13 April 2015

April Kitsuke

Geiko Kikuyu
Okaasan Kikuyu is wearing beautiful multi Spring silk susohiki with amazing dyed flower pattern. Amny little flowers are carefully painted on the silk with a hand of a skillful artist. Its a rare sight to see geiko wearing susohiki with this type of pattern, but it happens from time to time, for example yabane(arrow shaft/arrow feathers), multi flowers and stripes or little snowflakes.
Her golden obi is a unique piece with beautiful almost not seen woven pattern, which is dyed. It is tied in taiko musubi knot("drum knot" as musubi means knot or tie).
Her juban(thin kimono that is worn under the susohiki) is pink with flower motif. Juban of Maiko and Geiko are different from the juban ordinary people wear - on its sode(sleeves) and from knee are to the ankle area it has different patterns or sometimes ornaments while ordinary people wear pure white juban. The maiko and geiko juban can be red, pink and sometimes white but with pink or red flowers on it.
In her hands she is holding pink kago with Sakura - popular motif, especially for april, as sakuran beging to bloom all around Japan.

*  Susohiki is usually worn by geiko or by stage performers of the traditional Japanese dance. Susohiki literally means "trail the skirt". It is quite long, compared to regular kimono, because the skirt is supposed to trail along the floor. As geiko walks, her trailing skirt reminds a beautiful tail of a goldfish.

Sr Maiko Kikutsuru
On 26th of April Saninmae Maiko Kikutsuru will become Yoninmae Maiko. Omedetou san dosu Kikutsuru san! 
*Yoninmae Maiko is last stage of Senior Maiko. After it is 2 periods of wearing specific hairtyles: firstly Yakko Shimada hairstyle and after Y.S. goes Sakkou hairstyle. After 2 weeks of wearing Sakkou maiko has erikae or ceremony of "turning the collar" while she is presented as new grown geiko.

Senior Maiko Kikutsuru is wearing a glamorous back hikizuri with charming flower painted carefully on the silk. You can notice the flowers on the hikizuri are arranged in spring-style ekibana. The background is black is to notice maiko under Textile is exquisite soft silk.
The darari obi is longer than the one worn by Geiko Kikuyu; it is also tied in a special knot, worn only by maiko. It is silver it suits the hikizuri well.
In her hands she is holding  heavy kago - special bag with stuff that maiko can need during ozashiki(spare tabi socks, dancing fan and other dancing objects, comb, mirror, special small box with lipstick and white powder). Mobile phones are forbidden! they do not suit the maiko image.
Her hairstyle is called Ofuku(Sr maiko Hairstyle). Once a week(traditionaly) maiko goes to the hairdresser to have her hair done. After that, Maiko are not permitted to wash their hair for an entire week as not to destroy their elaborate hairstyle.

Jr Maiko Kikumaru
On 26th of April Ichinmae Maiko Kikumaru will become Nininmae Maiko. Omedetou san dosu Kikumaru san! 
* Nininmae Maiko is last stage of Junior Maiko. After it goes special ceremony called "Mizuage", during which is kind of coming-of-age ceremony, an initiation party, symbolizing on the geisha-to-be by a change in hairstyle. After mizuage maiko becomes Senor maiko - she changes her hikizuri to more subtle colors, her eri(collar) will become white and red on the back and her hair is to be changed from Wareshinobu, the childish jr maiko hairstyle to Ofuku, older and more mature hairstyle

Jr Maiko Kikumaru is wearing light purple color with spring flowers an leaves flow(hand-painted by talented kimono artist). Although it has some multi seasonal motifs, it goes really good with the sakura kazashi on her head. 
Her hairstyle is called Wareshinobu(and is worn only bt Jr Maiko) and its the last time maiko Kikumaru is wearing it - on next stage of her career she will become Sr maiko and will change her hairstyle to Ofuku.
As maiko goes outside the okiya or ochaya, she needs to tie her hikizuri so that the silk wont get dirty. Whilts she does that she is showing her amazing and colorful nagajuban pattern(as you can see there are blooming flowers on it).
Her darari obi is golden with beautiful crane woven pattern. This obi motif is to bring luck and is to bring prosperity to those who wear it. Fact! Maiko's Darari obi is 7 meters long and needs to be tied specially.
Kago is gently pink, with no charm though. She carries it with both hands, as her oneesan does.

Jr Maiko Kikuno
Jr Maiko Kikuno is wearing spring multimotived purple hikizuri. Kikuno chan looks like a ume or sakura flower in bloom. The material is silk.
Her eri is mostly red and is decorated with woven cranes on the red background. She is so cute ^-^
The obijime(traditional little rope on the obi) is holding a beautiful butterfly pochirri(special kimono brouch).
The darari obi of this young maiko has a dyed crane pattern on the golden background and fits well to hikizuri.
As she is still Jr Maiko, her hairtyle is Wareshinobu - same as her neesan's Maiko Kikumaru's. The kanzashi are seasonal - sakura blossom and shidare(the hanging petals) that mean that she has has debuted as maiko less than a year ago.
Maiko Kikuno is allowed to paint only her lower lip. You may wonder why Maiko Kikuno has only one lip painted while Maiko Kikumaru and Maiko Kikutsuru have both? Well, this is a special tradition that maiko that works less than a year paints only one lip. Its the symbol that is still a "baby" :) 

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