Kyoto Geisha Tour
Dusk over Gion
Gavin received a Ph.D. in history from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and came to Kyoto in 2001 to take his current position as a tenured university professor of history, religious studies, and American Studies. Since 2016, he is also a Fellow at Harvard's Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies. His teaching and research revolve around Japan's cultural encounters with the West, particularly during the Edo, Meiji, Taisho and early Showa periods (1600-1940), and he has published on the history of foreign tourism and of Protestant missionaries in Japan. To further explore Japan's global cultural encounters, he is currently writing a book on the history of Japanese menswear from the 1600s through the early 20th century. He is also an expert on Kyoto geisha culture and a frequent participant in geisha entertainment. He enjoys reading, spending time with his family, and exploring with clients Kyoto's endlessly fascinating culture and history.
Alexander, originally from New York, has lived in Kyoto for 6 years. After finishing his BA in East Asian studies at Brown University he went on to take a master’s degree in East Asian Languages and Civilizations from the University of Pennsylvania, where he focused on pre-modern Japanese Buddhism. In early 2012, he began training in the craft of Japanese knife making, which he is pursuing full-time. Passionate about Japanese craftsmanship and culture, he enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with others.
John was born in 1952, in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. At Carleton College (Northfield, Minnesota) he majored in English and German literatures, graduating in 1974. A chance to teach English for Panasonic brought him to Kansai, where he settled in Kyoto in 1977. Soon after arriving, he started studying Japanese at the Kyoto Nihongo Gakko, and, in 1979, he took up Nihon Buyo (classical Japanese dance) under the tutelage of WAKAYAGI Kimiha. Practicising this art form occupied much of his time and energy until his teacher's death last year. Writing and editing have also kept him busy: for three years he served as editor of the “Kyoto Visitor’s Guide”, and, as a freelance writer, he has contributed articles to The Japan Times, Asahi Evening News, and the Japan National Tourist Organization’s website. He also authored the Kyoto chapter of Eyewitness: Japan (Eyewitness Travel Guides, Dorling Kindersley publisher, 2000). Interests include sumie, Kyoto food culture, the Thai language, and travel, especially to Southeast Asia. Although submerged in the Kyoto milieu, he is grateful that Osaka is only a 45-minute train ride away.
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