After answering a question last week that didn’t have a clear understanding of what the real answer was, I was directed to a Japanese blog post about the subject of why geiko and tayū turn their collars. Here’s the original link (Japanese only):
It goes on to explain how tayū have been doing it for so long that they can’t even remember the origins, but it likely had to do with showing that they were a member of the nobility class and could gain access to places reserved for the nobility since they wore colors that were reserved specifically for nobles. It also brings up an event for a tea ceremony held in 1877 where both tayū and geiko were in attendance and the geiko turned their collars like the tayū to show that they were serving. This was also one of the first public tea ceremonies to feature foreign dignitaries and the geiko and tayū had to perform the tea ceremony while seated on chairs. It’s theorized that geiko turn their collars and perform the ceremony while seated in chairs ever since this event took place as a sort of fashion.
Edit: I’d like to thank Kakekotoba for adding this part in before I even could! Thank you for your awesome work ^^!
Gion Matsuri 2016: Maiko and Geiko of Gion Higashi dancing the “Komachi Odori” at the Yasaka Shrine.
This year, Maiko Fukuharu, Maiko Hinayū (Okatome Okiya), Maiko Kanohiro (Kanoya Okiya), Maiko Tomitsuyu and Geiko Tomitae (Tomikiku Okiya) performed on stage.
The Gion Matsuri was introduced in 869, when Kyoto’s citizens were plagued by several natural disasters.
This was thought be happening due to the angry rampage of the deity Gozu Tennō, so Emperor Seiwa odered that the people pray to the God of the Yasaka Shrine, Susanoo-no-mikoto, and ask him to stop Gozu Tennō.
This was repeated every year if there were natural disasters or plagues ailing Kyoto’s residents and im 970, it was officially made an annual event.
The Maiko and Geiko of Gion Kobu, Gion Higashi, Miyagawacho and Pontocho also participe in the Gion Matsuri; they are paraded through the inner city on a float and then put on a special dance to appease to Susanoo-no-mikoto.
Only Kamishichiken is not directly involved, because it lays nearer to the Kitano Tenmagu Shrine than to the Yasaka Shrine.
A few weeks ago, I got this beautiful lady tattooed on my forearm. SO happy with how it turned out, the detail is amazing considering it isn’t that large an area and I love the fact that there is only certain parts of colour too.
This was done by Davie at Archangel 1608 Tattoo Studio in Glasgow who has done all my tattoos - he is a brilliant artist and will always makes you feel at ease which is always a bonus. He’s so helpful with showing you what will work/how to make the best out of any ideas you have.
If you’re looking for a professional tattoo studio in Glasgow and unsure where to go, I would highly recommend!! You can check out some of the work over at Archangel’s facebook page!