YOKO TANI : SUCCESSFUL JAPANESE ACTRESS IN EUROPE AND DELIVERER OF CHEESECAKE

POSTCARD 1

POSTCARD 1 (CLOSE-UP)

POSTCARD 2

POSTCARD 2 (CLOSE-UP)

Yoko Tani (1928-1999) was a Japanese actress and nightclub entertainer. Some writers have described her as “Eurasian” or “half French”. These half white labels were thought necessary because there was a belief she would be accepted more as an exotic than as a Japanese woman by European post World War II audiences. The reality is that both her parents were Japanese but worked for the Japanese embassy in Paris. She was conceived on a boat to France and born in Paris. She was given the name “Yoko” which means “ocean child”. She and her family returned to Japan in 1930 and she returned to France in 1950 after finishing her schooling in Japan. She went back to France because she was awarded a scholarship to study aesthetics at the University of Paris. She stayed in school for a couple of years but it did not hold her interest. She developed a strong attraction to the world of cabarets, night clubs and music halls. She entered into “show business” and became known as an “exotic oriental beauty” with her provocative sexy “geisha” dances. These dances often ended with her slipping out of her kimono. She also appeared in “cheesecake photographs”. Discovered by Marcel Carne, a French film director, she entered into his social world of filmdom. She met and later married Roland Lesaffre, the French actor. It would be the first of two marriages. She soon began acting in films. Until the mid 1950’s her acting roles were confined to stereotyped Asians in French films. In 1956 she appeared in French films in more substantial roles. While in Japan, she appeared in a film with a “women in prison” theme. Between 1957 and 1962, Tani appeared in international films. Her first English language film was Graham Greene’s “The Quiet American”. She had a small role playing a French speaking Vietnamese nightclub hostess. In regard to English language films, Tani’s first great success was in “The Wind Cannot Read” (1958). She had a leading actress role and her success helped land her additional English language roles (Great Britain and the United States). Additional Hollywood parts included My Geisha (1962) and “Who’s Been Sleeping In My Bed” (1963). In about 1963, she became more of a European based actress. She worked on mainly low budget Italian films and in femme fatale roles in British television. Tani maintained her love for cabaret and nightclubs throughout her career. The producer of “The Wind Cannot Read” wrote that when looking to recruit Tani for the picture, she found her in a “girlie club”, basically, a strip tease joint in Paris. It was reported that in the 1960’s, she worked in the Le Crazy Horse de Paris nightclub. In 1997, at nearly 50 years of age, she was in Brazil to play a small role in a sexploitation film. Also in 1977 she starred in a transvestite show in downtown Sao Paulo. The IMDb credits Tani with 53 film acting credits between 1949 and 2018.

  Postcard 1 showcases the beauty of Yoko Tani. This photograph is certainly a “cheesecake” image. Tani seems to be falling out of her robe (kimono). Let there be no doubt, sex sells. This was true in the 1950’s and 1960’s as well as today. Unfortunately, women were, and are, seen as objects. This vintage real photo postcard was made in France and published by the “Globe”. The card was part of a series (no.713). The photograph was taken by famed celebrity photographer Sam Levin. Levin was popular both in Europe as well as the United States. This photo postcard is in very good condition (see scans).

Postcard 2 is a risque photograph of Miss Tani. She is wearing the same robe as the one she wears in Postcard 1. It is strategically ill fitting. The postcard is made in Paris and published by the globe as part of a series (no.469). The photographer is Sam Levin. This photo postcard is in very good condition.

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$14.72

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$23.22

 

Buy this Vintage Real Photo Postcard (includes shipping within the US) #3117

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$22.16

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$30.66

POSTCARD 1POSTCARD 2

JAPANESE ACROBATS : TUCK’S : TATTOOS : OILETTE SERIES

This vintage postcard was published by Raphael Tuck & Sons and is titled “Japanese Acrobats” (no. 6465). The performer in the middle has tattoos on his back, as well as on the back of his left leg. Note the acrobats are holding paper fans and that the center acrobat is wearing his fan on his head. The card is part of a sub-series named “Japanese at Home”. The postcard is also a member of the “Oilette ” series, which was introduced in 1903. The 1930 Tuck catalog states that the oilettes are “veritable miniature oil paintings;” with six designs in a packet. These postcards were printed with the “finest modern colour methods direct from original paintings”. Raphael Tuck and his wife started their photography business in 1866 in London. Their store sold pictures, greeting cards, and in time, postcards. Their success came from the sale of postcards during the late 1890’s and early 1900’s. In the early 1900’s the firm conducted postcard competitions for collectors of Tuck postcards. These competitions offered cash prizes and they were very popular. The winner of one of these competitions had a collection consisting of over twenty-five thousand cards. Three of Tuck’s four sons participated in the business. The company was devastated by German bombing during World War II. In 1959 the company merged with two other printing companies.  (SOLD)

