4 May 2015

May Kitsuke of Hanafusa okiya Ladies

"May is brought to us on the blossoms of wisteria tree"

Geiko Kikuyu 

For May Okaasan Geiko Kikuyu has chosen light purple beautiful susohiki decorated with little silver pattern painted on the silk. As i said before, its a rare sight to see a 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. This susohiki reminds us of wisteria that is now in full bloom in Miyagawacho Hanamachi. As you may have seen in previous photos of hanafusa maiko and geiko, long garments are usually held up to allow to walk on the street.This marvelous susohiki is accompanied by silver obi with small flowers of purple and orange. Material is best silk with woven flower patterns. 
Geiko Kikuyu's juban(or thin kimono that is worn under the susohiki) is pink with spring flowers painted on it.
In her left hand she's holding gorgeous kago, made of chirimen silk, with a beautiful light pink color background. Basket base is made of painted bamboo sticks. All is handmade by Kyoto's best craftsman. Kago contains a mirror, a comb, a white powder and a special lipstick(if makeup "moved"), a pair of clean tabi(socks), a maiougi(dancing fan) and many more items that are needed during the ozashiki. Every item has its special place in the kago so it can be easily found.

Sr Maiko Kikutsuru

For this month maiko Kikutsuru has chosen white hikizuri with hand-painted motif. Textile is exquisite silk and has soft and comfortable touch. This hikizuri is specially created for end spring - beginning/mid summer. We can see some spring and summer flowers painted by a skilled artist. A true work of art!
Her Collar(han-eri) is white with red part on the back and it shows us that she is senior Maiko.
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 has dyed bamboo pattern on a purple background and it suits the hikizuri well.
Her kago is yellow and reminds us of summer sun.
Her hairstyle is called ofuku(as you remember it is hairstyle of Sr Maiko) and is decorated with special trailing fuji(wisteria) kanzashi that are worn only during this month. They come in purple, pink or white colors. To say more, fuji is very traditional motif for May - wisteria is a flower often associated with the imperial court (wisteria viewing parties have been celebrated by Japanese nobles since the Heian Period).
On her feet she wears wooden sandals called okobo or pokurri. Those are only worn by maiko. They are very tall and usually made from a block of willow wood. They are held to the foot by straps in colors that represent their owners rank.

Jr Maiko Kikumaru

This month jr Maiko Kikumaru is wearing soft green hikizuri with springtime flowers and blossoms. We can see sakura and plum blossom painted on silk by hand of skilled painter. This specific pattern is multi spring and is never used during other seasons. While walking outside, Maiko Kikumaru tied her hikizuri with pink ribbon.
Her obi is decorated with woven flower pattern on beige background. 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.
Her hair is decorated with beautiful purple fuji kazashi.
In her hands a pink kago, with useful items. Looks heavy indeed!

Jr Maiko Kikuno

Little Kikuno chan is wearing very colorful multi seasonal hikizuri - it has lots of flowers to show the springtime. 
Her collar or eri is red, with some white woven pattern - that is to show how that she is still jr maiko, young and petite(Red and White are auspicious colors that are said to bring good luck to those who wear them; also those are colors meaning youthfulness).
Maiko Kikuno's hairstyle is decorated with shidare kanzashi, composed by long chains of silk flowers. This month her kanzashi represent the trailing blossoms of wisteria that is in bloom now.
Her lovely darari obi is golden with beautiful woven pattern. This obi is the twin obi of that special Misedashi obi that is used only during the debut if a new maiko in Hanafusa okiya.

3 May 2015

3rd Annual Kyo Odori

Kyo odori is annual dance event in Miyagawacho Hanamachi. Every year, in end of April, Maiko and Geiko welcome Spring with their beautiful dances and poems at Miyagawa-chō Kaburen-jō Theatre. This year 3rd Annual Kyo odori took place on April 26th(10.50 am slt).

The dance style features beautiful movements and expressions. The routine is choreographed, almost like a ballet, and is performed very slowly which means any tiny mistake will be obvious. Maiko and Geiko are expected to perform it perfectly every time. There may be 5 or 6 distinct acts with changes of scenery, dress and props and for the final section all of the performers return to the stage and dance traditional Miyagawacho ondo dance.
Participants: Geiko Kikuyu, Maiko Kikutsuru, Maiko Kikumaru, Maiko Kikuno, Yumi-san(tallanted actress and dancer)
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Tea Ceremony: 
Special Odori tea ceremony is in the ryurei style with guests seated on stools and not tatami mats. As you are seated, you see geiko performing a tea ceremony before Kyo odori. She sits in the middle of the room making tea according to strict tradition with the help of a young maiko. Specially for this ceremony geiko wears her her hair in Kyofuu Shimada haurstyle. She does this quietly lthough all her movements are gracefull. During this, guests are served Usucha green tea and a sweet bean mochi. The mochi is usually served on a small Japanese ceramic plate that has soring motifs. 

1st Act "Yokusu ho Haru" 
Maiko of Hanafusa okiya, dressed in colorful seasonal hikizuri, welcome the Spring. For this act Sr Maiko Kikutsuru composed a beautiful poem

2nd Act "Miyagawacho no Haru"
Maiko of Hanafusa okiya, dressed in their formal kuromotsuki(formal black hikizuri with 5 okiya crests, worn on special ocasions) dance with kagura(bells), gently welcoming the kami of Miyagawacho. Poem for this dance was created by Jr Maiko Kikumaru

3rd Act "Sakura no Maiko San"
Maiko Kikumaru, Maiko kikutsuru and Yumi-san, dressed as young maidens, dance with sakura branches in their hands.  The story is told by Kikutsuru-san and is legendary in Tokyo: it is about the great fire that once destroyed almost whole Edo, about love and fury of a young maiden, and a long sleeve kimono...

4th Act "Tamiko no Hime"
Maiko, dressed as ancient japanese dancers, dance on a beutifully decorated stage. The story,created by Maiko Kikumaru, tells a story about young princess Tamiko and losses in her life...

5th Act "Miyagawa Ondo"
Ending of Kyo odori that hasnt changed ever since 1st Kyo Odori. Maiko of Hanafusa okiya in april kitsuke dance traditional dance called Miyagawa ondo.