UPDATE


I’m going to be doing a complete new update on my Maiko/Geiko guide. Since I last posted it, a lot of Maiko and Geiko have joined the profession and others have retired, so my list is 1: incomplete, and 2: outdated. This will be my winter break project~ Promise~

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)

image

Maiko: Mameroku

image

Debuted: May 16th 2011

Retired:

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

Mamesato:

Mameaki: Can’t find picture

Mamesaku:

Mamefusa:

CA3E0660

Mametomi:

(Mametomi and Mamefusa)

Mametomi and Mameroku!

Okiya: Bi no Yae

Geiko:

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

https://i2.wp.com/farm3.staticflickr.com/2617/4144949019_29e6773e93_z.jpg

Mari:

https://i2.wp.com/farm4.staticflickr.com/3141/3053095077_b32668c4db_z.jpg

Mao:

Image

Maori:

She’s in the middle ^^

https://i1.wp.com/farm2.staticflickr.com/1402/1317908601_5d3df81897_z.jpg

Makino:

geiko Makino

maiko Makino

Makino by SHANNON MOYLAN on Flickr

https://i1.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8050/8124773138_a202888936_c.jpg

geisha-licious:

geiko Makino by @MJMCK13 on Instagram

maiko Makino

Maiko:

Masaki

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

Maiko Masaki, Gion Kobu (by coopersanborn)

https://i1.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8366/8403565179_e47d997daf_o.jpg

Debuted in 2011!

Retired:

Mayuno Can’t find picture

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

Marie

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.

Mahiro

maiko Mahiro

maiko Mahiro

maiko Mahiro

Okiya: Fukushima

Geiko:

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)

https://i0.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/52196b9fad37477365c67acd20fba60d/tumblr_ml8yrf0kx51qedijlo1_1280.jpg

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

Image

Maiko:

Fumino

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)

https://i1.wp.com/morii3.cocolog-nifty.com/photos/uncategorized/2013/05/14/20130514_142621.jpg

She’s in the pink kimono in the back

https://i1.wp.com/userdisk.webry.biglobe.ne.jp/011/069/16/N000/000/023/137291341216313120829.JPG

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.

Retired:
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~

 

Culture art pieces.


Here you can find several examples of art pieces you can use. If you wish and can’t find a piece you want to use here, you may find one through Google.

These pieces are all from several different cultures. Remember that you will be discussing and playing out what happened prior, get a shot of you reenacting the piece, and then play out what you think happened shortly after.

https://i0.wp.com/img1.etsystatic.com/000/0/6578632/il_fullxfull.280680585.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/www.bonzasheila.com/art/archives/may07/images/17.%20Lanzani,%20Antonio%20-%20Russian%20Wedding,%20Early%2019th%20Century.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/collections.swco.ttu.edu/bitstream/handle/10605/11896/german%20art227_small.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/www.toxel.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/carlosps07.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/www.okpainting.com/upload/Oil/bigimg/World_Culture/Chinese_Art/WD-10778E.jpg

https://i0.wp.com/moderntokyotimes.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/kiyonaga10.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/5/5c/The_Selecting_Jury_of_the_New_English_Art_Club,_1909_by_Sir_William_Orpen.jpg/1280px-The_Selecting_Jury_of_the_New_English_Art_Club,_1909_by_Sir_William_Orpen.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02410/art-sales_2410894b.jpg

Literacy Conten and Processes 5/13/13


We did a bit of an ice breaker as well as covering the sylabus  and signing on for this sort of presentation thing. I signed up for one of them that is going to be held on 6/10

KWL chart. Know, want to know, learned

Separate the chart into three sections, one for Know, one for Want to know, and one for learned. Ask the kids questions to gauge what they know, ask the kids what they want to know, and at the end of the lesson ask them the same questions to find what they learned

PDA

P-pre reading (Making inferences about the book through the title, the way the book looks, etc…

D-during reading

A- after reading (apply what you learned, think about what you learned)

 

Types of Kimono


Now following up on my post about how to tell real Geisha and Maiko from tourists that happen to be dressed up I want to talk about the different types of kimono and how the kimono came to be. I am in no way an expert on this matter, this is just information I’ve gathered from different sources. If I get something wrong, please let me know and I’ll fix it right away.