THREE EXQUISITE FRENCH WOMAN WEARING KIMONOS IN TOULON, FRANCE

This vintage photo postcard is simply exquisite. Three pretty women, wearing Japanese kimonos, pose for their portrait at the photographic studio of E. Meunier, in Toulon, France. At the turn of the century, kimonos and textiles from Japan captured the interest of fashionistas in Europe and the United States. Women began wearing kimonos as indoor fashion and some women used kimono fabrics to make western dresses. Over time, Japanese kimono fashion became absorbed into Paris Haute Couture. Occasionally, I encounter cdv’s or cabinet cards featuring women wearing kimonos. These early photographs reveal that kimono popularity in the western world was evident as early as the 1880’s. I have seen other real photo postcards with portraits of western women wearing Japanese fashion. However, this image is very special. The women are clutching Japanese fans and one of the ladies is holding a Japanese umbrella (wagasa).    SOLD

PORTRAIT OF A LITTLE GEISHA GIRL (CDV)

GISHA CDV

GISHA CDV 1

This cartes de visite portrait features a smiling barefoot little girl dressed as a geisha. She is holding an Asian style umbrella. Geisha girls are Japanese women who are entertainers. They perform ancient traditions of art, dance, and song. They wear traditional costumes and make-up. There was a time that geisha fashion was popular in the Western world. Both adult women and young children, in the west, would wear this Japanese fashion. It is not uncommon to find cabinet card era (late 19th and early 20th century) photographs of Western women wearing kimonos. This cdv photograph measures about 2 5/8″ x 3 5/8″.  (SOLD)GISHA CDV 2
Published in: on March 28, 2019 at 12:00 pm  Comments (2)  
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PORTRAIT OF TWO PRETTY GEISHAS STANDING IN A GARDEN

This vintage real photo postcard features two pretty geisha women standing in a garden. The women’s portrait provides an excellent view of their traditional clothing. The postcard is color tinted and made in Japan. The postcard is in very good condition.

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$27.50

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$35.50

Published in: on August 12, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF A MOTHER AND HER ADULT SON IN IWAKI, JAPAN

This vintage photograph features a mother and her son. The son is wearing a western three-piece suit while his mom is dressed in a Japaese traditional kimono. Mom looks extremely serious or unhappy. The son in this photo appears to be in better spirits. Note his wire rim glasses. This photograph was taken by T. Nakashima who operated a photo studio in Iwaki, Japan. The city of Iwaki is located in Fukushima Prefecture. In terms of area, Iwaki is the tenth to largest city in Japan. This photograph was taken in the early 1920’s. The photo measures about 9″ x 6″ and is in good condition (see scans). There is an inscription on the reverse of the photograph that I can not translate.

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Published in: on July 14, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PORTRAIT OF TWO JAPANESE SISTERS CLAD IN KIMONOS

japanese sisters 1

japanese sisters

This vintage photograph features two Japanese women wearing traditional kimonos. The pair look more like sisters than a mother and daughter. The photograph was taken by a photographer with the last name of Maki. He operated a photo studio in Iwaki, Japan. The city of Iwaki is located in Fukushima Prefecture. In terms of area, Iwaki is the tenth to largest city in Japan. This photograph measures about 4″ x 6″ and is in very good condition (see scans).

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$21.50

 

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Published in: on July 11, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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PRETTY JAPANESE WOMAN WEARING A KIMONO IN TOKYO JAPAN

This vintage photograph features a pretty Japanese woman wearing a kimono. I am curious about why her hair is styled in such a perfectly coiffed straight up fashion. My guess is that the hair style’s purpose is to show the woman’s complete facial beauty. Just a guess on my part. The previous owner of this photograph identified the year it was taken as 1915. It is likely that this date is printed (in Japanese) on the front of the photograph. At the very least, this image is from circa 1915. The photo was taken by Tanaka who operated a studio in Tokyo, Japan. This antique photograph measures about 6 3/4″ x 3 1/2″ and is in very good condition (see scans). Residue on the reverse of the photograph indicates that it once resided in a photo album.

SOLD

Published in: on June 22, 2018 at 12:00 am  Comments (1)  
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THREE PRETTY CANADIAN WOMEN WEARING KIMONOS IN CHATHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA

This vintage photograph features three women wearing pretty kimonos and flowers in their hair. Judging by their smiles, they seem to be having a good time as they pose for their portrait at the Butler Studio in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. There was a time when wearing this Japanese style clothing was quite popular in parts of the United States and Canada. This is apparent because it is not uncommon to find cabinet card era photographs with Western subjects wearing kimonos. In fact, you can view other photographs of Western women dressed in kimonos in the Cabinet Card Gallery’s collection. Place the word “kimono” in this blog’s search box to see other photos exemplifying this impact of Japanese fashion on American/Canadian fashion around the early twentieth century. The photographer of this image is J. S. Butler who operated as a photographer in Chatham from 1874 until 1902. A number of his photographs can be found in the collection of the Chatham-Kent Municipal Museum. A photo of Mr. Butler can be seen below.

J. S. BUTLER

 

Published in: on April 8, 2018 at 3:03 pm  Comments (2)  
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PRETTY JAPANESE WOMAN WEARING A KIMONO AND HOLDING AN UMBRELLA

asian woman kimono

This vintage photograph features a pretty Japanese woman in traditional clothing standing in a garden. She is wearing a kimono and holding an umbrella. The traditional Japanese umbrella may be a “wagasa” (made of bamboo and paper). The young woman and the photographer are unidentified. This photograph is nearly postcard size (3 1/4″ x 5 1/4″).

SOLD

asian woman kimono 1

Published in: on November 30, 2017 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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