Kind of Shoes That Was Worn Back in The Day Of Geisha



This story is about The Royal Family in China. Look at the kind of shoes that was worn back in the day of the Geisha. The smaller their feet were, the higher their royal position..

via : zeelah’s collections







22 Responses to “ Kind of Shoes That Was Worn Back in The Day Of Geisha ”

  1. Damn! That’s gross! I can’t imagine that wearing those show can be comfortable! :mrgreen:

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  2. I love the japanese culture and food but I could never understand their fetish with small feet! gross!

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    JokeRSoul Reply:

    This is actually CHINESE Culture. :|

    Geishas were part of Japanese culture but what they’re showing is applicable to CHINESE culture. I don’t get why people mix up the two.

    Japanese and Korean, in my opinion, are easier to get confused with :|

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  3. I’ve heard of this before but these pictures show how horrific it really is – great post!

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  4. Her toes!

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  5. I’ve read about binding feet but this confirms just how horrendous it must have been. Dreadful. Poor thing.

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  6. they are actually not japanese but originiated in China and they are not called Geishas. Geishas refer to Japanese women “entertainers”. This however, is the Chinese Royal Family. The smaller your foot was the higher in the hierachy you belong- because it is harder to walk and you have more people serving you. They have small danity shoes that was believed that true woman of wealth could wear because farmers and normal people could not afford to do that- they need to their foot to work, run errands and feed their families. With that explained- it doesnt seem so bizzare now huh?

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  7. Yes those are the horrors of the Chinese traditional feet binding. I must say though, the title of your post is misleading. Geisha is a Japanese profession, and what you’re showing in those pictures is a Chinese lady, and a strictly Chinese custom.
    Geisha and China, just don’t fit in the same sentence :-)
    The Japanese Geisha had their own uncomfortable footwear, but they didn’t bind their feet. And their footwear, you can see here:

    http://www.japan-zone.com/culture/footwear.shtml

    Back in the day, beginning from the Song period (10th century and onwards) the status of Chinese women dropped, as the society was ruled by Confucian (and later Neo-Confucian) concepts.
    The woman was supposed to stay at home, and be loyal to her husband, his sons and family. The lack of mobility (social and physical) of women at the Imperial period is clearly shown by this tradition, which started out as a fashion.

    The smaller the feet were, the sexier the woman was considered.
    In later times- such as Ming (14th century till 17th) a woman that did not have those kind of feet, could not get married. And in such a traditional, Confucian society as China was back then, marriage is the most important step in a woman’s lifetime.

    Foot binding was done to little girls, about 3 or 4 years of age. While their bones were still developing. The binding stopped the bones from growing, and the foot remained the same size…although, as you can see- completely distorted.
    It is a lifetime of pain, to walk on these feet. Each step is painful, and as you can understand, extremely difficult to walk.

    It should be interesting to note, that Manchurian rulers of China, during the Qing (the final dynasty), did not allow Manchurian women to bind their feet. They found it humiliating. And later on, in the late 19th century, as China would take on more of the western ideals- Foot binding, would turn into one of the symbols of ignorance and intellectual and social rigidity. And during the 20th century, a symbol of humiliation and feudalism.

    Fashion becoming a symbol of status and society. It is something familiar to all of us, in Europe as well.
    For example the corset- quite a horrible thing to do to a woman’s body as well. Slowly suffocating…
    High heel shoes, are also such a thing, in my opinion.
    Body image? Well that one is quite obvious- the everlasting quest for the “perfect body”, being thin…Plenty of women, having some kind of eating disorder as a result.

    I could go on…

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    CJ Reply:

    I believe that foot binding was done to show status of the family in the Chinese culture. It was done to girls to show they were not meant to do labor and came from a well off family. Though I doubt all of them see that that part of their past is humiliating. I mean look. That lady is old, but I seriously doubt old enough to come all the way from the Ming dynasty. So it must be that some still may do it. Just like there are girls in European countries that still wear corset of their own free will, that for them to have a waist of `5 inches. Crushing their ribs in the process. No wonder you always see the old time girls faint in the movie. THEY CAN’T BREATH!Really I think all these inventions where things men though up to keep it so that women can’t run away from them. Though the heels, pain to walk in, make really convince weapons.

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  8. Im a chinese decent born in Indonesia. I remember my mom told me about this foot binding but never seen the pic. This pic really has opened my eyes how horrible it is. And information from Xiaojie is really informative!

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  9. xiaojie, you are a wealth of information. Thank you! The part about the Manchurians not allowing foot-binding is very interesting. Good that someone of the time could see the horror of it.

    I agree about fashion, but you forgot one. How about the brassier? The things haven’t really been around that long, but in today’s society, in the West, anyway, if a woman doesn’t wear one of these awful, uncomfortable and ridiculous contraptions (no matter how small her chest is), she’s considered a tart or a whore, which is utterly ridiculous. it’s a social constraint, just like foot-binding (but thankfully far less painful or damaging). I’m sure there were lots of reasons put forth for foot-binding too.

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  10. Yes… I’ve never understood how people get them mixed up.

    SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, how can we forget the culture that gave us socks and sandals?

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  11. Well ya its pretty disgusting and terrible to me, i think that’s a horrible thing to do to your feet but people fail to remember women will put up with most any kind of pain to be considered beautiful, either for themselves or men. Either way this is a simple case of the woman finds it beautiful so she decided to bind her feet. Btw all you dumbasses trying to GUESS where foot binding came from, why don’t you just read about it 1st before you make yourself look like an idiot on the interwebz ok?? :) thanks.

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  12. I think it’s terribly ignorant of you to lump geisha and concubines together. Not only are they from two entirely different countries and cultural backgrounds, but Geisha were entertainers and artisans, unlike the concubines of the Chinese court.

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  13. it looks like she has a really long toe:)

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  14. I must also include that it is incorrect to say “back in the days of geisha”. Aside from the fact that foot binding is Chinese and geisha are Japanese, geisha are an ONGOING tradition in Japan albeit an old one. Footbinding has been illegal however for quite some time.

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  15. Why does her foot have a crack in the middle??

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    Sen Reply:

    I showed it to my dad…
    It seems as her foot folded in on itself.

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  16. [...] adel was, dan kon je dat zien doordat je vrouw kleine voetjes had. Hoe voornamer de afkomst, hoe kleiner de voetjes. Ik ben niet heel erg gevoelig voor dit soort bijgeloof maar het kan wel handig zijn. [...]

  17. The Japanese do not bind their feet, it was a Chinese custom.
    The Chinese do not have geisha, it is a Japanese tradition.
    Geisha still exist in the large cities of Japan but are more prevalent in Kyoto.

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  18. The commen misnomer about the chinese foot-binding is that it only requires the actual binding of the feet for it to develop like this. The feet where beat and broken, then tied up. This was repeated every so often, but it depended on the social status of the women. The peasant women didn’t always bind their feet. Those who did didn’t repeat this prosess as often as higher status women.

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  19. Ignorance is the word i can think of. Your whole body should be left the way God created it. Different cultures have their different beliefs, sometime their beliefs are not necessarily good for their own health. As time goes by and generations come and go, then they get smarter to things and realise that these beliefs can be deadly.

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