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.
December 2016: Kamishichiken geimaiko going to see a kabuki play at the Pontocho Kaburenjo for Kaomise Soken (source). What’s interesting about this photo is that many of them are dressed in formal black kimono and gold obi. Kaomise Soken is a fairly casual event and normally geimaiko wear “regular” kimono and obi like what Ichiaya is wearing here.
Kaomise Soken 2016: Geiko Hisasuzu and Maiko Ichiteru and Ichiaya (Masunoya Okiya) of Pontocho at the Pontocho Kaburenjo Theatre.
Every year during December, Japan’s most famous Kabuki actors come to play in Kyoto at the famous Minamiza Theatre near Miyagawacho.
Watching the first five performances is a privilege for only the wealthy and influential, and also Kyoto’s Maiko and Geiko have seats reserved every year.
After the performances, the Maiko ask their favourite actors to sign the maneki-tags on their special maneki-kanzashi, made to resemble the actual signs put up at the Minamiza to announce the performances and participating actors every year. This event is called Kaomise Soken.
The actors playing a male role sign with black ink and the actors playing a female role sign with red lipstick.
This year, Kaomise Soken takes place at the Pontocho Kaburenjo Theatre due to construction work at the Minamiza Theatre.
SHIGYOSHIKI 2014 - Grand Opening Ceremony in Gion Kobu (and in other districts, too)
Every year on 7th January, geiko and maiko of Gion Kobu gather at the Gion Kaburenjo Theater to inaugurate the new year in business. Dressed in their best formal outfits (that include black crested kimono, red-and-gold juban , gold obi and three unpainted lines on their necks) and special rice kanzashi, they renew vows, watch a dedicated dance by their dance master Yachiyo Inoue and drink ceremonial sake.
Although the main part of this ceremony is declassifying the ranking list! Ranking shows who is the most popular lady in Gion and it’s measured by her incomings - ohana. The winner gains a special prize.
There’s another girl wearing the pre-sakkō hairstyles in Kyoto right now! Hisamomo (久桃) of Tanmika (丹美賀) in Pontocho is currently wearing the Oshidori no Hina(おしどりの雛) style, the first of many that Pontocho maiko will wear before changing to sakkō. Pontocho maiko can wear different hairstyles for up to two months before their erikae, so the exact date is unknown but her erikae will take place in either December or January (with January being the most likely). Since her hairstyle is so unique we’ll likely see many images of it in the days to come after Pontocho does their Kaomise Soken visit, which is taking place in the Pontocho Kaburenjo this year due to construction at the Minamiza.
You can see a short video of Hisamomo walking down Pontocho with the Oshidori no Hina style here.
Edit: A better still image has now appeared! However, her hairstyle appears to be an oshun (お俊) variant and not oshidori.