15 June 2018

June Kitsuke

Every month Okaasan Kikuyu chooses a perfect semi formal ensemble for each of her maiko daughters. She has to look carefully on the designs, styles, patterns as well as the personality of those who are to wear it, so to create an appropriate seasonal look.

Okaasan Geiko Kikuyu


Okaasan Geiko Kikuyu
For June, Okaasan Kikuyu has chosen a deep navy blue kimono with pattern, located on the hem and features geometrical motif. Perfect piece for a hot summer month!
Near the hem we can see the pink juban with red flowers. This type of juban is only used by geiko.
The obi sash is golden with woven scenery pattern. It is tied in a style called "taiko musubi obi" as it's look reminds us of the taiko drum.
Her hair is decorated with a wooden kushi, usually used for summer months and a seasonal maezashi hairpin. As you can recall from my previous posts, geiko san wear wigs, called Katsura styled in shimada style, while maiko san wear hairstyles (wareshinobu, ofuku etc.) made from their own hair. This "wig liberation" for Geiko took place not so long ago, in 1950 - 1960. Before that time, Geiko san had to make their hairstyles using their own hair (as nowadays maiko do).


Maiko Kikutsuru


Maiko Kikutsuru of Hanafusa okiya
Kikutsuru san is wearing light blue hikizuri with hand-painted motifs of water flow and peony flowers. As you can see, the styles of kimono worn by Geiko Kikuyu and Maiko Kikutsuru are quite significant: in the style of a Geiko kimono, the shoulder nor sleeve area have tucks; the sleeves are also shorter (as in tomesode, symbolizing maturity), they reach to about the hips or upper thighs of the Geiko. On the other side, Maiko hikizuri have tucks on the shoulders, as well as tucks in the sleeves (this shows that the girl needs still to "grow" into the kimono), not to mention that the sleeves are also very long, reaching nearly to the ankle of the maiko.
Her juban is red and features weeping willow.
The obi has beige background with bright flowers, leafs and geometrical figures.
Her hairdo is called Ofuku and is decorated with seasonal ajisai kanzashi. This month has two flowery symbols - willow tree as well as ajisai (hydrangea flowers) and maiko senior maiko can choose whichever they like more.

Maiko Kikumaru


Maiko Kikumaru of Hanafusa okiya
For the second senior maiko of Hanafusa okiya, okaasan Kikuyu has prepared delicate pink hikizuri with summertime flowers and green obi with ajisai (hydrangea) leafs to fit. The darari obi is longer than the one worn by Geiko Kikuyu; it is also tied in a special knot, worn only by maiko san. End of the obi has okiya mon or emblem(as every family in japan, all okiya and yakata in have their own emblems too) which means she comes from this family - Hanafusa okiya.
On the top of the obi you can see red obiage which is tucked into. Juniors simply tie obiage upon, hiding the top of the obi.
As well as her oneesan's (older sister, mentor) her hairstyle is called ofuku yet her kanzashi are different - Kikumaru san decided to wear willow kanzashi that fit the color of the obi. Willow is usually worn by junior maiko, but some shops make designs that can be worn by senior maiko as well, even "longer" ones.  Yes, seniors can wear longer versions of hanakanzashi during May (wisteria kanzashi) and June (willow kanzashi). They are almost as long as the ones worn by junior maiko, yet these are specifically created for seniors.

Maiko Kikune


Maiko Kikune of Hanafusa okiya
Maiko Kikune has been been a maiko for about 2 years (her debut took place on July 15th 2016) and this means she is not far from becoming senior. In Miyagawacho, Maiko who are soon to become senior, are allowed to wear more elaborate and "mature" hikizuri several months prior actually becoming senior. This is what we see now - Kikune san is wearing subtle purple hikizuri with colorful chrysanthemum design. No designs at the chest area, meaning this hikizuri is worn by senior maiko members. It is tied with log Darari obi, that has golden pattern on the deep green background.
Her juban has small flowers and petals..
As she is still Junior Maiko (hairtyle will be changed on the day of her mizuage), her hairdo is the same as it was before, it is called Wareshinobu. While senior Maiko can choose between willow and hydrangea kanzashi, Junior maiko do not have this choice.

