Geisha From Another World, vintage photograph posted by Flickr user Okinawa Soba. Click image to view source.
Flickr user Okinawa Soba has shared with us a vast archive of antique photographs, mostly of old Japan. If you have a couple of free hours, explore sets such as Geisha and Maiko, Religion in Old Japan, or Foot Binding in Old China.* (Caution -- some of these photographs contain nudity or are otherwise NSFW. Flickr will give you the option of viewing these, or not.) These photos are licensed under Creative Commons.
An Early Meiji-era Geisha Hair Style, vintage photograph posted by Flickr user Okinawa Soba. Click image to view source.
Okinawa Soba himself is quite a character, as you'll see from his humorous (though very informative) photo captions. (Many commenters provide additional information about the subjects photographed.) Read his full profile here.
Interestingly, there is a photo of Evelyn Nesbit (the "original supermodel" and inspiration for the Gibson Girl) posing as a geisha among this collection. OS thoughtfully provides a link to other Flickr images of Ms. Nesbit. We can see why she was such a big hit.
* If you're interested in the history of footbinding in China, I recommend Splendid Slippers: A Thousand Years of an Erotic Tradition by Beverly Jackson.
See what else I've Found on Flickr.
This post is part of NaBloPoMo for July 2009.