Manryu (萬龍)

Manryu (July 1894 - December 1973) was a geisha who enjoyed significant popularity at that time and was touted as 'the most beautiful woman in Japan' at the end of the Meiji period.

She was a geisha in okiya (geisha dwelling) named Harumoto in Akasaka, Tokyo (Minato Ward, Tokyo).

A top-grade geisha at that time was an object of admiration for many men and it is considered to be equivalent to a TV star or an idol.

During the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05), postcards with a portrait of geisha were made to comfort soldiers leaving for the front, and these postcards had become so popular even after the war that they were printed in quantity like a star's picture. These postcards became popular even after the war and were printed in quantity like a star's picture. Manryu gained in popularity as a beautiful model for postcards and was ranked top among geishas by a popularity vote conducted by 'Bungeikurabu' (a literary magazine in the Meiji period) in 1909. Because of her high popularity, 'The story of Manryu' was serialized in a newspaper, and she appeared on a poster of a famous department store named Mitsukoshi while her name was used in a popular song.

Although her romance and marriage with Yoichiro TSUNEKAWA, who graduated from Tokyo Imperial University with a bachelor's degree in law, astonished the world, Tsunekawa died of an illness a few years later and she was remarried to an architect Shinichiro OKADA.
(Her real name was changed to Shizuko OKADA.)

In the latter half of her life, she endeared herself to many of her students as a tea ceremony instructor.

Her episodes with Tsunekawa (a friend of Junichiro TANIZAKI) such as their encounter are introduced in "Seishun Monogatari" (The Tale of Youth) written by Tanizaki.

(Her name Manryu is written as 万竜, 万龍 or 萬竜 depending on the literature, but 萬龍 should be appropriate.)