miyagawa cho

Weekend Update 30/4

With April’s end comes May’s flurry of misedashi and erikae before the summer heat becomes too much to bear in formal attire. The karyukai will be going through some changes, so I hope to do a half year summary soon. Now onto the news!

Karyukai News
-The Kamogawa Odori (鴨川をどり) of Pontocho begins tomorrow (May 1st) and will run until May 24th.
-Oddly enough, there haven’t been any current minarai sightings. However, it’s likely that they’ll begin to pop up within the next week or two as the end of May is a very popular time for misedashi.
-There’s a rumor going around that Fukuharu (富久春) of Okatome (岡とめ) in Gion Higashi will be leaving the profession. Since only one source has stated it so far I’m considering it a rumor, but this person is often credible. Hopefully there will be more news on this soon.

Blog News
-I’ve been quite busy documenting my kimono collection, but you can check them out on Flickr! Feel free to choose your favorites to be featured in the “What’s In a Kimono?” series in the future ^^
-What’s In a Motif? Part 4 looked at Goshodoki (御所時/御所解).
-The Random Fact of The Week looked at the role that bin plays in determining maturity.
-Mylo’s Pick of The Week looked at Miehina (美恵雛) of Harutomi (春富) in Miyagawa Cho.
-The multitude of questions asked this week was fantastic! I’m hoping to answer some of them a bit more in depth in the future as some have been asked multiple times now (not that asking multiple times is a bad thing!).

gion-lady’s .:Geiko and Maiko Video Documentary Masterpost!:.

Here are some great informational videos and mini-docs on Kyoto Maiko and Geiko! Enjoy!

  1. Seasoning the Seasons: The Enigmatic Entertainers of Gion (28 min)
  2. BBC Geisha Girl (Geiko Kikuyu’s Story)
  3. NHK Japanology+Plus: Geiko and Maiko
  4. Hello-Nippon: Maiko + Asobi games
  5. A Day in the Life of a Geisha ft. Geiko Miehina!
  6. Kyoto, Miyagawa-Cho Mini-Doc ft. Maiko Fukunae!
  7. Full 30 min. footage of a Maiko painting her face
  8. 2011 Gion Odori: Maple Dance footage
  9. Japanology+Plus: Through the Eyes of a Geisha (Tokyo Geisha)
  10. 2015 143rd Miyako Odori footage
  11. Real Geisha, Real Women Documentary ft. Geiko Miehina (53 min)
  12. Beautiful 1935 Footage of Geiko dressing and make-up!
  13. Geisha vs. Oiran: What’s the Difference?
  14. Maiko of Kamichishiken ft. Katsue and Katsuya
  15. Core Kyoto: History of Geisha mini-doc (28 min)
  16. Geisha Entertainment at the Hatanaka Restaurant in Kyoto (24 min)
  17. The Arts of Kyoto (more about traditional experiences in Kyoto)
  18. 2014 Maiko Korin and Geiko Miehina perform Hagikikyou
  19. Geisha, Flowers of Kyoto (beautiful footage of Maiko and Geiko throughout Kyoto!)
  20. Differences Between Geiko and Maiko ft. Geiko Miehina!
  21. Konpira, Fune Fune! Geisha Asobi Games ft. Geiko Miehina!
  22. Beautiful Kyoto: Being a Maiko ft. Maiko Fukunae!
  23. Gion Matsuri in HD
  24. Experience Japan with Yuka: How to Meet a Geiko!

Please take most of these videos with a grain of salt; many of them are translated from Japanese to English, and some of them no doubt mistranslate what the Geiko say. Use these videos as a springboard for learning more! There’s a lot of ins and outs in this subject, and it’s tricky to find authentic and accurate information about Geisha. Always think critically and have fun!

Follow @gion-lady for more Geiko and Maiko!