First a little history lesson. Some may know that Japan was originally a part of China until they won their independence from them hundreds and hundreds of years ago. When this gain of independence happened Japan was determined to create their own culture, including the clothing. Clothes from China were tailor made, this process made it expensive to get clothing for families and difficult to mass produce, also nearly impossible to pass down through the generations. So some witty women made a way to create clothing that can last a longer time and be passed down from person to person, this was the method of square sewing, you see, if you look at a kimono, you will see that basically every part of the fabric is a square (or rectangle for you literal people) they could wrap the clothing around themselves and tie a sash (That eventually evolved to an Obi) around themselves to hold the kimono in place so there was a lot of room for different body types. Though Kimono were initially worn by peasants, and as the undergarments of dignitaries they have become the national clothing and the national symbol of Japan. Women, though underestimated in the culture actually played a huge part in the culture, including in the writing, women weren’t allowed to be educated enough to recognize many of the complicated characters that were brought over from China, so what did they do? They created a completely new writing system now known as Hirigana and Katakana. The first kimonos were very basic, but along with the culture they evolved to be quite refined. Much of the process of putting on a kimono these days isn’t even seen, what with all of the wrapping, undergarments, and pillows used to keep everything straight and to keep the column like shape that kimono are known for.

Now that the history lesson is over, we can look at some different types of kimono

First I want to cover the underkimono, the ones that you don’t really see, or that you see only the edge of but are still necessary in  proper kimono.

The sleeves length of the Han-Juban depends on the length of the kimono that will be worn over it.

The sleeves length of the Han-Juban depends on the length of the kimono that will be worn over it.

The bottom most kimono is called a han-juban. It’s basically the kimono version of underwear.  The material is very light and unlined and is only about as long as a shirt. It’s main function is to keep the expensive silk away from the wearers skin, seeing as how skin can get oily and sweaty and the silk is quite difficult to clean. A woman will also wear a sort of wrap around her waist that will act as skirt of sorts, called a sasoyke.

juban

The second underkimono is called a Juban. You’ll see a bit of the juban at the very edge of the outer kimono sleeves and colar and on the inner part of back part of the collar that comes off a girls neck. You’ll also see the juban when a girl lifts up her kimono, the most likely place you would see this is with Geisha and Maiko when they lift up their kimono to walk through the streets. The juban is much shorter than a normal kimono and doesn’t require the tucking that a normal kimono would need. Though many people who buy kimono would think that this is a full kimono, that’s not the case. The Juban can be made out of just about any material, though because it’s going to be under the main kimono, a lighter silk or linen is preferred to make sure that everything isn’t too hot. They may or may not be lined, depending on how formal you want to be.

Yukata

The Yukata is one of the least formal kimono. They are basically summer kimono meant to be worn during festivals or even just going out. Because they are meant to be worn during the warmer weather they are unlined and are normally made of linen or cotton, so they can easily breath. They are also often used by spas, hot springs, or bath houses for the guests to wear. Normally every household has a few yukata because they are the cheapest, unlike other kimono which are normally rented.

komon

A Komon Kimono is the next in line for formality. They are slightly more formal than Yukata and are meant to be worn every day. They are known by having an all over pattern and are lined. They have the shortest variety of sleeve, along with Yukata and a few more kimono.
Of course the length of the sleeve doesn’t have much to do with the formality, it just depends on the type of kimono.

iro muji

The first adult kimono a person will wear are called Iro Muji and Kuro Muji. The difference between the two being the color and the formality. The lesser formal of the two is the Iro Muji, this is the one that has any color other than black (The black on is called the Kuro Muji). They can be won at both formal and casual events. When crests are added (called mon) the term tomesode will be added at the back of the names, as in iro muji tomesode. Mon are added at the bottom of the back of the collar, the back shoulders and the front shoulders and can be in numbers like 1, 3, and 5. The more mon, the more formal the kimono is. The kuro muji is often worn as mourning garb. The amount of black signifies what stage of mourning a person is at, as in, at the beginning stage, the entire outfit is black, including the obi, hakama, whatever accessories, slowly color will be added as the person goes through those stages of mourning.

tsukesage

The Tsukesage is slightly more formal than the Iro and Kuro muji. I couldn’t really find a place where they would be worn though sadly, I would guess at some social events. They can be any color and are discernible with a continuous pattern going around the bottom and the middle of the front of the kimono and a small design on the back of one sleeve and the front of another.

