Kotohajime 2013 in Gion Kobu

13th December is a day of Kotohajime which means “preparations for the New Year” but practically it is all about paying the respects to teachers and patrons. Geiko and maiko receive a brand new fan from their dance master (in Gion Kobu it is Yachiyo Inoue).

Yachiyo Inoue is the fifth dance master in Gion Kobu, a granddaughter of great Yachiyo Inoue IV.

New Year in Gion Kobu: a family from Odamoto okiya

Maiko Katsusen, maiko Momokazu, maiko Katsutomo and geiko Fumikazu


For New Year, geiko and maiko make rounds in their Hanamachi to greet patrons and locals. They dress in the best black formal kimono with gold obi, paint their necks with three lines (sanbonashi) and stick unhusked rice in their hair. Senior maiko are also allowed to change their hairstyles from ordinary ofuku to elaborate yakko shimada (worn here by Momokazu and Katsutomo)