What’s In a Book? Part 13

Book’s cover courtesy of Amazon.
A Geisha’s Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice by Komomo and Naoyuki Ogino (ISBN 978-4-7700-3067-2)
Date of Publication: 2008
Language: English, Japanese, French, and likely more
Format: Hardcover
Availability: Only had one printing, so not very easy to find
Price: $60 New
Errors: 1

“I can really see a spark of talent in you.” That sentence set into motion a chain of events that led a young girl living in China to become a maiko. Ruriko, born in Mexico to Japanese parents, had been living in China with her family after her father was transferred for business. At age 12 Ruriko enjoyed the traditional Japanese arts, and one day, while doing an internet search, she would stumble upon something that would change her entire future; That “something” was a news article talking about the website and blog of the first karyukai worker to go digital: the geiko Koito (小糸) of Miyagawa Cho in Kyoto. Through correspondence with Koito Ruriko decided that she wanted to become a maiko. Like all girls, it took a large amount of convincing to get her parents to consent, but eventually they relented and she became a shikomi in Koito’s new okiya, Kaden (花傳) when she was 15. On August 26th, 2000 she debuted as the maiko Komomo (小桃).

Komomo’s greatest source of support and guidance was her onesan Koito, who retired a few years after her debut to run the Kaden okiya and ochaya full time. Koito was an older sister, a mother, a friend, and a confidant who learned about leading a new life along with Komomo as retiring from being a geiko to run an ochaya is a very new experience. While living at Kaden she trained and grew with the other girls who were around her age and who she made life long friendships with. They included Kosen (小扇), Yasuha (弥寿葉), and the older Yachiho (弥千穂) who had debuted directly as a geisha in her 20s. Kosen was Komomo’s best friend and were the same age, so she always went to her for advice. Yachiho was like a loving older sister to all of the girls. Yasuha was the youngest and had started when Komomo was a senior maiko, so Komomo often helped her out. For over five years Komomo was a very popular maiko in her district and had a longer apprenticeship period than Kosen, who had debuted after Komomo, to take advantage of her popularity. It was a life that she loved, but found to be very hard, and originally planned to leave the profession once her apprenticeship was over. While nearing the end of her apprenticeship Komomo changed her mind and on December 12th, 2005 she became a geiko. Almost a year later on September 4th, 2006 Komomo became an onesan to the young Kofuku (小ふく) of Shigemori (しげ森).  

Komomo retired in December 2011, five years after becoming a geiko.

Besides following the life of Komomo, the book must also be noted for its pictures that are just as important as the text. The photographer, Naoyuki Ogino, first met Komomo when she was performing a trial stay at Kaden a year before she would move there to become a maiko. He photographed her both in China and in Japan and continued to document her life while she lived in the karyukai. This book is a testament to his skill as much as it is a diary of Komomo’s life. While Komomo communicates with the reader through her words, Naoyuki speaks with his images that bring Komomo’s words to life.

I could only find one error, and it’s a translation issue. On page 56 the text mentions that a “kimono” is up to 23 feet long and requires a man to put on. While it is true that men dress the women of the karyukai, a kimono is not 23 feet long. They were actually talking about the obi, yet somehow “kimono” was written there instead.

Overall it’s a very nice book that follows the journey of a young girl in junior high school to an adult woman who is highly accomplished in traditional Japanese arts. Since it only had one print run it may be hard to find the book for under $50, but your local library will likely have a copy available.

Rating: ✪✪✪✪✪ (out of 5)

A Random PSA On The Gei of Geisha - Part 1

The questions surrounding what arts that maiko and geiko practice comes up regularly, and instead of just posting them onto one of the tabs I’d rather lay it out in a post here first.  

The “Gei” (芸) in Geisha(芸者)/Geiko(芸妓)/Geigi(芸妓) means “Art” and there are many branches and types of art that one can master. For this part we’ll be looking at the direct performing arts that everyone knows the geisha are renowned for: music and dance.

Dance - Mai (舞)
All traditional Japanese dance styles have their roots in Shinto ceremonies that date back at least two millennia. There are two main styles to traditional dance practiced today:

-Noh (能): Originally arrived in Japan from China in the 8th century and developed into the style we know today in the 13th century by Kan’ami (assisted by his son Zeami). Derived from the classical court style dances, it features small, precise movements to tell a story. It can be seen as “boring” or “obscure” if you’re not sure what to look for as you need to understand the movements to appreciate them to the fullest. This isn’t to say that it isn’t beautiful to behold without prior knowledge as it is quite enchanting! Gion Kobu’s Inoue school is part of the Noh tradition. 

