Yukako’s “Mirror” by John Paul Foster on Flickr.

Via Flickr:
In Inoue Yachiyo’s Kyomai (and many other styles of dance in Japan), hand gestures often have symbolic meaning. When geiko and maiko hold one of their hands in front of their face as Yukako is doing here, the hand represents a mirror. If Yukako were really dancing, she would be looking down at her hand. I asked her to look into the lens instead because I thought it gave the portrait more impact.



Satsuki is the most famous lady of Gion Kobu and one of the best, if she is not the best, of Kyoto too.

She have her misedashi the 28 February 2011 and her erikae the 23 February 2015. She is from Tsurui okiya and she start under the wing of the geiko Sayaka.

Since her shikomi stage, Satsuki or Luna (it’s her real name)  had the determination to be the best geisha of her hanamachi. She always smiled to the photographers, took time to be charming and was practicing hard her dance and musical skill.

As a maiko, Satsuki-chan has blossomed as a wonderful flower and she become quickly famous by her kindness, her participation to the KoiMaiko TvShow (with Kyouka in a first time then Sachiho and Marika before her erikae), her charming smile and her dance skill. She is a close friend with Marika. And very recently she had her erikae, it was a madness. A wave of photographers. She acted relax and smiling.

You know Satsuki is one of the greatest maiko of our time. Some persons say that Satsuki is the new Mineko Iwasaki (A very famous geisha of the 1960’s/1970’s who write the autobiography Geisha of Gion and she was also one of the okaansan of Iwasaki okiya). I don’t know if it’s a great thing to compare these two star because they are very different life. The important thing it’s that a girl like Satsuki is rare.

(Source1, Source2, Source3, Source4, Source5, Source6, Source7)


Miyako Odori, The Dance of the Capital: (Source1, Souce2 , Source3)

The Miyako Odori (Gion Kobu) was created in 1872 for a Kyoto Exhibition. It’s the annual representation of skill of the school dance Inoue.

This blue kimono is a symbol of this Odori. A lot of japanese and tourists come to Gion Kobu for see this Odori, for many it’s the only occasions for see a geiko or a maiko and participate to a formal tea ceremony. This Odori is performed at the Kaburenjo theater.

The poster (was the 2014 poster) that you see (second photo) show generally one of the famous maiko of the year. For this photo it’s was the maiko Satsuki. These poster are drawed by some famous japanese drawers.  

The most famous scene of the Miyako Odori is named “So Odori” where all of the maiko and geiko dancing together.