Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Press Release

From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru
29 January – 25 May 2014

Photo courtesy of the Textile Museum of Canada

TORONTO - The Textile Museum of Canada presents From Geisha to Diva: The Kimonos of Ichimaru from 29 January – 25 May 2014. The Museum’s first major exhibition of the year explores the fascinating life of Ichimaru (1906-1997), one of the most famous geishas of the 20th century, through an extensive collection of her kimonos, costumes, personal effects and promotional materials from the collection of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. Art Exhibitions

In the 1930s, Ichimaru left geishahood in Japan to pursue an illustrious career as a recording artist and film and television entertainer, but even as a diva she continued to perform in full geisha regalia. Combining her experience as a geisha with an extraordinary talent as a vocalist and musician, she would become a unique figure in the social history of modern Japan. Studying music in Tokyo's “floating world” or pleasure district, in 1927 Ichimaru secured a recording contract with The Victor Recording Company, establishing an international recording career that would last into the 1980s. 

Photo courtesy of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (Click to enlarge)

From Geisha to Diva features rare kimonos and accessories that reflect Ichimaru’s style and taste as a performer over several decades, offering an intimate glimpse into the life and times of a Japanese popular culture icon. Juxtaposing garments and fashion with documentary materials and ephemera, this exhibition offers a unique perspective on the processes of globalization and dynamism of traditions over the last century. 

55 Centre Avenue
(Dundas St. W & University Ave., St. Patrick subway)
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2H5

Opening Hours

Daily 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesdays 11:00 am - 8:00 pm

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