-Kabuki (歌舞伎): Derived directly from Shinto ceremonies, it was created in 1603 by Izumo No Okuni, a shrine priestess who created her own style of dance and performed it on the dry riverbed of the Kamo River. She became so famous that she was invited to perform in front of the emperor! After seeing how popular the style of dance had become rival dance groups sprung up around her and established the kabuki that we know today. The style is known for its dramatic and often “wild” movements that are meant to be appreciated by the common people. Pontocho’s Onoe, Miyagawa Cho’s Wakayagi, Kamishichiken’s Hanayagi, and Gion Higashi’s Fujima schools are part of the Kabuki tradition.

Music - Raku (楽)
What would dance be without music? Music, like dance, can be broken down into two types: voice/song and instruments.

Singing - Uta (歌): Maiko and geiko learn traditional ballads that are performed alongside dance. There are two types: Kouta (小唄) which means “short songs/ballads” and Nagauta (長唄) which means “long songs/ballad.” They are learned by listening to an instructor and then repeating and/or transcribing the words and melody together. There’s no “set” way of reading or learning a song like there is for Western music, so it takes a large amount of practice to perform any uta properly (although there are a few methods that do exist).

Instruments - Gakki (楽器)
There are many instruments practiced in the karyukai, but I’ll only go over the most common ones that are seen and heard on a regular basis.

-Shamisen (三味線): A three stringed instrument that is played with a plectrum. It is the most common instrument in the karyukai as it developed as an instrument that the common people used. Most uta were created to be played with a shamisen. It resembles a simplified guitar and is played in a similar fashion.

-Tsuzumi (鼓): The all encompassing word for drums, but specifically dual sided drums that are roped together. There are three main types learned by maiko and geiko:

-Kotsuzumi (小鼓): Literally “Small Drum,” or sometimes known as the “regular” tsuzumi, it is held onto one’s shoulder and played by striking the drum with the free hand. 

-Ōtsuzumi (大鼓): Literally “Large Drum,” it is a larger size of the tsuzumi and features one end that is larger than the other. It produces a much deeper sound when struck.

-Taiko (太鼓): Literally “Great Drum,” they’re not the gigantic ones that are often seen at summer festivals, but rather closer in size to an otsuzumi. The taiko sits on a stand while the musician strikes it with rods known as bachi (桴). It is the closest equivalent to Western style drums.

-Fue (笛): The all encompassing word for flute, which in traditional Japanese style is usually made from bamboo. There are two types of fue that include:

-Shakuhachi (尺八): The high pitched iconic flute that is actually rare in the karyukai, it features 5 holes (4 on top and 1 underneath). Its sound is often described as “haunting” as it gently pierces through silence to deliver melodies full of both happiness and sadness.

-Shinobue (篠笛)/Yokobue (横笛): Flutes that are much closer to Western ones, but are still made from wood. It features 7 holes that allows it to play more notes than the shakuhachi. This type is often played with the end resting on the musician’s shoulder.

-Koto (事): A 13 stringed instrument that’s considered a type of lute although it plays closer to that of a harp. Due to its size it lays flat on the floor and the musician plucks the strings individually to produce sound. Those who are new to the koto often wear metal guards on their fingers to keep the strings from slicing into their skin until their hands have developed enough to withstand the pressure. 

-Kokyū (胡弓): Taught exclusively in Miyagawa Cho as it was once considered an instrument of the oiran, a kokyū is a smaller version of the shamisen that’s played upright with a bow instead of a plectrum. 

anonymous asked:

In a previous answer to an ask you mentioned that there are many graphic novels centred around the karyukai. Is it possible to get some examples of those? I have the one that's supposed to be loosely based on Mineko Iwasaki's life already. Since I'm already on the subject, what about anime?

For graphic novels (re: manga) there’s
-Sakuran, which was made into a movie and centers around oiran. 
-Yukarism, which is about an oiran who was reincarnated in the present and tries to figure out how she died.
-Oiran Girl, one of my favorites but has yet to be picked up by an English publisher, it follows a girl who was nobility that was sold into Yoshiwara and trains to become an oiran under the tutelage of the top oiran (who happens to be not only her former butler, but is also a guy). 

If you couldn’t tell yet, maiko and geiko aren’t often the focus of karyukai stories as the ultra extravagant oiran are seen as far more interesting. As for anime, the only one I know about is called Mitsuwano. It’s a short OVA about 3 girls who are all trying to become maiko in Miyagawa Cho (and by “short” I mean 40 minutes).  

