Hideko Takamine in Plain Kimono

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In Mikio Naruse's "When a Woman Ascends the Stairs" (1960), Hideko Takamine plays a role of Keiko, who is called "Mama", a high end hostess in Ginza. Keiko refers to herself and every aspect of her life as a performance, a kind of advertisement to sell her clients, selling an image of  luxury, class, and even moral probity. “My rent is 30,000 yen, a lot for one person,” she admits. “But for us Ginza hostesses, an apartment is a fashionable accessory, just like expensive clothes and perfume. Keiko herself is symbolized by her much-discussed plain, but expensive kimonos, for which the actress Hideko Takamine herself is credited.

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