Category: Maiko & Geiko

Heian Jingu Shrine Reisai Annual Festival

This is the most important annual event of the Heian Jingu Shrine. It is meant to celebrate the accession ceremony day held in 781 of Emperor Kanmu who is the deity of the shrine. 

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Hatsuyori in Gion Kobu

On January 13th, all the Maiko and Geiko of the Gion Kobu Hanamachi (flower town or geisha district) visit the house of their teacher, Yachiyo Inoue, the master of Gion Kobu’s dance school, the Inoue School of Dance, to thank her for her service and present their best wishes for the New Year.

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Tea Ceremony in Kamishichiken

The Japanese Tea Ceremony or “Way of Tea” (Chado or sado, as the ceremony is known) is one of Japan’s best-known traditional cultural practices, and something everyone can and should experience while in Kyoto. Yes, Kyoto is where the tea ceremony was born and remains its spiritual heart. 

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Maiko by night

In winter, it is already the night and dark when the maiko leave their “okiya” (the geisha house where they live) to go to meet their patrons for the evening. I like this opportunity for night photography and all the challenges this implies.

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Misedashi in Miyagawa-Cho

December 14th was the day of Maiko Kimimoe Misedashi in the Miyagawa-Cho Hanamachi or Geisha District. The “Misedashi” ceremony is the official debut of a girl as a Maiko (apprentice geisha).

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Before the “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.  

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Heavy rain over the Hanamachi

We have just spent a couple of days with a typhoon and therefore a lot of rain. This remained me of a photo I recently captured of Maiko Kikusana protecting herself from the rain with a traditional Japanese Wagasa umbrella in one of Kyoto Hanamachi or Geisha District. 

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Hassaku in Gion

The first of August is a very special day in Kyoto’s various Geisha Districts, and especially so in Gion. Named after a term that designates the first day of the eighth month of the ancient Japanese calendar, Gion’s Hassaku is a special opportunity to see many of the “Geiko” and “Maiko” from Japan’s most renowned “Hanamachi” or geisha district wearing their most beautiful attire.

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Katsuyama Hairstyle for Gion Matsuri

A lot of specific details related to the Gion Matsuri can be seen all around Kyoto during the month of July.  One of these is the way every senior maiko styles her hair in the Katsuyama hairstyle during the time of the festival.

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