The Third of a Year Review

It’s not exactly half way through the year yet, but now is a good time to summarize the misedashi, erikae, and leavings that have happened so far before more keep coming! Shikomi are only listed by okiya as they do not currently have a geimei.


Tatsuha (多都葉) of Tama (多麻) in Gion Kobu - January 21st
Yuriha (ゆり葉) of Tama (多麻) in Gion Kobu - January 21st
Momika (もみ香) of Yamaguchi (やまぐち) in Pontocho - February 7th
Mameaki (まめ章) of Tama (多麻) in Gion Kobu - February 16th
Ichisato (市沙登) of Masunoya (桝之矢) in Pontocho - March 1st
Mamesaya (豆沙弥) of Shibata (柴田) in Gion Kobu - March 1st

Mameroku (豆六) of Arai (新井) in Gion Kobu - January 22nd
Hisamomo (久桃) of Tanmika (丹美賀) in Pontocho - January 23rd
Satoharu (里春) of Kawahisa (川久) in Miyagawa Cho - February 9th
Katsuhina (佳つ雛) of Odamoto (小田本) in Gion Kobu - February 13th
Katsuna (勝奈) of Daimonji (大文字) in Kamishichiken - May
Katsue (佳つ江) of Odamoto (小田本) in Gion Kobu - May

Masako (満佐子) of Man (まん) in Gion Higashi - January
Mameji (豆爾) of Arai (新井) in Gion Kobu - January
Momihina (もみ陽菜) of Tanmika (丹美賀) in Pontocho - April

Tama (多麻) of Gion Kobu
Nakagishi (中支志) of Gion Kobu
Odamoto (小田本) of Gion Kobu
Hiroshimaya (廣島屋) of Gion Kobu
Tsurui (つる居) of Gion Kobu
Nishimura (西村) of Gion Kobu
Katsumi (勝見) of Pontocho
Nakasato (中里) of Kamishichiken
Umeno (梅乃) of Kamishichiken
Komaya (駒屋) of Miyagawa Cho
Unknown in Gion Higashi

Weekend Update 21/5

This week is going to be busy as Anime North is coming up, so there likely won’t be too many updates. But, the news continues to come!

-Katsuna (勝奈) of Daimonji (大文字) in Kamishichiken had her erikae on Thursday (May 18th). She has affirmed that she will continue as a jikata geiko and will not dance in public anymore.
-Katsue (佳つ江) of Odamoto (小田本) in Gion Kobu is wearing sakkō! Everyone seems to have been so pre-occupied with Katsuna that no one noticed Katsue wearing yakko shimada. Regardless, her erikae will be on May 29th!
-The Kamogawa Odori continues until Wednesday (May 24th).

Blog News
-Not too much has been done due to being busy with convention work (sorry!).
-The Random Fact of The Week looked at another manga involving maiko.
-Mylo’s Pick of The Week went to Fukuna (ふく那) of Kawayoshi (河よ志) in Miyagawa Cho.
-Your questions this week were quite in-depth! I’m really happy that you all feel comfortable enough to ask me some tough questions as they’re excellent teaching opportunities ^^

anonymous asked:

Do different hanamachi have different sakkou attire traditions? Katsuna has an iromontsuki and red eri, but I swear the Gion Kobu maiko wear white eri and kuromontsuki, Tomitae had a red eri and Satoharu a kuromontsuki and red eri!

That’s something I’ve been working on, albeit on a much larger scale as it’ll need its own tab. Since it’s not done yet I can’t show you everything, but I can break down each kagai by its traditions:

Gion Kobu: Kuromontsuki with White Eri for Yakko Shimada and Sakkō.

Pontocho: Normal hikizuri and gold/white obi for Pre-Sakkō hairstyles, Iromontsuki and Red Eri for Yakko Shimada and Sakkō, Sometimes Kuromontsuki at Sakkō.

Kamishichiken: Iromontsuki and Red Eri with Sakkō.

Miyagawa Cho: Iromontsuki and White Eri for Yakko Shimada, Kuromontsuki and Red Eri for Sakkō.

Gion Higashi: Iromontsuki and Red Eri for Yakko Shimada and Sakkō.

anonymous asked:

who can we expect to turn their collar this year?

