17 March 2018

March Kitsuke

Geiko Kikuyu

For March okaasan Kikuyu has chosen beautiful light pink geiko hikizuri with white and red plum or ume blossoms hand painted on the silk. This is extremely springtime piece and gives us a feeling of early warm and yet that we still have to wait for spring to get in its fullest.
A nice woven obi with folded fans accompanies her outfit.
After the erikae (turn of the collar), when maiko becomes geiko, hairstyles change - from now on she will wear styled katsura (wig) which is said to be a great relief, as from now on she can sleep on a regular pillow and wash her hair more often than maiko san do. We can see a styled katsura worn by geiko Kikuyu on the picture. Her hair is decorated with small but very stylish accessory called maezashi.

Maiko Kikutsuru

Senior Maiko Kikutsuru is wearing beautiful and very expensive light blue hikizuri, with a very interesting motif on it. If you look closely you might notice that there are seashells that are painted from the inside. These are parts of a game that is called kai-awase or "hell-matching game". A full kai-awase set consists of 360 pairs of clam shells. All are about the same size (some two and a half to three inches across). Each pair of shells has the same image. The sources for these images are poetic, seasonal, literary, etc., and depict everything from flowers to noblemen peeking into a room to items of dance costume. Only the outside of the shell retains its natural look. All shells are placed face down, and players take turns flipping pairs, until they find a matching pair, which they can then claim. Unmatched pairs are turned back over. The winner is the person with the most matching shell pairs when the game is over.
A long darari obi, worn only by maiko, holds the kimono tight and features woven golden motif.
Her hairstyle is called ofuku. It is decorated with seasonal kanzashi piece.

Maiko Kikumaru

In march Kikumaru san will be wearing fabulous pink hikizuri with hand-painted colorful plum blossoms and string knots motifs. The plum flower is one of the first blossoms to open during the year and has always been closely associated with the coming of spring. Unlike the cherry blossom, the plum has a strong sweet fragrance. Since the Heian period, they have been a symbol of refinement and purity, along with a reminder of former lovers.
In march all kimonos that maiko san and geiko san wear are linned (can be worn before summer heat comes).
Her obi is create with golden threads that make a geometrical and flower pattern on lighter 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 - Hanafusa okiya.
Her hairstyle is same as Kikuturu san's as they both are senior maikos and is decorated with seasonal daffodil flower kanzashi.

Maiko Kikune

Beautiful Kikune san is wearing extremely colorful green hikizuri with hand-painted flowers and butterflies making her look like a true springtime flower. The butterfly is often used as a symbol for young girls as they spread their wings and emerge into womanhood, and are also believed to symbolise joy and longevity. If a symbol contains two butterflies dancing around each other, it is a symbol of marital happiness.
Her lovely darari obi is golden and holds the kimono tight as well supports the back of the maiko san.
Maiko Kikune's hairstyle is called Wareshinobu and is decorated with colorful seasonal kanzashi. As you can see there is a difference between the senior and junior kanzashi motifs. This month kanzashi for junior maiko, worn by Maiko kikune in the photo, represent the rape blossoms that are in bloom now.

Minarai Kikushino

The youngest and newest member of Hanafusa okiya, Minarai Kikushino, is wearing light blue hikizuri, with green leafs and flower fan motif. Adopted from Chinese culture, the fan has come to signify a high social status and symbolize the journey of life. The small end essentially represents birth and the blades symbolizing the many paths possible in life’s journey. Historically, Japanese people of every age, gender and demographic have carried fans with many of them beautifully painted to tell stories or convey secret messages.
The Obi is green with geometrical motif on it.
As she is really young and "newbie", she does paint only the lower lip and decorates the front of her Wareshinobu hairstyle with "dangling" kanzashi. Every hanamachi has different looks of minarai, but they all do share the main idea - minarai san wear "childish" style of kimono, kanzashi and accessories.

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