the planned single one would be better....
...and you know that the decision has been a good one when you both look back and think: now, now this is killer.
Up to now I've never been bitten by allowing things to happen.... and I hope I won't ever be... or at least not too often. It's just too much fun.
Here's to Diego, Tiziana, Emilio, Elena and everyone else at Officine: thank you... great times. Hope I can return to Rome soon...
(the exhibit still runs until nov 7, so if you're around, come visit!)
A few days ago the printer delivered the last boxes of YAKUZA books to my door (I was able to make a deal with him to stock my books – great guy, by the way). To my surprise – pleasant surprise – he only handed me 8 boxes. "That's all that's left, son".
As you can see each box holds 13 books. And with 4 upcoming exhibitions, in which I want to make sure that people who come to visit can buy a book, you know what this means. Time to declare:
The second edition of ODO YAKUZA TOKYO is now sold out.
Phew, what a ride for this book... I'll be switching off the online orders in a couple of days, so if you're looking to get a last minute order for this edition, do it NOW. Yes NOW.
Or come visit an exhibit of course :) More details on those soon...
The three days we had available to build the installation and hang the artworks was plenty to build Yakuza. Being the first time, I feared it would be way too short, but we finished in the evening of the second day, after just 27 hours. Some things went exactly as planned, some things even better. And some things seemed to be so hard to solve that I thought we'd never figure it out in time.
My brother Malik had flown over from Tokyo with Yoko, my mum was on standby babysitting a bunch of the kids, and my love was ready too. Two extremely experienced tech guys from the venue were there to help me at all times. Charles from the lab who did the prints, also insisted on personally hanging the artwork to the wall. And a day before the opening, Diego Orlando, dear friend and curator for the Yakuza show, was flying in from Milano.
So we pretty much had it covered. Three stages. Artwork. Rice paper. Goza mats.
The rice paper was the thing that worried us the most. Extremely delicate and without any margin for error (some were printed with images or text), we had to find a suitable way to hang them from the ceiling.
For the artwork I had prepared a detailed layout with exact measurements, and I had faith in Charles, having over 25 years experience doing exactly this kind of thing.
And finally, laying the mats in the right patterns would be pretty straighforward I guessed. Malik took the organization of that one upon him.
Charles was making tremendous progress hanging the actual artworks... and finished after just 7,5 hours. And at that moment, even without the lighting, rice paper or mats, we could see it was going to be good. Everybody was happy... One down, three to go...
In the late afternoon of the first day we encountered or first real challenge, and it was something none of us expected: the goza mats. For some reason we just couldn’t get them to join together in the patterns we needed. We tried everything: sticking, glueing, using a second carpet layer... nothing helped. We tried for hours to figure it out.
Then Yoko found it: goza mats, as is tradition in Japan, should be sewn together to generate the patterns and sizes one needs. Only practical problem: we had to combine one hundred mats into three large shapes & patterns...
We had to find extra hands that knew how to sew. Fast. It was 10pm and we needed them by 9am. We needed them or we'd be in trouble finishing. We started calling around for help.
It was then that I noticed one of the rice paper prints was missing.
Calling Charles he immediately agreed to help me print the missing one at 7am the next morning. I needed to personally be there as we loaded op the paper and printed.
The next morning, at the gallery, a miracle had happened... my mother-in-law and my sister-in-law had both responded to our emergency call for sewing, and took it upon them to bring even more help... Now there was a team of 6 people sewing simultaneously, and things suddenly went really fast... they incredibly managed to finish all the mats just 8 hours later.
Then It was Tuur's turn to save us. At one point - I'm so glad I was still at the printer at that time - someone drilled through a water pipe in the ceiling... and you can imagine what happened next.
Tuur shouted and everybody came running to the room to rescue the artwork... and quickly thereafter the water mains got shut down and repaired. Nothing damaged. Quick thinking from an experienced builder. And by the time I returned from the printer there wasn’t a trace left of all this... phew.
And the rice paper - of which we were all afraid - well, all went flawlessly. The second day, we finished in time, and we all went home completely relaxed. Job done, exhibit ready for final inspection and subsequent opening... fantastic. I slept like a baby.
The next morning, off to the airport to pick up dear friend Diego Orlando (who curates the Yakuza show), and go straight to the venue to check if everything is one hundred percent perfect.
Of course Diego’s eagle eye picked up on something that could be improved story-wise... and we ended up making a genius last minute switch of one image on a different wall and a sequence alteration in another part... in hindsight so simple... so logical... so perfect.
