July 13, 2024

A maiko in the making

From wikipedia – Maiko (舞妓?) is an apprentice geisha in western Japan, especially Kyoto. Their jobs consist of performing songs, dances, and playing the shamisen (three-stringed Japanese instrument) for visitors at a feast. Maiko are usually aged 15 to 20 years old and become geisha after learning how to dance (a kind of Japanese traditional dance), play the shamisen, and learning Kyō-kotoba (dialect of Kyoto), regardless of their origins.

More here

Here, the maiko I saw in Kyoto…

And for a fascinating glimpse into the elaborate make up worn by geishas, watch this video – the red eye liner is particularly interesting. And the lips painted thin and red. I could spend all day (and almost did) watching more of the maiko / geisha getting ready videos.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QvyskAURwCs&w=420&h=315]

Update: Yuki says on flickr – “hensin, or fake geisha. She is an ordinary girl who has visited a “transformation studio’ so that she can be dressed like this for a few hours in order to take photos. Not a real maiko [apprentice geisha] – Don’t worry though, henshin are sooo common during the day, many tourists come to Kyoto every year, some come just to see the maiko & become henshin. Its like how you can pay to dress up as a cowboy in those old western towns. It’s a fun attraction, but henshin shouldn’t be confused with the real thing”

OMG, imagine going through all this effort just for photographs!

One thought on “A maiko in the making

  1. OMG indeed!!! it reminds me of the book “Memoirs of a geisha” and even then I was stunned reading about the elaborate make up and preparation…. and doing all this for a few hours of photographs!!! god!

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