basket-headed komuso, members of a zen buddhist sect who went from door to door asking people for alms.  in exchange, they would offer to bless the homes and rid them of evil spirits.

basket-headed komuso, members of a zen buddhist sect who went from door to door asking people for alms. in exchange, they would offer to bless the homes and rid them of evil spirits.

PrintCollection - Portrait of Tattooed Woman, 1907

Portrait of Tattooed Woman, 1907

A komusō (虚無僧) was a Japanese monk during the Edo period. Komusō were characterised by the straw basket (tengai) worn on the head, manifesting the absence of specific ego.

A komusō (虚無僧) was a Japanese monk during the Edo period. Komusō were characterised by the straw basket (tengai) worn on the head, manifesting the absence of specific ego.

Wealthy Chinese women with bound feet (Beijing, 1900). Foot binding was a symbol of women’s oppression during the reform movements in the 19th and 20th centuries

Wealthy Chinese women with bound feet (Beijing, 1900). Foot binding was a symbol of women’s oppression during the reform movements in the 19th and 20th centuries

late 19th century photograph of a woman wearing a reproduction juunihitoe, a layered Heian-era court garment.  Princesses and other noblewomen wore these layered robes in the Heian (Kyoto) royal court around AD 1,000 or so.  They were also used with some variation in later courts, although mainly as ceremonial wear.

late 19th century photograph of a woman wearing a reproduction juunihitoe, a layered Heian-era court garment. Princesses and other noblewomen wore these layered robes in the Heian (Kyoto) royal court around AD 1,000 or so. They were also used with some variation in later courts, although mainly as ceremonial wear.

Japanese Mothers with Their Children wear traditional Kimono with Obi & hair combs

Japanese Mothers with Their Children wear traditional Kimono with Obi & hair combs

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Buddhist priest and attendant. Hand-colored photo, about 1880’s, Kobe, Japan, by T Takagi.

Buddhist priest and attendant. Hand-colored photo, about 1880’s, Kobe, Japan, by T Takagi.

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