18 January 2018

Shigyoshiki in Kyoto Kagai sim (2018)

Several days ago, Kyoto Kagai sim hosted Shigyoshiki - the most important event in new year. It is annual traditional opening ceremony in Kyoto Hanamachi, the ceremony that marks the start of another bisness year in the Karyukai. Geiko and Maiko gather at their local hanamachi theaters, wearing most formal black kimono called Kuromontsuki and renew their vows for the new year. This is one of the few occasions when all of them are gathered together wearing full regalia, and presents a rare photo opportunity for photographers as well as visitors!
No different from RL, Maiko and Geiko from Hanafusa okiya in Miyagawacho Hanamachi of SL take part in this important event. As in previous years, Shigyoshiki was hosted at Miyagawacho Kaburenjo theater on January 7th 11.30 am slt. This event was open for the public and after the vows were pledged, maiko and geiko offered sake and, specially prepared for this event, osechi (traditional Japanese New Year foods).

For those who couldn't come but yet are interested, i present formal Kitsuke outfits of Maiko and Geiko from Hanafusa okiya,which they wore for Shigyoshiki:

Okasan Geiko Kikuyu

Okasan Kikuyu in her formal wear
To start with, Okaasan Kikuyu became first Geiko in Second life to wear new Bento Kuromontsuki from Isomesh kimono. It has decoration at the lower part of the kimono and is embroidered with golden and silver threads, making it look so flashy and gorgeous. The obi is woven made with golden and silver threads, perfect for important events. It is tied in Taiko (drum) knot. Geiko's obi (apr. 440 cm long) are bit longer than simple women's obi. Also, for geiko's obi, patterns are created upside down, so when it is tied in Geiko Taiko knot, the pattern will have the correct position, facing upwards.
The wig okaasan Kikuyu is wearing in japanese is called Katsura, and it is styled in Geiko Shimada style. For formal events, kanzashi hairpins that are used for decorating katsura, are made from most precious and luxurious materials, such as tortoiseshell, gold, expensive stones etc. Tortoiseshell kanzashi are most unique and antique as nowadays the craftsmen that work with this material are almost non-existant. Geiko Kikuyu is wearing Bekko (tortoiseshell) comb that features mon of Hanafusa okiya, Bekko Kogai at the back and a traditional dove and rise maezashi.

Atatori Senior Maiko Kikutsuru

Maiko Kikutsuru in her formal attire
It is rumored that this Shigyoshiki is last one for Kikutsuru san as Maiko, and that in 2019 she will perform her vows already as Geiko san. Let's wait and see, ne?:)
As for now, her Kuromontsuki is one of a kind and has many lucky as well as multi-seasonal motifs that are hand-painted - ox-drawn carriages, chrysanthemums, waves, peonies, plum blossoms, pine, summer grasses etc. It is tied with golden Darari obi, that not only gives the finishing touch the ensemble but also supports the back of maiko, as the kimono, especially formal kuromontsuki, are extremely heavy. No obijime or pocchiri are worn with formal outfit.
Formal wear also means that Senior maiko will change from ofuku hairstyle to Yakko Shimada. As well as geiko san, Maiko san too are given opportunity of wearing gorgeous and expensive kanzashi - if you look at the hair of Kikutsuru san, you can notice Bekko Kushi (comb) with Hanafusa okiya mon, Bekkou Hirauchi, Jade Tama, special January daikan (front) kanzashi, maezashi with bira oghi and small pin called bira dome. For Shigyoshiki both Junior and Senior maiko wear rice husk maezashi with eyeless dove - rice grains can be given to customers and are considered symbols good luck and fortune.

Senior Maiko Kikumaru

Maiko Kikumaru in her formal wear
Kuromontsuki that Kikumaru san wore for Shigyoshiki features many tall pine trees or Matsu in Japanese that are strongly associated with winter. "Matsu" means "waiting for the soul of a god to descend from Heaven". In ancient Shinto beliefs, gods were said to have ascended to Heaven on a pine tree, where they now reside on a beautiful volcanic mountain in giant or old trees. Pine trees can withstand cold and snow as well as rocky soil, wind and drought while its beauty lasts all year long - no wonder that this pattern is symbol of longevity, virtue, and youth. Stunning piece! As it is most formal type of kimono, it features 5 crests of the okiya.
It is tied with long Darari obi (apr. 6.8m) with geometrical pattern created with golden threads on white background. Unfortunately not seen at this picture, at the end of every maiko obi, there is crest of the okiya girl belongs to.
As she is Senior maiko, as her oneesan Kikutsuru, Kikumaru san's hair is styled in Yakko Shimada and decorated with valuable tortoiseshell hair pieces and seasonal pins. January daikan (front) kanzashi, are unique and new ones are commissioned at the beginning of the year. This years motifs are plum blossoms and bamboo leafs.

Junior Maiko Kikune

Maiko Kikune wearing her formal attire
As the youngest maiko in the okiya, Kikune san wears most colorful and elaborate kuromontsuki in the okiya, fit for junior maiko of course:) This exact piece features seasonal flowers, leafs as well as golden geometrical motifs on the hem and at the lower part of the sleeves - everything hand-painted on the silk by a skilled master. The obi was carefully selected for this special event as is created with beige and golden silk threads. As junior maiko, she ties obiage cloth on the top of the obi, rather than seniors who tuck it into.
As she is still young maiko, her own hair is styled, even during formal events as Shigyoshiki, into Wareshinobu hairstyle. Decorated with elaborate bekkou kushi, Bekkou Hirauchi with Jade Tama, carefully selected maezashi with seasonal hanakanzashi, more colorful than senior maiko. As for the rice husk maezashi with eyeless dove - not only grains bring luck, but also the eyeless dove has its special meaning - maiko or geiko fill in one eye and ask guest/very special person they like to draw the other for good luck in the coming year. This tradition differs from hanamachi to hanamachi, but in every hanamachi this is considered as lucky charm.

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