A new video by Rachel & Jun: How to hire a geisha, as explained by geisha Kimicho and Nanoha.


Butterfly Kimono 1910s (1) by Blue Ruin 1

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Geisha Sakae of the Shitaya geisha district in Tokyo, dressed in a butterfly motif kimono.

The 65th Kitano Odori started today!

Until March 7th, the Maiko and Geiko of Kamishichiken will perform their odori four times a day!

Although it’s not the most famous odori of Kyoto, the Kitano Odori has been becoming more and more prominent over the last decade and attracts tourists from all over Japan and even foreign visitors.

This video contains only a small excerpt from one of today’s performances.

The last 30 seconds show a part of the “Kamishichiken Yakyoku”, the odori’s finale. During this dance, all Maiko and Geiko perform on stage together while real cherry blossom petals fall down drin the ceiling. It’s a truly remarkable experience!

Here is a short clip from last year’s Kitano Odori and here is a fuller version of the Kamishichiken Yakyoku performed in 2014.

On April 1st, both the Miyako Odori, held by the Gion Kobu district, and the Kyo Odori, held by the Miyagwacho district, will also start.


Suisha Goya 1905 by Blue Ruin 1
Via Flickr:
A geigi (geisha) dressed in the Genroku style, hunting fireflies, beside a studio backdrop of a suisha goya (water mill).


I’ve just added a new tab which lists all of the Misedashi and Erikae dates of the Maiko and Geiko in Kyoto. Some of them can be traced down to the exact date, but with most of the older Geiko, I had to look at old odori-programmes to find out the year in which they debuted.

This was inspired by OiranGeisha’s similar list. I thought I would start my own and add the new Misedashi and Erikae that have occurred after she became (mostly) inactive and also complete the list of older Geiko to have a resource that is as big as possible.

All of the sources that I’ve used to compile the list (OiranGeisha’s list, kofuji on Flickr, Caitlin Downey on Flickr, missmyloko on Flickr and missmyloko’s Sister Relationships Tab) are linked in the tab.

If I have made any mistakes, have forgotten anything/anyone or you just know something that I don’t, please tell me!

Onsen Geisha from Nagaoka, 1961

Nagaoka Onsen Geigi (Nagaoka Hotspring Geisha), Niigata Prefecture, Japan, 26th January 1961. Vintage Press photograph.

“Winter bows in. Nagaoka, Japan: It takes more than a heavy snow to cool the elaborate courtesy which these geishas display as they practice bows of greeting in Nagaoka, Japan. Fine weather in the wake of heavy blizzards brought out the girls, one of whom forms a strange blend of East and West by covering her kimono with a bright topcoat. (src)

These Geisha seem to be from Nagaoka, Niigata prefecture. There is also a Nagaoka onsen (伊豆長岡) but this is located near Izunokoni, Shimoda prefecture.

July 2016: Maiko Katsuna (Daimonji Okiya) of Kamishichiken and Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu having a chat.

Koeri-san probably visited the Kamishichiken Beer Garden, since Katsuna-san is wearing a casual Yukata.

Source: Kinmokusei on Instagram


Sadayakko as Musume Dojoji 1907 by Blue Ruin 1

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />The actress and former geisha Sadayakko, performing one of her most famous roles, the Kabuki dance Musume Dojoji (The Maiden at Dojoji Temple), a character that transforms from a sweet young maiden to a demented personification of jealousy, then dies of a broken heart.  

Ever the rebel, after her retirement to rural Japan in 1917 to found a silk company, selling under the brand names Yakko Meisen and Yakko Silk, she was frequently seen riding around the countryside on a large, red motorcycle wearing a pair of red-leather motorcycle boots.

May 2014: Geiko Kimiaya (Honjo Okiya) of Miyagawacho on her way to an engagement.

Although there aren’t many pictures of her, Geiko Kimiaya is actually pretty successful and is a very skilled dancer.

Source: Kind of Blue on Flickr


Botan of Shinbashi 1902 by Blue Ruin 1

<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Another version of this image, showing more of her costume as a clam-seller, appears in “Geisha of Tokyo” by K. Ogawa, first published in 1902. Captioned 新橋 Shinbashi 牡丹 Botan.

I don’t know how many times I’m going to repeat this,but:

-Memoirs of a Geisha  has almost nothing to do with actual geisha,geiko,maiko or geigi. There is a reason why actual gei-maiko fans hate this movie.

-Dressing in a bathrobe,putting your hair up in a bun and sticking a few chopsticks in it is not,nor it will ever be ’‘Geisha cosplay“. If you go to Kyoto and want to do henshin, go for it, but leave the damn bathrobe in peace.

-Painting your mouth in a ribbon-shaped red and red dots on your cheeks does not,nor it will ever count as ’'geisha” “geesha” “meiko” or “sexy japanese girl”. 

-Dead / zombie / creepy / naked “geisha” has zero to nothing to do with actual geisha,geiko,maiko OR geigi.

Unless some okaasan rose from her grave, geimaiko fans DO NOT want to see it. Ever.

-“ Lick my sushi ” is not an acceptable phrase for a geisha,geiko,maiko or geigi. 

What you’re doing is INSULTING and STEREOTYPING someone’s culture and heritage and that is NOT  OK !

Plus, nobody wants to see your “made in china” bathrobe.