March 2017: Maiko and Geiko of Kamishichiken dancing the Kamishichiken Yakyoku, the finale dance of the Kitano Odori.

From left to right: Geiko Umeharu, Maiko Umechie (Umeno Okiya), Geiko Umegiku, Geiko Naosome (Nakasato Okiya), Maiko Katsuna (Daimonji Okiya) and Geiko Katsuya (Daimonji Okiya).

Source: Yomiuri News on Instagram

February 2017: Part of the participants of this year’s Kitano Odori posing for a group picture during the official photoshoot. From front to back:

Front row: Maiko Ichiaya (Ichi Okiya), Umekana (Umeno Okiya), Naoai, Naokinu (Nakasato Okiya), Katsuna (Daimonji Okiya), Umechie (Umeno Okiya), Ichitaka, Ichikoma (Ichi Okiya) and Umehina (Umeno Okiya)

Second row: Geiko Umechika (Umeno Okiya), Naohiro, Naosuzu (Nakasato Okiya), Umeharu, Umegiku, Naoko, and Tamayuki

Third row: Geiko Katsune (Daimonji Okiya), Ichitomo, Ichimomo (cIhi Okiya), Naosome (Nakasato Okiya), Katsuya (Daimonji Okiya), Fukuzuru, Umeshizu (Ichi Okiya), Umeha (Umeno Okiya), Naokazu (Nakasato Okiya) and Ichimari (Ichi Okiya)

Source: Asahi Photo on Twitter


Spotlight on: Umegiku 梅ぎく

Umegiku is a natori tachikata (master dancer) geiko. She debuted as a maiko from Ichi okiya in the early 1980s; at one point she was the only maiko in Kamishichiken! She had her erikae in 1984 or 1985 and is not currently associated with any okiya or ochaya in Kamishichiken. Umegiku is oneesan to geiko Umeharu. Umegiku is reportedly an excellent conversationalist and has quite the sense of humor. She usually plays a lead role in the Kitano Odori and has a solo or partnered dance in the Kotobukikai. You can see her dancing in this video (she’s wearing the green and yellow costume).

Photo sources: 1/2/3/4