Huomongi

The Houmongi is the next kimono in line of formality. It’s known for the fact that the pattern joins up over the seams. There’s a small pattern that is also commonly on the front and back shoulders. The pattern also goes up over the front as well as the back and is also on the sleeves. This outfit is used for visiting others and going to parties. It’s one of the more formal kimono and should be worn with formal accessories, a brocade for the obi is usually worn with it.

tomesode

A Tomesode is much like a Houmongi accept that it is normally black or a very very dark color (I say normally because it is possible to have a tomesode with color These are called Iro Tomesode or Irosode) painted on the tomesode is a very complex design at the hem that connects through the seems, this design will go to about as high as the knee. This Kimono is worn by married women at formal occasions such as weddings. Like the Kuro Muji and Iro Muji, Mon (crests) are used on the kimono, again, the more crests, the more formal the kimono is.

Furisode

A group of girls wearing Furisode and winter accessories.

The only reason why I have the Furisode as more formal than the Tomesode is because they are more ornate, though they aren’t any more formal than Tomesode. Furisode are worn by young women before they get married. The Furisode is known for the long length of their sleeves, there are three lengths of Furisode sleeve, the longer the sleeve he more formal, the longest is almost floor length, so it’s not uncommon to see girls walking around with the sleeves wrapped around their arm to save them from getting dirtied by the ground. The occasions a young woman would wear this type of kimono are their graduation (usually worn with a Hakama which is a type of very baggy pant, you might see pictures of samurai or martial artists wearing them), a wedding, or coming of age day (A special day that celebrates 20 year olds, which is when a person is considered an adult in Japan) they may also just rent them out when they go through touristy areas like Kyoto. The color and design of the pattern varies but makes no difference in terms of the formality of the kimono.

Special occasion Kimono

This section is to highlight kimono that wouldn’t normally be worn by normal people of Japan, meaning they are worn by dancers, geisha, maiko, and Brides on their wedding day. If you see someone wearing these kimono it’s certainly a special occasion and a rare sight. The way I have these listed has no meaning, they’re not more important or rare-er they’re just listed off.

odori

Odori Katamigawari, that’s a mouthful. These kimono are worn by dancers and performers and are known for being half one (or more) color and half another color (or design if one so chooses). These kimono are made of synthetic material so they can be more easily washed and are unlined to keep the performers cooler. Keep in mind the Odori Katamigawari is not the only kimono used in performances, basically any type of kimono can be used in dances, they just stick the word Odori in front of it (Odori translates to Dance) for example, if a tomesode were used in a dance (again unlined and made of synthetic material) it would be called an Odori Tomesode. You would not normally see a person wearing these kimono unless they were in a dance or were acting out a performance.

shiro wedding

A Shirokakeshita is the traditional kimono a bride would wear during a shinto wedding. Think of this wedding kimono as the wedding dress we wear during western weddings, the white is to signify pureness, but it goes a bit deeper than that, because it also signifies the brides willingness to be colored by the family she is marrying in to(As in the customs, values, and traditions). This kimono also has sleeves like that on a furisode and can have padding around the hem, the reason they do this is so, as the bride is walking, it drags on the ground in an appealing way, again comparing it to western weddings, think of the veil and the train of the dress. Though this kimono is important the Bride can go through as many as 5 costume changes during her wedding, though in modern times many opt to just go through 2 or 3 costume changes, ending with a black tomesode (remember, they’re for married women).

A bride in full wedding garb, including the uchikake

A bride in full wedding garb, including the uchikake

The Uchikake is another kimono a girl will wear during her wedding, like the Shirokakeshita it has a padded hem and Furisode sleeves. Unlike the Shirokakeshita it has a colorful design, unless the wedding is a shinto wedding in which, again, it will be white. It’s worn more like a coat, over the Shirokakeshita or the Kakeshita (covered next)  and does not have an obi tied around it. The hem will be held up by the bridesmaids while the bride is walking down the isle.

A kakeshita with a simple tie (not a proper obi)

A kakeshita with a simple tie (not a proper obi)

The final wedding kimono is called the Kakeshita. This kimono is worn in place of the shirokakeshita and instead of it being white, it’s very colorful, again with a padded hem and the furisode sleeves. Though it’s not as popular to wear as the Shirokakeshita brides can opt to change into this if they wish.

Two Maiko wearing Hikizuri, you can see the tucks in the sleeves and in the shoulders. You can also see how they drag on the ground as the girls dance.

Two Maiko wearing Hikizuri, you can see the tucks in the sleeves and in the shoulders. You can also see how they drag on the ground as the girls dance.

The Hikizuri is the kimono that Geisha and Maiko wear. For a Maiko the sleeves are long with a tuck in the sleeves and a tuck in the shoulders to mimic what parents do to children’s kimono. As for the Geisha, the sleeves are cut short, to the same kind as a tomesode  and the patterns and design are more mature. The hikizuri is almost like a kakeshita wedding kimono in the sense that it’s made to be dragged on the ground with the padded hem. The Maiko and Geisha use their kimono in their dance, moving in them gracefully and lifting them up revealing the Juban while walking through the streets from appointment to appointment. This is made all the more difficult with the traditional high okobo shoes they wear.