That’s also a long list! I’ll break it down by district again:

Gion Kobu: Katsue (佳つ江) - scheduled for May 2017, Kiyono (清乃), Mikako (実佳子), Shōko (彰子). Mameroku and Katsuhina already had their erikae this year.

Pontocho: Not likely to have more, but possibly Ichinana (市奈菜). Hisamomo already had her erikae this year.

Kamishichiken: Katsuna (勝奈) - scheduled for May 2017, Ichitaka (市多香), Umechie (梅ちえ).

Miyagawa Cho: Toshimomo (とし桃), Toshisumi (とし純), Koume (小梅), Koyoshi (小よし). Satoharu already had her erikae this year. 

Gion Higashi: Fukuharu (富久春).

The Calendar of Karyukai Celebrations

On the 11th Day of Fun I present… a calendar! Every time there’s a new even going on there’s always questions about what it is and why it’s happening, so to save some time he’s a handy chart of who celebrates what and when.


Shin Aisatsu (新挨拶) - First greetings of the new year. All maiko and geiko dress in kuromontsuki and pay their respects to the local okiya and ochaya.
Kamishichiken: January 4th
Pontocho: January 4th
Miyagawa Cho: January 5th
Gion Higashi: January 6th
Gion Kobu: January 7th

Shigyōshiki (始業式) - Commencement ceremony for the new year. The most popular maiko and geiko are given awards as are the most studious.
Gion Kobu, Pontocho, Miyagawa Cho, Gion Higashi: January 7th
Kamishichiken: January 9th

Hatsu Ebisu (初ゑびす) - Maiko hand out lucky bamboo at the Ebisu Shrine.
Gion Kobu and Miyagawa Cho: January 11th

Hatsuyori (初寄り) - Formal New Year’s greetings by maiko and geiko. All will be dressed in iromontsuki and pay their respects to the establishments in their neighbourhood
Gion Kobu: January 13th

Setsubun (節分) - Traditional start of the lunar new year celebrated on fixed days (February 2nd-4th). Maiko and geiko will perform at their local shrines and toss out packages of lucky beans after their performance
Gion Kobu, Pontocho, Miyagawa Cho, Gion Higashi: Yasaka Shrine
Kamishichiken: Kitano Tenmangu Shrine
Miyagawa Cho: 5 Maiko in Kuromontsuki - February 2nd
Pontocho: 2 Maiko - February 2nd
Gion Kobu: 3 Senior Maiko - February 3rd
Gion Higashi: 5 Maiko - February 3rd
Kamishichiken: 4 Maiko, 2 Geiko - February 3rd

Obake (お化け) - Similar to Western Halloween, geiko dress up and perform skits for their customers. The costumes were originally meant to confuse spirits.
All Hanamachi: February 2nd-4th

Baikasai (梅花祭) - The plum festival at the Kitano Tenmangu Shrine. Maiko and geiko will hold a special outdoor tea ceremony.
Kamishichiken: February 25th

Hina Nagashi (雛流し) - Girls’ Day festival at Shimogamo Shrine. Three maiko will say a prayer and set small floating baskets onto the river. 
Miyagawa Cho: March 3rd 

Higashiyama Hanatōro (東山花灯路) - Spring dedication dances by two maiko at Yasaka Shrine.
Gion Kobu: March 13th
Kamishichiken: March 14th
Pontocho: March 15th
Miyagawa Cho: March 20th
Gion Higashi: March 21st

Oishi Ki (大石忌) - Maiko and geiko gather at the Ichiriki to pay tribute to Oishi, leader of the 47 Ronin, who plotted his revenge at the ochaya. Yachiyo Inoue will perform a special dance.
Gion Kobu: March 20th 

Kitano Odori (北野をどり) - Annual spring dance by the maiko and geiko of Kamishichiken at the Kamishichiken Kaburenjo. Runs March 25th to April 7th.

Gion Shirakawa Yoizakura  (祇園白川酔桜) - Two maiko or a maiko and geiko are chosen to pose for photographs in front of the cherry blossoms along the Shirakawa River.
Gion Kobu, Miyagawa Cho, and Gion Higashi: March 31st and April 1st

Miyako Odori (都をどり) - Annual spring dance by the maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu. Runs April 1st to 30th at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo. In 2017 it will be at the Shunjuza and will run from April 1st to 23rd with no performances on April 10th or 17th due to renovations at the kaburenjo.

