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

December 2016: Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu being helped with the noren at the door of her okiya.

He is probably a taxi driver driving her to her next engagement.

Source: Rudy Huang on Instagram

anonymous asked:

Hi! May I ask what the difference is between the Geiko and Meiko is?

I’m going to go a bit more in-depth on the process of becoming a Maiko and Geiko, I feel like this makes more sense when I explain it as a “full package”.

Generally speaking, a Maiko is an apprentice Geisha or Geiko, a Geiko-in-training, while a Geiko is considered a fully-fledged artist.

Maiko are ages 15 to 21, while Geiko are at least 20. The “Maiko stage” is approximately 5 years long, in some cases a little bit shorter or longer. Most Maiko debut when they are 15 or 16 and become Geiko when they 20 or 21.

Maiko usually begin their training as a Shikomi at an okiya, a Geisha-house, at age 15 or 16. During their time as a Shikomi, they start taking lessons traditional Japanese dance, singing, instruments, the tea ceremony etc., help with chores around the house and run errands. Then, the have to pass a test to deem if they are ready to become a Maiko

The “Shikomi-stage” is usually 6 months to 1 year long, with 6 months being what is by most considered the minimum.

After passing the test, the girl will become a Minarai, a watching apprentice. She starts wearing the Maiko-outfit and going to parties with her older Maiko and Geiko-sisters, but keeps mostly in the background and observes the way ozashiki work.

After about four to six weeks, the girl will have her misedashi, her official debut as a Maiko.

During their time as a Maiko, the girls continues to daily lessons in traditional Japanese arts and begins to entertain at ozashiki, traditional “Geisha parties” just like Geiko do. They get paid less though because they aren’t seen as full artists yet, and are still dependent on their okiya.

After about 5 years as a Maiko, the woman has her Erikae, the ceremony during which a Maiko becomes a Geiko. A Geiko has to become independent from their okiya after a certain amount of time, which is different in every hanamachi.

Once she is independent, she lives in her own appartment, and has her own collection of kimono, obi and hair ornaments. Most Geiko have their engagements managed by their old okiya, which they pay them for.

Most Geiko also specialize in either music and dance: Dancers are called tachikata Geiko and musicians are called jikata Geiko. Geiko still continue taking lessons, but their lessons will mostly focus on the field they specialize in, while Maiko receive a broad education in both music and dance.

And now for the visible differences: Maiko wear kimono with long furisode-sleeves and a long, dangling darari obi, while Geiko wear short tomesode-sleeves and a short, box-like obi in the tsuzumi obi style.

Maiko have their own hair styled in traditional Japanese hairstyles, while Geiko wear a wig in the geiko shimada hairstyle. The geiko shimada hairstyle frames the face, while the Maiko-hairstyles have two “wings” at each side of the head. Junior Maiko wear the wareshinobbu hairstyle, while senior Maiko wear the ofuku hairstyle on a daily basis. For special occassions like Shigyoshiki, Setsubun, the Gion Matsuri or Hassaku, Maiko also often wear special hairstyles like the yakko shimada hairstyle.

Maiko also wear an obidome, a brooch that is attached to the obijime, a cord that keeps the obi in place, that is made of expensive materials like silver, platinum, jade and precious gemstones.

Maiko often wear okobo, high, wooden platform shoes that have bells inside them that make a very significant sound when a Maiko walks. These shoes are usually worn for short walks and special and/or important occassions, for longer walks, a Maiko will wear zori, much more comfortable sandals traditionally amde of rice-straw (today they are usually made of other materials, though) that can also be worn by geiko though.

For formal occassions or short walks, Geiko will wear the traditional, low wooden sandals called geta.

This is Maiko Mamesumi (Ninben Okiya) of Gion kobu. You can clearly see her long kimono-sleeves, broad obi and obidome (in this case it’s made to look like a rose). Her yellow darari obi dangles down below her knees. (Source)

This is Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu. Here you can see her darari obi and the way it overlaps at the bottom better. She is also wearing okobo. (Source)

This is Geiko Fumino (Fukushima Okiya) of Gion Kobu. You can clearly see her shorter sleeves and smaller, simpler obi and the fact that she isn’t wearing an obidome. She is also wearing zori, not okobo. (Source)

These are Geiko Momifuku and Momiyuki (Yamaguchi Okiya) of Pontocho. Here you can see part of Momifuku’s box-like obi and the special kind of geta Geiko wear. (Source)

For more information on the visible difference between Maiko and Geiko, check out missmyloko’s Anatomy of Maiko and Geiko tab!

November 2016: Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu wearing an absolutely gorgeous kimono with a chrysanthemum-motif on it.

Source: Kinmokusei on Instagram

January 2017: Maiko Katsuhana (Odamoto Okiya) of Gion Kobu having her obiage adjusted by Maiko Katsusen and Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya).

Source: Katsu H. on Instagram

December 2016: Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu holding two fukudama.

On the 30th of December in Gion Kobu and Miyagwacho, Maiko and Geiko (if they are still around; the time around New Year is very quiet in the hanamachi) visit several ochaya and say “okotōsandosu”. That is why the event is called okotōsan.

If there is anyone present, they will give her a fukudama, one of the white and pink balls pictured above, which have a nice gift inside them.

Koeri received at least four fukudama this year, how nice!

(Thanks to missmyloko for explaining the event and giving the information I’ve used in this post, very thorough and interesting, as always!)

Source: amano.jun on Instagram

June 2016: Adorable Maiko Mameharu (Tama Okiya) and Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu cuddling during a photoshoot.

Source: Kuumill on Instagram

June 2016: Maiko Mamesumi (Ninben Okiya), Maiko Mameharu (Tama Okiya), Maiko Katsusen (Odamoto Okiya), Maiko Shouko (Nishimura Okiya) and Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu during a photoshoot.

They all belong to the most famous Maiko of their district.

Source: 大家みどり on Twitter

January 2017: Maiko Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) of Gion Kobu during Hatsu Ebisu.

During Hatsu Ebisu, two Maiko of Gion Kobu and Miyagwacho hand out lucky bamboo at the Ebisu Shrine.

Source: Katsu H. on Instagram

November 2016: Famous Maiko Mikako (Nishimura Okiya) and Koeri (Hiroshimaya Okiya) in the garden of the Manpuku-ji temple in Kyoto.

Source: 森康信 on Instagram