The opening the next day was a big success.... so many people and friends... and such great moments.
Five years ago Malik and I looked each other in the eye in Taka’s bar and said “hey what if we try to photograph the yakuza?”.
Now, half a decade later, after two editions of the book and the first of a series of solo exhibits, we are finally full circle.
I am SO happy.
Mum, Malik, Yoko, Miet, Tuur, Jeroen, Charles, Mich, Jules, Kristien, Danny (and of course young Lukas in a supporting role), I simply cannot thank you guys enough for helping at the setup... and thank you Veerle and Eddie for giving me the opportunity in the first place...
Finally they're here... Limited editions of images from the different projects I've been photographing.
A humble beginning with an edition for three of my projects, and quite an investment of time and money, but I think it is going to be worth it. Most recently, I was able to make a limited edition of prints from the Yakuza project (to accompany the upcoming exhibits). Combined with an edition of my work shot in Mexico on "I was a Dog/I see a Ghost", and an upcoming edition (Q4 this year) of new Dislocate images, that makes three.
So I thought it might be good to combine them all online into one place, keeping things simple and up to date.
All the editions are actually very limited (although the print size is quite large sometimes... you gotta love large prints).... but after a lot of talking with, and advice from, friends, experts in the field and gallery owners, and of course a great deal of soul searching, I think this is the way I should go.
I'm not a full blown art photographer, but I think I've kinda got my act together and once in a while I do want to make available high quality limited editions of my work, preferably in small numbers... so I can keep it personal... and I think - I hope - editions like these ones speak this message and complement everything else I do.
To be honest, yet again I have no clue if this is the right way to go... it just feels like another natural step to take. I'll see how it goes and report back here regularly... check it out: antonkusters.com/editions
And if you're reading this and interested in buying an editioned print, send me a message and I'll give you your password to access the details...
Have a great day today,
P.S. yes, "Sugar" is on the list too... stay tuned! :-)
66 images, ranging from 12x18" through 40x60" to one that's a whopping 78x118"
(if I can afford that last one, that is)
Happy New Year.
Here are some things:
This is some snow. This is a book at the presses. These are the first dummy tests for the "dislocate" books. This is a good whiskey (after having a few). This is some more work done on the "yakuza" solo exhibit in april. And these are flowers for my mother.
....and there's much more to come.
2013 is going to be a good year, I'm sure of it. For all of us... it has to be. My best wishes to each and every one of you... and see you soon.
Today is exactly 1000 days ago that BURN Magazine published my first image of YAKUZA... and what an adventure that was to become. I must say I had no clue.Read More
Surprise! For those of you who ordered the second edition of YAKUZA, I present you with the new cover image. I hope you like it...
The inside of this second edition is the same as the sold out limited edition... but the last image, binding, chapter paper and cover are different. Read more about that here.
Exciting... In about ten days the second edition will be stitched and bound, the cover attached, and all the books will be individually shrinkwrapped, ready to be packed and shipped.
And so the distribution begins... I'm really really looking forward to it, and at the same time I'm a little scared of this first massive shipment of books I'm going to fulfill during the first week of November. Am I logistically even going to be able to handle it?
Looking forward to the smell of books filling up my house again.
Have a great day today,
PS. Oh, and if you haven't bought a book yet, now is really the time to do so... just click the green button here to your left... I need your support... I promise, you'll not be disappointed!
These past two months have been great. Humbling also. More than anything else, I'm incredibly grateful for all the attention YAKUZA gets everywhere... Many good things have happened and I'm hoping many more good things will come. And it started all on BURN magazine with David Alan Harvey as my mentor... I literally owe you everything, amigo.
I’ve literally received more than a thousand emails after the limited edition sold out, asking if there were plans for a second (general) edition of ODO YAKUZA TOKYO. At the time, I’ve always responded with neither "yes" or "no", mainly because I needed a break in August to think things over... find new projects, do some research, get everything in order, rest my weary mind, take a little nap, etc...
And then came the press attention... attention and support which, without fault, has been super professional and incredibly heartwarming... GEO, GEO Epoche, The Sunday Times, El Pais, BBC, BBC Radio 4, BBC Mundo, Dagens Næringsliv, Blurb, The Japan Times, Chasseur D'Images, Rencontres d'Arles,... so many, and there's still more to come (stay tuned!).
I'm genuinely happy and excited... And I realize all the above is giving me an opportunity to reach more people with a book than ever before, tell my story to a wider audience... participate.
So here's the plan: I literally just called the printer five minutes ago. Said it felt like it was time for a second edition.