 

I hope this helps, as you can see this mainly concentrates on kimono women wear, that’s because women have the most variety in kimono. If I got anything wrong please let me know, this took quite a while to write but hopefully it will help people in recognizing the types of kimono.

I may make another on the different types of accessories, but I’m not promising anything.  XD

 

Maiko and Geisha, how to tell the real from the fake.


A young woman dressed in absolutely elaborate Kimono bustles about through the streets of Gion. Her white make up shines reflecting the bright sun or dim moon depending on the time of day. Her red lips look like a rose petal laying gracing on freshly fallen snow. She is an important symbol of Japan. One that is built up over hundreds of years of tradition in the arts of her country. She is a Geisha, or Geiko as they are called in Kyoto. Though some aspects have changed through the years they are still artists and still symbols of Japan. But there is a problem, with all of the economic and cultural differences in the Geisha and Maiko community, Geisha and Maiko are becoming more and more rare, some might even consider them a dying culture. While there were once tens of thousands of Geisha and Maiko, there are now only a couple thousand at most, Geisha only reaching numbers in the hundreds.

My favorite Geiko of all time, Mamehana-san, who has recently retired.

My favorite Geiko of all time, Mamehana-san, who has recently retired.

The popularity of Maiko and Geisha have cause something interesting to happen. Tourists who visit Kyoto are now able to be dressed up as Maiko for a fee at establishments called “Henshin” Studios which are popping up more and more around Kyoto, depending on the price you want to pay certain studios can make you look very close to real, even use your real hair instead of a wig. After they are dressed up they are given a mini photoshoot in their new pretty kimono and painted faces and are allowed to wander through the streets of Kyoto where more tourists take pictures of them, mistaking them for real Maiko. There are select features that these Henshin studios get wrong on purpose, because if they make them look absolutely authentic, they risk getting shut down by the authorities. Before I point these characteristics out I would first like to give some insight to becoming a Maiko in this modern era. I think one of the best ways to do this is to explain the different stages that they go through.

A group of Maiko and Geiko.

A group of Maiko and Geiko.

Back in the old days young girls were sold to Okiya (houses where Geisha live) to become Maiko and eventually Geisha. These days girls can choose to join an Okiya at the age of 15. At this point, they are “Shikomi” this means they basically work as a maid to the Okiya. The okaa-san (Mother and owner of the okiya who basically funds the girls training, provides the food and kimono and teaches them valuable lessons such as how to walk in a kimono and how to have witty conversation with her future patrons, also how to play games that she will eventually be playing with her future patrons) wants to break and make the young Shikomi. The Shikomi must listen to the okaa-san and do what she says with absolute cooperation. If she doesn’t, she risks being kicked out of the okiya. It’s also important to know this is the very beginning of her training, and possibly the most difficult. Not only must she stay up late waiting for her Maiko and Geiko housemates to help them remove their kimono and makeup, sometimes this can be as late as 3 in the morning, but they must also wake up the next day to go to their lessons and do their chores. Along with this, they cannot speak to their family or friends for 6 months, which is about the amount of time that this stage lasts, depending on how well the okaa-san thinks the Shikomi is doing. Finally a Shikomi will take a difficult dance and arts test to see if they are fit to go to the next level.

A young Shikomi assists a Geiko to carry her belongings.

A young Shikomi assists a Geiko to carry her belongings.

The next stage is a Misedashi. Shikomi graduate to this level after 6 months of working. This will be the first time she will wear the elegant kimono and famous white makeup. This will also be the first time her hair will be worked into the first of many complicated hairstyles that she will wear through her career as a Maiko. During this stage the young Maiko will take on an “onee-san” translated to Older sister. This Geiko will be responsible for introducing the Maiko to several of her future patrons, and in the next level they will take her little sister to several of the events and parties that she will attend. This stage is also the one in which the Okaa-san will introduce the young Maiko to the various people who will help her in her career, namely the ochiya, or tea houses, the wig and hair dressers, and the various kimono sales people. This is a very exiting time for the Maiko and is a public event complete with huge banners with the Maikos new professional name painted across them and a party at the end of her debut as a maiko. This name will contain elements of her Okiya and will be picked by a person who’s profession is to choose names that will bring the Maiko luck and prosperity. This is a lot more complicated than it seems, because not only must they use elements from the okiya, but stroke order and number are also very important to be considered.