Maiko Kikushino


Maiko Kikushino of Hanafusa okiya
For the youngest maiko of Hanafusa okiya, Maiko Kikushino, okaasan Kikuyu has chosen light blue hikizuri with pink and red peony design. The juban is similar to her senior sisters, featuring willow and flowers on the red silk.
Obi worn by Kikushino san has an orange background with golden thread embroidery. It holds the kimono tightly and fits the golden clouds on the hikizuri perfectly.
Her hair is styled in the traditional junior maiko hairdo known as Wareshinobu 9same as Kikune san). If we look at the kanzashi are willow styled ones and are similar to Kikune neesan but with dangling part attached to the hanakanzashi.
Her make up has more red and pink as she is still young in the profession. Also, as she is still 1st year maiko, she paints only her lower lip which means she is still a "baby".

9 June 2018

Summertime ozahsiki in Kyoto Kagai

We continue to hold weekly events for all admirers of the Japanese culture as well as guest of the Kyoto Kagai. The weather is already hot and humid but at our sim you can always find a cool place to rest and enjoy the relaxing atmosphere, created by Maiko from Hanafusa okiya. Every aspect, from food to clothing of the maiko, is carefully selected for every occasion by the host. 

We are always happy to see new guests as well as families with children at our sim and events:)

Want to know when there will be next event? In this blog on the right side there is a tab with "monthly events". In case you need additional information, please feel free to IM Maiko Kikumaru(belliebeth) in SL.
Photo by Kyoko san (Samara Barsane)

31 May 2018

Open-air events are back!

Summer season has already started in Japan and this means that summer activities are now available at Kyoto Kagai sim - open-air ozashiki on the Kamo river, beer garden events, gatcha, excursions and many many more are awaiting for you. 
Let's enjoy this summer together!
Maiko Kikutsuru (light blue), Maiko Kikune (green) and Maiko Kikushino (navy blue)

21 May 2018

Applications - Hanafusa Okiya - Open

Hanafusa Okiya welcomes applications this May and June to their education program. You will be provided with realistic classes, expectations, and sisterhood. We value the traditions and art of the Geiko. If you are interested in applying, please ask Kikutsuru ( Miehina resident) for an application.

Hanafusa Okiya is family and traditions

For more information and if you need an application nc, please visit our sim http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Kyoto/225/180/31

17 May 2018

May Kitsuke

After the Kyo odori, that took place in the end of April and the Misedashi of Maiko Kikushino that took place last weekend, Hanafusa okiya is finally returning to its usual schedule. The tortoise shell antique kanzashi have been returned to their boxes and formal kimono have been hidden in the wardrobe until next celebration - what will it be, Misedashi or maybe Erikae?!


Okaasan Geiko Kikuyu


Okaasan of Hanafusa okiya in her May attire
For the last month of Spring, Kikuyu-okaasan decided on pale yellow, should i say, even cream semiformal kimono with hand-painted irises and willow. All this unique ensemble is held with obi, tied in taiko style knot. This obi is quite interesting - the background is made with black and white squares, and upon it there are flowers of asagao or morning glory. This small flower is considered summer time pattern and together with kimono gives a clear message "The spring is soon to end, prepare for summer heat".
The juban is pink and is worn by senior geiko (Kikuyu san has been geiko since 2012 so she is considered senior member of the SL Kagai). Red juban is worn by junior geiko and by any geiko during formal events.
On her feet Okaasan is wearing Senryoo geta.


Senior Maiko Kikutsuru


Atatori of Hanafusa okiya in her May attire
Now lets look at the may kitsuke worn by Atatori(heiress) and most senior maiko in Hanafusa okiya - Kikutsuru san. The background of her hikizuri is some between green and grey, with blue and white irises. This hikizuri reminds me of a pond with wild irises blooming near - this is refreshing effect that this kimono has on a viewer. It is tied with woven obi with butterflies.
Hairstyle - Ofuku - is worn only be senior maiko. It requires different from Junior Maiko kanzashi style - 1 or 3 big flowers, worn on the right side of the front bun. Also the seasonal flowers for Senior maiko may differ from the ones worn by Junior - for example in May Senior Maiko wear Iris or can wear wisteria, while Juniors are restricted to wisteria only. Maiko in Miyagawacho start to use kushi comb right after they become Senior.
In her hand, Kikutsuru san is holding pink kago that fits the hanao silk straps on her high okobo