Kyō Odori (京をどり) - Annual spring dance by the maiko and geiko of Miyagawa Cho at the Miyagawa Kaburenjo. Runs April 1st to 20th.

Reitaisai Hono Būyo Matsuri (平安神宮例大祭奉納舞踊) - Dedication dances at the Heian Shrine on April 16th.
Gion Kobu: 2 or 3 Maiko
Pontocho: 2 Maiko
Miyagawa Cho: 5 Maiko
Gion Higashi: 4 Maiko

Oreimairi (お礼参り) - Giving thanks at a local shrine after the completion of an odori. 
Kamishichiken: April 8th
Miyagawa Cho: April 21st

Miyako Odori Shūryō Hōgoku Matsuri (都をどり終了奉告祭) - Maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu giving thanks for a successful odori.
Gion Kobu: May 1st

Kamogawa Odori (鴨川をどり) - Annual spring dance by the maiko and geiko of Pontocho at the Pontocho Kaburenjo. Runs from May 1st to 24th.

Kanki Inari Shrine Blessing (観亀稲荷神社例祭) - Maiko and geiko pray for continued blessings and serve sake at the Kanki Inari Shrine.
Gion Higashi: May 13th.

Oreimairi (お礼参り) - Pontocho maiko and geiko give thanks after the Kamogawa Odori on May 25th.

Gion Hojoe Festival (祇園放生会) - Two maiko release fish into the Shirakawa River from the Tatsumi Bridge to show appreciation for all life.
Gion Kobu: June 3rd

Miyako No Nigiwai (都の賑わい) - Joint performance of all five kagai on June 23rd and 24th.

Gion Matsuri (祇園祭) - Massive festival where the gods who are enshrined at the Yasaka Shrine are brought out to celebrate with the people. Runs from July 1st to 24th and has various events during this period.

Miyabi Kai (みやび会)
- All maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu dress in identical yukata and pray at the Yasaka Shrine with their dance teachers for continued success.
Gion Kobu: July 7th

Hanagasa Junko (花笠巡行) - Maiko and geiko attend a parade at the end of the Gion Matsuri where they will perform at the shrine upon the commencement of the parade.
Gion Higashi Maiko and Pontocho Geiko: July 24th (Rotating Years)
Gion Kobu Maiko and Miyagawa Cho Maiko: July 24th (Rotating Years)

Yukata Kai (ゆかた会) - Maiko and geiko perform with musical instruments or vocal accompaniments while wearing yukata.
Miyagawa Cho: July 15th
Gion Higashi: July 31st

Hassaku (八朔) - Maiko and geiko pay respects to their teachers and local establishments. Gion Kobu maiko and geiko will dress in kuromontsuki while all other districts will wear casual komon or iromuji.
All Kagai: August 1st

Takasegawa Boat Festival (高瀬川舟まつり) - Two maiko participate in a blessing for the boats that traverse the Takasegawa Canal and perform a tea ceremony afterwards.
Pontocho: September 22nd or 23rd

Onshūkai (温習会) - Annual fall dance by the maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo from October 1st to 6th.

Zuiki Matsuri (ずいき祭) - Maiko and geiko stand outside of their okiya to watch the procession of the Zuiki Matsuri parade.
Kamishichiken: October 4th

Mizuekai (みずゑ会) - Annual fall dance by the maiko and geiko of Miyagawa Cho at the Miyagawa Kaburenjo from October 6th to 9th.

Kotobukai (寿会) - Annual fall dance by the maiko and geiko of Kamishichiken at the Kamishichiken Kaburenjo from October 8th to 12th.

Jidai Matsuri (時代祭) - Maiko and geiko from two different kagai participate on a rotating basis in a festival that celebrates the 1,300 year history of the people and costumes of Japan.
Rotating Kagai: October 22nd

Suimeikai (水明会) - Annual fall dance by the maiko and geiko of Pontocho at the Pontocho Kaburenjo from October 27th to 30th.

Gion Odori (祇園をどり) - Annual dance by the maiko and geiko of Gion Higashi at the Gion Higashi Kaburenjo from November 1st to 10th. 

