Maiko of Miyagawa-cho
Introducing over 50 maiko
Miyagawa-cho is one of Kyoto’s five Hanamachi or geisha districts. This is where I discovered the “Kagai” (flower town), an unknown and secret world. And where I saw my first maiko.
I was living just south of Gojo Street, and I used to walk through the area on my way to Gion. I liked the look and the general feeling of this street without cars. This was just after my arrival in Kyoto, in 2013 or 2014. I was first intrigued, and soon truly captivated. This was so different from the modern Japan I knew back in Tokyo. No tall buildings but smaller traditional wooden houses (machiya) bordering the cobblestoned street. No traffic jams with cars and small trucks, but delivery boys on bicycles. And then these joyful young ladies wearing incredibly beautiful kimonos, and a rather strange hairdo full of accessories and hair ornaments, hurrying along the street, almost running on their strange tall shoes made of wood. I was hooked — I had to understand what this world was all about, and I made a habit to come around as often as I could.
Eight years later, this little book is the result of my initial curiosity which had become an obsessive passion.
As opportunities arose, I moved closer to Miyagawa-Cho until I was finally able to actually live right in the center of this district and it became my neighborhood. Meeting the geimaiko became a daily thing — we were neighbors.
This eBook introduces over 50 maiko, apprentice geisha, and features over 450 photos. You’ll see them in the street, hurrying to their evening engagement, applying the “oshiroi”, this white paste used on their face, dancing, playing the shamisen, entertainment their patrons during an “ozashiki” or banquet, participating in traditional events, being presented to the public, and much more.
The ebook is available for immediate download after purchase.
The 240-page ebook is in PDF format (119 MB).
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