Senior Maiko Kikumaru


Senior Maiko Kikumaru of Hanafusa okiya in her May kitsuke
After Kikutsuru san comes Senior Maiko Kikumaru, who is wearing yellow hikizuri with motif of irises and a flow. An iris by a running stream evokes the tenth century ‘Tale of Ise’: poet, who travels far, arrives at Yatsuhashi, sees irises in full bloom and is struck by such longing for his wife left in far Kyoto that he writes a verse for her beginning each line with a syllable from the flower’s name ‘ka-ki-tsu-ba-ta’(Japanese word for iris that grows on semi-wet land; ayame - iris that grows on the dry land). It is tied with greed obi that has yellow geometrical pattern. Obiage (cloth at the top of the obi) it tucked into the obi - in Miyagawacho hanamachi all maiko, who become senior do so while in other Hanamachi maiko tie obiage cloth upon their obi right till the time before erikae.

Junior Maiko Kikune

Junior Maiko Kikune wearing her May semiformal outfit
May is also month when kimono with peony motif are worn and you can see one unique piece worn by Maiko Kikune - on the light blue silk there are pink and white peonies and upon them are golden clouds that are usually seen on the byobu screens. Also known as the ‘King of Flowers’, the peony is a symbol of good fortune, bravery and honor.
While looking at her kanzashi you may ask - why is junior Maiko wearing senior flower? In Miyagawacho, when a junior Maiko is not far from becoming Senior, she is allowed to start wearing senior Kanzashi, but with one difference - she cannot use kushi comb but the flower bridge.
In her hand she is holding a custom made kago bag with her professional name embroidered on it.

Junior Maiko Kikushino


Junior Maiko Kikushino in her May attire
The youngest Maiko in Hanafusa okiya, Maiko Kikushino, this month will wear beautiful gradient hikizuri with hand-painted bamboo and wisteria motif. Japanese symbolism for the wisteria is:love, sensuality, support, sensitivity, bliss and tenderness. Wisteria blossom also expresses wish for good luck and even serious devotion - that is why we can see this motif on so many formal kimono.
Obi is worth a look as well - it is very colorful and fits the kimono perfectly.
Her hairstyle is called Wareshinobu, and the monthly kanzashi motif, worn by Maiko Kikushino, is wisteria or fuji.
Kikushino chan has debuted this month (11-13th of May) under the wing of Maiko Kikumaru, she is still very new, and are thankful for all the support that was given by you, dear readers and patrons.

13 May 2018

Misedashi. Day 3 "Private Celebration"

Sneak-peak from behind the curtain
Last but not least, on day 3 we continued to receive congratulations and best wishes for the newly debuted Maiko Kikushino. Kikushino san and her oneesan are thankful for all the attention and support.
When evening came, it was time for one more event, one more ozashiki. As this event is private, we will not post pictures from it, just a small photo taken outside from behind the curtain on this special, yet final day of Kikushino chan's misedashi. Let's all together give our "Aspiring Chrysanthemum" a warm welcome into the profession and wish her luck on the artistic path she has chosen.
"Omedetou san dosu Kikushino san!
Your okaasan, oneesan and neesan's wish you prosperity and welcome you to the profession!"

11 May 2018

Misedashi. Day 1: Sansan Kudo Ceremony

San san Kudo Ceremony where Maiko Kikumaru and Maiko Kikushino
Are bonded as oneesan(older sister, mentor) and imouto
Misedashi - is the most important events in any maiko's life. From now on, you are seen as official part of the Kagai, no matter if its RL or SL.
And one of the most important events in Misedashi is the ceremony called San san Kudo, which can be translated as "three times three". What is about this ceremony that makes it so special? Well, this is the ceremony or better to say a ritual, similar to the one used in weddings, that is performed to bound a new Maiko (imouto) and her Oneesan (maiko or geiko who will be her mentor, "older sister"). There is also highly respected and honorable person, who performs the ceremony - in Hanafusa okiya it is Okaasan. Like it is during the wedding, the Sake is poured into 3 different cups which represent different yet important aspects. When drinking, you bring the sake cup 2 times to your lips and only by the 3rd sip you can sip. That is how you get three times three! This ceremony is so important that participants wear most formal kuromontsuki (formal hikizuri with 5 crests of the okiya) and most expensive hair ornaments.
Though Sansan kudo ceremony is no public and can not be witnessed, we would like to welcome everyone to public celebrations on the Misedashi (debut) of Maiko Kikushino of Hanafusa okiya that will take place this Saturday 11 am slt at Hanahusa ochaya.