He agreed and started preparing rightaway. He guaranteed that all books will be ready to ship October 30th, 2011. Wow.... just perfect... What else could I wish for...
Since this is not the limited first edition, there will be significant changes in the book: no Japanese transparent paper between chapters, not numbered as part of an edition, a cover change, and a different binding. The image edit will be exactly the same as the first edition though, except for the very last image, which is unique to the limited edition... Yes, for the 500 lucky ones who have supported me in buying the limited edition two months ago, rest assured: your copy is now more valuable than ever... it is a unique object, never to reproduced. Your support has made everything possible in the first place...
The price of this second edition? Also exactly the same. I want the first edition buyers to know that they have something special, but that they did not have to pay a premium price for this. That "extra" in the first edition is my token of appreciation for the trust they gave me.
Back to the second edition: I want to offer a token of trust for people buying this second edition... to me, as an independent artist publishing work, it's the thing that makes everything worthwile, that personal connection to you, buying the book...
So I'm offering the first 250 people who order a book a signed copy, and I will add an original YAKUZA print as well. (UPDATE: on september 12 2011, the first 250 orders were reached)
Again... thank you so much for the hundreds of supportive emails... and asking for a second edition. I heed your call.
And touch wood for me please...
And while you're at it, buy your copy here below NOW :-)
as of Nov 1, 2013, the second edition is sold out. The book is only available at exhibitions and possibly select book stores.
I never thought it would go this way. I expected to sell about half of what I printed, ever.
Instead, the book ODO YAKUZA TOKYO opened on BURN on June 17, and now, 34 days later, the 500 copy limited edition is sold out... If you have any enquiries about this edition, just send me a direct email.
Today I'm wrapping the final book to ship. It does feel kind of sentimental.
Completely honored, and grateful to the chance I've been given, I now need a rest. Just a short one. One week.
I'll be going on a little road trip with my lover, and after that, spend August at home, recharging, taking things easy, making my mind empty... and planting some seeds.
The Yakuza project is not in any way over of course, but just so you know: many more exciting things are going to be started soon...
Thank you all who bought the book, it has been a life-changing positive experience. I hope I will be granted many more of these.
thank you all, a
Finally.... it's here! The book ODO YAKUZA TOKYO.... Over on BURN Magazine there's a great interview by David Alan Harvey with me about the new book... and obviously you can buy it there. Please do so... it's a beautiful object... and limited to only 500 numbered copies...
Below an excerpt from the introductory text:
In the hotel bar in Niigata, I’m only slowly starting to understand the extremely subtle social interaction that is continuously happening; the micro-expressions on the faces, the gestures, the voices and intonations, the body language...
As the bar is being evacuated to make room for the godfather having a coffee, everything seems to be strictly organized but at the same time seems to come naturally: strange, I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do, where to sit, when to talk or when to shut up. It’s like I literally feel the boundaries, the implicit expectations, and I’m slowly learning when I can move forward, and when to best hold back.
Sitting at the table with a bodyguard looking straight through me, I drink my iced coffee. I’m feeling the acute sensation of walking on eggshells.
So yes, I feel a little like I took a step forward... printed and bound exactly like I envisioned it, a limited edition of 500 copies, soft cover, Japanese paper,... in my eyes, it has it all.
I sold 8 out of 10 copies at LOOK3 festival a few days ago, and was humbled by the amazing response. To watch someone looking through your book is something that completes the circle for me...
So go ahead, buy a copy, you will not be disappointed... and you will be supporting me to continue my work. Shipping starts on July 1st. My first task, tomorrow, is going to Japan with 10 books as a gift to the family bosses. Presented to them by me and my brother Malik with a little ceremony.
Oh, and by the way.... today is my birthday.... some lucky coincidence.
exciting day... no words needed... just some snaps.Read More
So here are the first details of the book ODO YAKUZA TOKYO to see the light of day. I promised some insight into how I went about all this, and here it is. Although the finished product will look "easier" than the magazine layout, actually a lot more work went into this one... Thinking about creating a good "package" was crucial.
That package meaning everything from images to paper to size to aspect ratio to typography, binding, number of pages, all had to match up perfectly. To get started, here is the cover, front and back, folded open all the way (see the blue dotted lines for folds):
The image of a door I can barely see through, Yakuza members in a meeting and a bodyguard at the door, the mystery that surrounds them, is as always present, yet enough is revealed to be able to take a peek into their world; it felt like an image that sums up the story well.
