A guide to Geisha and Maiko by name, picture, and Okiya!

As I’ve said over and over again, I’ve been studying the Geisha culture for about 8 months now, I’m sure I’ll still be studying them months if not years in the future. My next greatest challenge is being able to identify Geisha by name, to help me with this I’m going to make a guide to geisha by their pictures, name, and Okiya. This is for my own personal use, but you can use it as well, all the pictures were retrieved from either Google images or Tumblr. If you don’t want to use it that’s fine, you get to browse through several pictures of gorgeous geisha and Maiko. For the ones who’s names I know but who’s Okiya I don’t exactly know or if they are retired or not, they will be at the bottom

I’m going to start this in Gion Kobu, so Ge

isha are actually called Geiko

Okiya: Arai

Geiko: Mameji (She is the Okaa-san of the okiya)


Maiko: Mameroku


Debuted: May 16th 2011


Mamesada: can’t find picture, if you have one, I would be happy to post it and give you credit~


Mameaki: Can’t find picture





(Mametomi and Mamefusa)

Mametomi and Mameroku!

Okiya: Bi no Yae


Makoto: (One of the most famous Geisha in Kyoto)







She’s in the middle ^^



geiko Makino

maiko Makino

Makino by SHANNON MOYLAN on Flickr



geiko Makino by @MJMCK13 on Instagram

maiko Makino



Ebisu Jinja 2013: maiko Masaki by IT’S HOY on Flickr

Maiko Masaki, Gion Kobu (by coopersanborn)


Debuted in 2011!


Mayuno Can’t find picture

Marino Another I can’t find a picture of D;


misedashi of maiko Marie
she quit very soon after her debut

She quit very soon after her debut, so there aren’t many pictures of her available.


maiko Mahiro

maiko Mahiro

maiko Mahiro

Okiya: Fukushima


Ayano (She’s very popular, and it’s easy to see why~)

Geiko Ayano, Pontocho (via ワタシャジ ~ワタクシの社寺めぐり(とか)~ 祝・ブログ開設四周年)


Ayano as Maiko with A Geiko named Momiyuki

maiko Ayano and geiko Momiyuki

Ayano and Maiko Fumino are up front. The young Shikomi behind them will soon move on to become Maiko Kiyono. Technically these are all three active Geisha and Maiko of Fukushima Okiya out of their full regalia. ^^

Young Ayano as a first year Maiko~ Look how young she looks! She would only be about 15 or 16 years old here




maiko Fumino

Ayano is in the front and Fumino is in the back ^^

Kiyono (She debuted pretty recently after I had already done a fair amount of research on the Maiko and Geiko lifestyle and was the first recent debut pictures I had seen, so she holds a special place in my heart~)

this needs fixing(This is one of her pictures from her debut, she was so cute and giggly, this was the only picture where she didn’t have a laugh going on)


She’s in the pink kimono in the back


Just a moment please

Because she is so freshly debuted, her misedashi was in late April of 2013 there aren’t a whole lot of pictures of her that I can find of her.

Maiko Kotono: She actually debuted with Ayano but had quit a few months after her debut.

Ayano with Kotono

I will be posting more in another part, starting with Hiroshimaya Okiya~


12 thoughts on “A guide to Geisha and Maiko by name, picture, and Okiya!

    • Hello dear! Thank you for your question. I really wish I knew myself, which reminds me I need to update this list. There have been quite a few retirements and new Maiko that are joining the profession. As for Ayano, I imagine the lifestyle might have been a bit too stressful, the life doesn’t get easier when a girl becomes a Geiko, in fact it gets increasingly difficult, usually girls retire shortly after becoming Geiko, like within the first few years. However, that being said, she still works closely with her old Okiya, she works at a bar that is owned by her Okiya, so she’s still very in touch with the hanamachi and her old Okiya family ^^ Keep in mind, that if an okiya accepts a maiko or geiko back, they can come back from retirement. ^^

  1. Thank you for your answer. I like your very informative answer. I have seen many Geiko’s retire almost right after debut. I am glad she is still around. I hope she decides to come back someday. She looks great in any kimono, any kimono color (season) and she looks great on camera. Thank again for your answer.

    • Well, she stuck around for about a year, which gave us lots of pictures of her. I definitely appreciate that ^^ For me, she just always seemed so happy and I’m glad that she kept her cute babyface through her Maiko career and into her Geiko career, and yes, of course she looks absolutely stunning in any Hikizuri that she is wearing. I think she actually really loved the community which is why she stuck within the Hanamachi, even though she isn’t working as a Geiko, where usually if a Maiko or Geiko retire early they leave the community to try and attain a new career. When a Maiko or Geiko announces her retirement (Maybe a couple months before she actually retires, I’m not 100% sure) she will send a bento half filled with white rice (To represent the world outside of the hanamachi) and half filled with red rice (To represent the hanamachi) to the various businesses who have supported her so far and the local Okiya in their hanamachi. This is to let them know that she is leaving, but she would appreciate to be let back in and for those to keep her in their heart as they will be in hers. ^^ Rumor has it that when Mineko Iwasaki left the profession, she sent out bento boxes that were completely filled with white rice, basically saying that she appreciates the hanamachi but she has no intention of returning to the profession. Sorry, I could go on and on about the subject XD

  2. I appreciate the story. I hope Ayano will be back, so I can see more of her pictures. Her otokoshi serves quite a few debut occasions for other geiko’s. He gets to participate in all those beautiful occasions.

    • Yes, it would be great if she came back, but there are plenty of pictures all around, I’m constantly finding new pictures of her as Maiko and Geiko. And yes, Otokoshi~ There are so few of them because it’s a family profession rather than a profession that many people can choose to be involved in ^^ It’s great seeing how proud they are while they’re accompanying the various Maiko and Geiko during such important events ^^

  3. I probably have most of her pictures. I am a big fan. If you can tell me where to get more of those pictures, I will look at them. Thank in advance.

    • Oh, I’m a huge fan of her too! One of the best places I’ve found is Flickr. But there’s also a person on tumblr named geisha-kai, she posts a lot of pictures of various Maiko and Geiko, including Geiko Ayano-san ^^

  4. Thank you. I am following geisha-kai. When I told geisha-kai about how much I like Ayano, she posts more pictures of hers. Thank you very much. You have been very kind.

  5. That’s a nice list you have there! But you have mixed two different Ayanos up. The geiko in the black kimono and the maiko with Momiyuki, that is Ayano from Pontocho. Momiyuki is from the same okiya like her. Good luck with further updates! ^_^

    • Ah yeah, I see that now XD I had made this about half a year ago XD so I still wasn’t very familiar with the majority of the names and faces. I’m working on a brand new list now that I think may be completely right so far, now that I’ve become familiar with most of the names and faces on it. Those that I may not be quite as familiar with, I’m making sure to research them more closely to make sure they’re in the correct stage of their training and in the correct hanamachi~ ^^

Leave a Reply to dan Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s