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Friday, December 26, 2014

New beginning

Konnichiwa, dear readers. It has been such a long time since I've written a word in this blog I once used to write with such dedication. It brings me great sorrow to realize it has almost been a year since I've attended any events of the Karyukai! I have no words to apologize enough, but life has been so busy and I have had to do so many things that I've barely had enough time for myself to sleep. 

I'd planned to return to Karyukai as soon as possible, but I am ashamed to say it took me eight long months. But, here I am. Now I have returned and I will continue my task of writing about and photographing the wonderful world of the Geisha. I hope to rebuild my relationship with each Hanamachi and Okaasan. I also hope to be informed about important events and times of Ozashiki, as I assume they have greatly changed during my absence. I apologize for not being there when I should have taken pictures of Misedashi and Erikae, and I warmly congratulate every new maiko and geiko! I am glad to see the Karyukai alive and growing. Lets make 2015 a great year for the Geisha, guardians of Japanese tradition and art, and us patrons! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Misedashi in Blue Lotus

It has been such a long time since I've had the chance to tell you about the events of the karyukai. It doesn't mean that nothing has happened, but that I have been really busy while working and being a geisha paparazzi. There have been many new faces within the karyukai, new debuts (misedashi) and erikae. It is wonderful to see the flower and willow world busy and alive!

Today I had to work a little longer than expected, but as I got home, I quickly changed my outfit and rushed to Blue Lotus hanamachi for a misedashi, or a debut, where I'd been invited. I was indeed a little late, but I still had enough time to take a few hundred pictures!

Maikosan Teruyo, whose misedashi it was, performed a dance from the piece Fuji Musume, or Wisteria Maiden. She really looked very beautiful and her dancing was very graceful.

Some pictures of maikosan Teruyo dancing Fuji Musume
What I enjoy the most in taking pictures during performances are the different "poses" the dancer makes while performing the piece. Here are some of my favourites from Teruyo-san's Fuji Musume:

In the beginning of the dance she wore the purple kimono (shown on the left) and then changed into the red/purple kimono (in the middle and on the right)

Here are other very beautiful "poses":

The atmosphere in this picture is very mysterious, and the way the dancer is laying on the stage is beautiful!

Then, after performing the Fuji Musume, Teruyo-san changed into a full misedashi outfit. I went crazy and took so many pictures that it took me two hours to choose the best ones for the blog!

Maikosan Teruyo bowing humbly after her misedashi performance
After the performance we went outside and I took some more pictures of Teruyo-san outside. All the guests enjoyed some sweets and congratulated the new maikosan.

The misedashi of maikosan Teruyo

 I also snapped some pictures of her outfit:

Misedashi and erikae are better than christmas for a paparazzi like me. There are always other maiko and geiko of the okiya (and other okiyas, too) present and dressed up beautifully! I took some pictures of the other maiko and geiko:

Maikosan Terifuji
Geikosan Teruha
And the last, but definitely not least, picture; I took a japanese newspaper -styled misedashi picture of Teruyo-san. Omisedashi ometedou gozaimasu!

Misedashi of maikosan Teruyo of Blue Lotus 2014

Friday, December 27, 2013

Ozashiki in Kaishi Chou

A rough week at work was finally over, and I was just waiting for the Ozashiki to begin. When it then began, I rushed to Kaishi Chou hanamachi and their wonderful Ochaya. It was said to be the very last Ozashiki of this year, and the house was full! It is really weird, almost scary to think that another year has passed so quickly! A lot has happened in just one year, but I will look forward to 2014 and all the new events, debuts and other great things in the future. I hope the next year will be as good as this one! So may the Kami be on our side.

Maikosan Hoshiteru

As I then entered the Ochaya and took off my geta shoes, there was maikosan Hoshiteru. She was wearing a beautiful hikizuri. But what makes this very picture so interesting is the fact that she is wearing a maneki neko hikizuri while sitting next to a maneki neko!

Then I entered the Ochaya. Hoshiteru-san said she'd host this Ozashiki alone, and there were two other patrons already in the Ochaya. I was offered some tea. Did you know that Kaishi Chou has hot chocolate available in the ochaya?

Soon other patrons started to show up, and the house was full! Luckily Aiyuzuki-san showed up in her lovely Geiko outfit. She told she masters the Ehru, which is a two stringed traditional instrument that originates from China. A bit like the kokyu Tayu play! Hoshiteru-san promised us a fan dance, and she made her way on the stage.

I think this is a very beautiful picture if you pay attention to Hoshiteru-san's eyes and the way she is holding the fan!

Aiyuzuki-san playing Ehru
After the lovely performance Hoshiko-san joined us in the Ochaya. She also looked stunning in her purple hikizuri! I had to snap a picture of her. We played a few rounds of 20 questions. A miracle happened; I won again this time! But, I assume it's just temporary good luck. I picked a word I thought was so difficult that no one would guess it (I picked the geta shoe), but eventually Hoshiteru-san guessed it. 

Hoshiko-san (and I totally wasn't staring at her)
After the Ozashiki I asked for a permission to snap a quick photo of the Ochaya staff. So, here it is:

From right to left: Aiyuzuki-san, Hoshiko-san and Hoshiteru-san