The title, ODO YAKUZA TOKYO, hopefully speaks for itself, ODO (or 桜道 - which is translated as "the way of the cherry blossom") being the official sign of the Yakuza family in Tokyo that I have been following for more than two years now. Also notice that the title of the book appears on the backcover. I though long and hard about this one, and in the end I believed it wouldn't do me any damage. At the same time it's a tribute to Japanese books, which due to the language, usually start "at the back" and make their way to the front.
Oh, and of course it's gonna be a softcover... with flaps on the cover folded inside... so much more real, like a book...
I could never have designed the cover without first knowing the entire package; and that took a long time to figure out. Especially because I had nothing to hold in my hands to compare to, to feel, to pick up, to leaf through. It's always so different to actually hold a book in your hands, compared to looking at a design on the screen. So I started collecting many different books that were interesting in some way or another, and I finally found a book that was almost completely a perfect package like I wanted to create: softcover, portrait (so the opened book can be as accompanying as possible for double page pictures), folded flaps, ±220 pages, a version of lay flat binding, thick paper with a personality, laced with thin tracing paper per chapter, and a size of 8.89 x 11" (225.9 x 279.4 mm)...This was going to be it.
Double page pictures... I wanted this to be possible but I needed to be sure about the binding, so I could be confident the book could lay flat without breaking. here's a sample pic, and it works beautifully. I've had this particular book for about 5 years now, and the binding still doesn't show any signs of wear:
Once I knew that was possible, I could start to look at the double page spread as a canvas by itself, and I could start thinking about giving each individual image the whitespace (or bleed) it needed in my eyes. It turned out that all of my images coped extremely well with the double page layout, and I was very happy to see that many images even gained strength because of the depth the fold created in the middle. This was my biggest hurdle and my greatest fear, but now that I look back at it, that decision was a very good one to be made.
On to typography... I wanted to use a favorite and very old typeface Plantin, but because I used that for the logo and design of BURN Magazine, I decided not to got the same route for this book. I moved on to a digital font, with a slightly lighter reading impact on the eye for longer text: Arno by Robert Slimbach. All text in the book is set in versions of the Caption, Italic, Regular, SmText, or Italic SmText, depending on the situation.
The number of pages for a book using this binding and this aspect ratio/size, would ideally be around 200-220... so that's what I aimed for. A total of 92 images will grace the pages of this book, and reproductions of 12 works of Japanese calligraphy by Ginryu (Taka's artist name).
After a long search and many print tests, the final paper choice ended up between Fedrigoni's Symbol Tatami or Périgord's Condat Mat... at 175 or 150 gr. I went for the Tatami, which has more personality to the touch. Also, the ever so slight ivory colour perfectly matches the yellow cast which seems to be present throughout the images of the Yakuza story. And the beautiful tracing paper between every chapter, accomodating the calligraphy, hopefully give the book that "little extra".
I'm genuinely happy. I feel I'm creating a book that is completely what I envision it to be. The story I want to tell in exactly the way I would love it to be told. To me, this package perfectly fits the bill: paper choice, size, aspect ratio, binding, top quality printing... it all adds up and the different parts seem to complement each other nicely.
Mind you, this all adds up to quite a printing bill.... One which I cannot pay. But I firmly believe in this package, in the way I want to present the YAKUZA story. And rather than sacrificing quality to accomodate limited budget, I'm going to be seeking support from you guys so I can pull this one off.... details on this, and on my thoughts on distribution, very very soon... please stay tuned. I'm gonna need all of you.
Taka-san is creating calligraphy for the ODO YAKUZA TOKYO book (more info on the book soon). He is our fixer for the entire Yakuza project, and over the years has become a dear friend. His work will be featured as chapter pages in the book. There will be 12 works in total. He's not a professional artist, but his calligraphy has a very strong personality speaking through it. It's a very emotional and exhausting process for him to put his sentiments about the Yakuza story into the characters he draws.
I think it's a really cool collaboration, and it adds an extra layer of authenticity to the book, especially as he has been deeply involved since the very beginning. Without him, we would have never made contact with the Yakuza in the first place. At his own personal risk, he always makes sure my brother Malik and I are safe at all times, and continuously advises us on the ever so important do's and don'ts when dealing with them. A bar owner and professional musician, he himself is not a member of any family.
Recently, the incredibly friendly and professional people at GEO Epoche magazine in Germany contacted me to supply images for their new issue about the history of organized crime throughout the world. Specifically, they wanted to use my images to complement their 18 page chapter about the history of the Yakuza in Japan from 1945 to 2010... of course I gladly obliged. This special issue #48 hits the stands today April 13, 2011.
