Maiko Koume wearing a Sakko hairdo before her Erikae

I was quite lucky to be able to capture this photo of Maiko Koume wearing the Sakkô hairstyle and a formal black kimono. Together, these are signs that she’s about to become a Geiko.  

The ceremony when a Maiko (apprentice) becomes a Geiko (geisha) is called “Erikae” or “changing of the collar”, and from this point, she begins to wear the white collar of a geisha instead of the red one worn by the maiko, the apprentices.