Nishijin Obi and Kimono Festival (きもので集う園遊会) - Maiko and geiko hold an outdoor tea ceremony at the Kamigamo Shrine to celebrate the beautiful works of the Nishijin Weaving District.
Kamishichiken: November 3rd

Kanikakunisai (かにかくに祭) - A geiko and three maiko will offer flowers in front of the monument inscribed with the poem “Kanikakuni” by Isamu Yoshi.
Gion Kobu: November 8th

Gion Kouta Festival (祇園小唄祭) - Two maiko offer flowers and recite the Gion Kouta in front of a monument in Maruyama Park.
All Kagai: November 23rd

Kaomise Soken (顔見世素見) - Maiko and geiko view the first performances of the kabuki year at the Minamiza Theatre.
All Kagai: December 1st to 5th (Rotating Schedule) 

Kotohajime (事始め) - Maiko and geiko visit their dance teachers and offer them new year’s gifts while receiving a new fan.
All Kagai: December 13th.

Okotosan (お事多うさん) - Maiko and geiko will go around to various ochaya and say “Okotosandesu!” at the entrance and are greeted by the okasan and given pink and white kusudama.
Gion Kobu and Miyagawa Cho: December 30th

Okera Mairi (おけら詣り) - Maiko and geiko will light a special rope with the flame from the okerabi and bring it back to their homes for luck in the new year.
Gion Kobu and Miyagawa Cho: December 31st

Edit: This list is now available in its own tab called “Calendar of Events

anonymous asked:

Who can we expected to become senior this year?

That’s a very long list! It’s probably easier if I break it down by district:

Gion Kobu: Mamechika (豆千佳) and Koeri (小衿). Mamesumi, Mameharu, and Mameryū were already made senior.

Pontocho: Ayaha (あや葉) and Ichiyū (市結). Ichiaya was already made senior.

Kamishichiken: Naoai (尚あい) and Ichikoma (市こま). Naokinu was already made senior.

Miyagawa Cho: Kanayuki (叶幸), Fukune (ふく音), Fukuhana (ふく英), Fukutama (ふく珠), Toshiemi (とし恵美), Fukuno (ふく乃), Fukuya (ふく弥), Kimisayo (君さ代), Chikasaya (千賀明), Chikaharu (千賀遥). Kanako and Kimitoyo were already made senior.

Gion Higashi: Kanohiro (叶紘) and Hinayū (雛祐).

anonymous asked:

As long as both parties are still active, can the bond between onesan and imoto ever be severed?

In 99.9% of cases the bond cannot be broken as the bonds of sisterhood are literally akin to that of a marriage. However, there have been a few very rare cases in Miyagawa Cho where the bonds were allowed to be severed after the imoto became jimae. This was done because she just didn’t get along with her onesan and it was creating a toxic environment. The only two examples I know of are Koito (小糸), who was originally named Fukumame (ふく豆), and Yoshika (吉華), who used to be Yasuha (弥寿葉). 

dreamofgion  asked:

Hello and thank you again for sharing all your knowledge with us! I got a question which is hard to describe, but i'll give my best: you already talked about onesan and imouto and that, at a time, successfull members of the karyukai are expected to support new members, even if this is quite expensive. But... what are the reasons that some geiko, like Satsuki-san, take this role quite early, while also super successfull geiko like Toshikana and Toshimana are not (yet)?

Different kagai have different traditions surrounding who will be an onesan and when. Miyagawa Cho tends to select the most senior geiko of their naming lines to be onesan (except in the extremely rare case of a maiko being an onesan). They’re also more open with who wants to be an onesan and who doesn’t, so if a young geiko doesn’t want to be an onesan then she isn’t forced into the role due to popularity or success.

dreamofgion  asked:

In your pic of the week you talked about Miehina-sans hight (which is impressive) and remembered a picture of Ayaha together with Toshimana, Tsunemomo, Katsuna and Yukiha in which she looks quite tall, too. Do you know tall she is today? Also, are there more examples of unusually tall geimaiko?

I’m not exactly sure how tall Ayaha is, but she’s likely 5′6″ or 5′7″ as most maiko are under 5′5″. Other tall members of the karyukai include Kimiaya (君綾) and Toshikana (とし夏菜) of Miyagawa Cho and Mametama (豆珠) of Gion Kobu. Former maiko Fukusato (ふく里) of Miyagawa Cho was also quite tall as I remember that most girls stood as high as her shoulders ^^;