Today was truly a day of great excitement!
For the first time, I was allowed to see maiko dancing.
Fuji chiyo-san,18 years old and just made her debut this spring.
She told us that although she had made her debut,
she hadn't had a chance to dance in public because of COVID-19
Do you know anything about maiko?
Maiko are female entertainers who perform traditional Japanese music and dances at exclusive parties.There is an age limit of 15-20 years for maiko.
The first step to becoming a maiko is called "shikomi," or "training," which is a period of discipline and education to live as a maiko and the next step to becoming a geiko. Maiko belong to a place called "Okiya(置き屋）," which is like a production company for celebrities in the entertainment industry.
She calls the owner of the house "mother", and her seniors "sisters"
During the training period, the maiko live together with their older sister geiko and maiko for about a year, helping their mothers and sisters in Okiya, cleaning, and practicing dance.
Maiko speaks in Kyoto dialect(京言葉）
What I was most interested in was the Kyoto dialect(京言葉）
This is as important for maiko as dancing and manners,
but it is different from the modern language, so you have to learn it.
She was born in the Kanto region, which is far away from Kyoto and has a different accent, so it must have been very difficult for her to learn the Kyoto dialect.
Even though I was born in Hiroshima, which is also in western Japan, the accent is different in Kansai dialect(Kansai including Kyoto dialect), so it is very difficult for me.It's even more difficult to speak Kyoto dialect.
I asked her how she could speak it.
She told me that she is taught the Kyoto dialect thoroughly by her mother and sister who live with her.But sometimes she would talk with maiko from the same area in Kanto dialect.Her mother and sister would warn her when she did.
Maiko's daily life is quite a hard life
Maiko's daily life is quite a hard life.She has to wake up before everyone else, learn how to dance, wait until the tatami room is over at night, and help with cleaning up the costumes.
After 10 months, when the dance master gives the OK, the mother of the okiya judges the suitability of the maiko comprehensively from the daily training.
If you pass this test, you become an apprentice maiko.The apprenticeship lasts about a month. After that, the apprentice learns the job on the job.
After learning to work as an apprentice, she finally makes her debut as a maiko.
Look at the maiko's hair ornaments-Tsumami zaiku zaiku
She looked so cute!!
Please take a look at the maiko's hair ornaments.
The hair ornament of the maiko wear is Tsumami zaiku that represents the leaves of gingko trees. Very nice!
The ginkgo tree grows large and lives a long life, hence the word "longevity" in the language of flowers.
Maiko's hair ornaments are made of seasonal flowers in tsumami-zaiku.
The obi-dome used by maiko is called Pocchiri.
It's so gorgeous!
Ms.Kishimoto(left) crafted obi dome(Pocchiri).
She makes not only maiko's pocchiri(Obidome),
but also She also makes hairpins made of silver.
She is a Kanzashi artist.
I'll write another article focusing on Mr. Kishimoto.
*I have received permission to publish the photos on blog or SNS