The editors at GEO Epoche are an absolute joy to work with. Super professional, an incredible eye to detail, and strong research, they also valued my opinions and possible safety concerns and the overall context. I've always felt it a very sensitive issue to give control away over the context of my images, but I have never felt at any moment that they treated it lightly. I am very impressed.
Oh, and they're also including an image of mine in their newsletter, 15 extra images in a slide show on their website to promote the story, and they're also making mention of the upcoming ODO YAKUZA TOKYO book (more about that book very soon), and the second issue of 893 Magazine.
I simply couldn't be happier the way this all came together. Online, offline, printed, screen, past, present, future,.... all in one big mix.
Below you can see the actual layout of the spreads in the GEO Epoche printed magazine (issue #48), and these are the links to the connected online content: GEO Epoche - issue #48, the chapter about the Yakuza and the Yakuza slide show (both in German).
In Tokyo now photographing cherry blossoms... For some reason, the past 3 years, somehow, in my ever infinite wisdom, I've always managed to miss this huge event. But not this year.
This is going to be the closing image of what I think is the first major step in the Yakuza project: the photo book "ODO YAKUZA TOKYO".
Why cherry blossoms? Well, that's another one of the many enigmas surrounding the Yakuza: "ODO" or 桜道, is literally translated as "the way of the cherry blossom", and is the credo of the particular family that I'm following. An image of cherry blossoms seems crucial to the book.
But first things first: yes, the book is finally coming... I've found a printer, I'm finishing the design, I've narrowed down the paper choice, and I've been recommended an incredible binding. More on the book coming very very soon: the design, the model, what's in it, how I am going about publishing it, seeking support from you guys, how I'm going to try to sell it, etc....
People ask me what the difference is between the book and the magazine (893 Magazine). At first, I'd just keep saying, "well the book is like a book, and the magazine is like a magazine", but as more and more people started giving me that blank stare, I realized that explanation didn't quite cut it :-)
I think it's more along the lines of this: 893 Magazine allows me to bridge the gap between the project and talking about the project. 893 Magazine effectively has given me the much needed ability, the platform to talk about my personal experiences along the way. In fact, one could compare the magazine to an abbreviated, condensed, more permanent printed version of a blog or a personal diary.
Contrary to the above, the book "ODO YAKUZA TOKYO" is the actual project. The images, all reproduced in the best possible way I can afford, as a perfectly sized tangible book object, a quality package that represents the first two years of photographing the Yakuza.
If the book is the story in pictures, the magazine is talking about the story in pictures. Two different things, but both equally necessary.
So why not combine into one book? For the simple reason that it is time for the book, but the rest of the Yakuza project is not over yet.... there are still many things to come after this first book, and upcoming 893 Magazine issues give me that ongoing platform to talk about this: issue #2 will talk about the process of preparing the documentary film, designing the book, sketching the exhibition, going deeper into the personal life of our fixer Taka, new images along the way, and more...
So there you have it. A sneak peek into what's cut out for me for the rest of this year. Plus starting several new projects. Gulp. What a workload. But I'm looking at it from the bright side... I'm really, really, really lucky to be doing what I love.
Hugs to all,
On the last night, Soichiro calls us to meet. He tells us some guys are going out, and that they are OK with us tagging along.
On the way over, he explains to me that the club his friend owns, has a slight twist... Instead of a guest giving dollar bills to a dancer during a show, it works the other way around: the dancer chooses to collect dollar bills from a guest she chooses.
In this club, guests pay a fixed amount for a table and a fixed period of time, and accompanying that, they receive chips in the form of fake dollar bills. The dancers come and sit and chat at your table, introductions are made, and drinks are bought. Conversations start to take place. At a certain point, a hostess gets up and chooses a guest to accompany her on stage, to collect dollar bills from during an act. As the night progresses, these dancing acts become more explicit, but always the guest is required to lay still.
The conversations and shows strike me as extremely professional. Any contact between dancers and guests is courteous and respectful in a typical Japanese way. It's even almost like the subtlety and the conversation is more important that the show.... quite an enigma, considering the setting of a night club in Kabukicho.
I soon thereafter learn that customers often return to see the same hostess girl many many times, sometimes over many years, while building up a relationship of empathy, discretion and trust, in which both parties get to know each other intimately (though not necessarily physically), talking about work, home, kids, joys and worries at home, and the like.
Obviously the line is a very fine one, and most probably it is often crossed... but here, now, to me, the line seems very clear... and even here, the concept "geisha", though maybe far fetched and very different, never seems to be really far away.