March 2017: Sisters Maiko Umekana Umechie and Umehina (Umeno Okiya) of Kamishichiken and a Shikomi from their okiya after a Kitano Odori performance.

The Shikomi is most likely the new girl mentioned in this post and arrived on March 11th, is 15 years old and from Gunma prefecture.

Source: Toshifuji-San on Instagram


The 2017 Kitano Odori started today! It will run through April 7th at the Kamishichiken Kaburenjo (source).


Ashibe Odori 1910s by Blue Ruin 1

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Maiko (apprentice geisha) Yachiyo II of Osaka, dressed for the Ashibe Odori, the public dances of the Nanchi Gokagai (Southern five geisha districts), which were first performed in November 1888. The geiko (geisha) of Osaka are known for their &quot;hera-hera odori&quot; or dances that feature acrobatic stunts such as handstands.

A Maiko in a Ceremonial Kimono 1920s by Blue Ruin 1

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />“The maiko [apprentice geisha] and geiko [geisha] have two sets of ceremonial crested kimono one for winter, the other for summer… The maiko’s kimono, which is of winter weight, plus all its accessories, weighs almost twenty kilograms [forty-four pounds], which may be half what she weighs herself, not surprisingly, it takes some time to get accustomed to it.” 

From “Geisha: a living tradition” by Kyoko Aihara, first published 1999, pages 63 & 66.

This type of fully-patterned formal kimono is normally associated with a Ryurei-style Tea Ceremony.


Girl with Cat by Junichi Nakahara 1930s by Blue Ruin 1

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />I love the colours and the compostion of this postcard.

February 2017: Maiko Fukutomo (Horiyae Okiya) of Miyagawacho turns the tables and takes a picture of her photographers during a photoshoot.

Source: Kyoto Flowertourism on Flickr