Kuromontsuki Kimono Room
Lit. “Black Crested Garment”, the most formal kimono that is worn during special occasions such as weddings, tea ceremonies, and other formal events. “Kuro” means black, while “montsuki” refers to the pattern on the kimono, which features a crest or family (or okiya) emblem that is usually placed on the back, chest, and sleeves. These kimono are used for the official debut of a maiko (misedashi), of a geiko (erikae) and a few other formal events such as the Shigyoshiki ceremony at the beginning of the year or the Hassaku event (Gion Kobu) on August 1st.
The kuromontsuki kimono is typically made from high-quality silk fabric and is characterized by its simple yet elegant design. It is often paired with a golden obi belt and various old and luxurious hair ornaments. Overall, the kuromontsuki kimono is a beautiful and meaningful piece of clothing that holds a special place in Japanese culture and tradition.
After walking up the stairs, you are welcomed by a photo of Maiko Fukuna. Just turn to your left, pass the “Dancing” room on your right where we’ll go after, and enter the room in front of you – the Kuromontsuki Kimono Room.
A photo of Maiko Ichisumi of Pontocho made in 2018 during her misedashi is at the entrance of the room.
As you enter the room, you are facing the “shôji” or paper sliding doors on which nine photos are displayed. All are of young girls on their official debut as maiko (misedashi) except the bottom left and the bottom right ones. These two photos are of senior maiko two or three weeks before they become full-fledged geisha (geiko) — the event is called “Erikae”.
Devant ce mur de photos, vous pouvez voir un support de “obi” sur lequel sont fixés deux photos de maiko Fukuyu sur lesquelles vous pouvez voir son kimono noir Kuromontsuki d’un côté et son “obi” doré de l’autre.
On the back wall are displayed six headshots of young maiko on the day of their misedashi or official debut. They are, of course, wearing the Kuromontsuki black Kimono, but you can also see some of their head and hair ornaments. Two photos show them seen from the back.
Their preparation, makeup, and dressing took about two to three hours and they were helped by various professionals. After these initial three days, they will take care of their makeup by themselves.
In the bottom right corner is a photo of maiko Fukunori standing with the traditional posture holding a small black fan.
On the last wall before the exit (actually, “fusuma” or paper sliding doors, you can see two more photos of maiko wearing a black kuromontsuki kimono and golden obi. In these photos, they are dressed like this for the “Shigyôshiki” ceremony or the first ceremony of the year. During this ceremony, the top (most popular) geiko and maiko as well as the most dedicated ones are honored by all the geiko and maiko of their district gathered together. You’ll see numerous other photos of this ceremony that takes place in each geisha district in early January.
The maiko on the left is Fukunagi san and the one on the right is Kimimitsu san, both from the Miyagawa-Cho geisha district.
Above the exit, you can see two more photos of maiko during their misedashi or official debut. The two maiko on the left are Fukumomo san and Fukunagi san. In the photo on the right, you can have an idea of the various items placed on the head and the hair of the maiko — maiko Kanatomo greeting people with the Go Aisatsu traditional position.