A Maiko in her Misedashi stage. Those two silver hair ornaments in the front of her hair are the defining characteristic along with her very tall ohogo.

A Maiko in her Misedashi stage. Those two silver hair ornaments in the front of her hair are the defining characteristic along with her very tall ohogo. Notice only her bottom lip is also painted

The next stage is one of the most popular for tourists to dress up as. It’s their Minarai stage, the one where she learns by watching, which is what she will be doing for about half of this stage. Along with the hairstyle and makeup and beautiful kimono, she now has a very recognizable hair ornament with dangling pieces of silk which end about at her chin. Now that she is a recognized member of the Geiko community she will be allowed to go with her Onee-san to her various event, whether invited or not though patrons normally happily welcome the new Maiko. The first part of this stage she will simply sit and watch her older sister preform and converse with her patrons. After a while she will do small performances and converse with some of the patrons, though under the close watch and guard of her dear Older sister. This stage will last a year, and sometimes Minarai are referred to as junior Maiko because they are not yet able to preform on their own without the assistance of either her onee-san or a more senior Maiko.

A Minarai. Notice her bottom lip and the hair ornament with the dangling pieces of folded silk

A Minarai. Notice her bottom lip and the hair ornament with the dangling pieces of folded silk

Finally the girl has reached the stage where she can officially become a Maiko. At this stage  she can go to her own parties and banquets and can preform at festivals but will always join her onee-san at her events. A maiko will go through a few more hair styles and her predominately red collar will slowly start to turn white, at which point she will graduate to become a Geiko. Normally this stage will last about 4 to 5 years and both her top and bottom lips will be painted. She will also get rid of the recently mentioned hair ornament with the pieces of dangly silk replacing it with different hair ornaments that will determine what level she is at.

A maiko preforming a traditional dance for a festival.

A maiko preforming a traditional dance for a festival.

As I mentioned before, after 4 or 5 years a maiko will graduate into a geiko in which they will undergo a ceremony which just as her debut as a maiko, will be very public as she debuts as a Geiko. This ceremony is called Erikae, otherwise known as the turning of the collar where the collar will be turned to completely white. Normally girls make it to this level around the age of 20. But this isn’t the only thing that changes, a Geiko will get a totally new hair style, which can actually be a wig if she likes (This has changed since the old days because the harsh hairstyles used to cause premature baldness in girls, now most Geiko prefer to use wigs instead of their natural hair.) The Geiko will also get a completely new style of Obi (One that isn’t as high up but more like traditional obis, this is to give them more of a mature look, it also has more of a square knot in the back instead of the long dangling obi knots in the back that Maiko wear) and she is given a more mature kimono, instead of the colorful and bright kimono with the long sleeves that Maiko wear, they have more toned down solid colors with details of nature painted on them, their sleeves are also much shorter like a tomesode instead of the furisode. If a Geiko has paid off all of her debts to the okiya she can either leave to live independently, open her own ochiya, or continue living at the okiya to continue working for them and being provided for and keep paying them back.To be honest, not many Maiko make it to the level of Geiko because of how difficult the lifestyle is. And even when girls make it to Geiko, they often retire within 5 years of their debut. This can be because of any number of reasons, whether they are tired of the lifestyle, if they want to pursue a different career, or if they want to marry. Either way, these Geiko are highly celebrated and have a huge fan base, not only around Kyoto and Japan but all over the world.

The Erikae of my favorite Geiko, Mamehana-san

The Erikae of my favorite Geiko, Mamehana-san

Some other information about Maiko and Geisha:

~No they are not prostitutes. Sex is not a part of their lifestyle unless they choose to have sex with a person, even then it’s not in their job description and they are not paid for it.

~They will not normally stop to have their pictures taken with tourists, they are busy and need to get to their appointments, their patrons not only pay for the time that they are with them, but also pay their fee while they are trying to make it to their appointments.

~You will not normally see them in their full regalia before 5pm, I’ll explain later

Alright, that was a bit long, and even longer to type out, but I think it’s important to know about the different stages to geisha-hood to understand a lot of the different ways to spot a tourist who is simply playing dress up. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very nice to see all these women dressed up in beautiful kimono and white faces, but some tourists get rowdy and do things that are distasteful, these actions can give others who assume these girls to be real a bad impression of real Maiko and Geiko. Also, who wouldn’t want to get a picture of  a real Maiko or Geiko as they bustle through the streets of Gion? At the end of this tutorial on how to tell the real from the fake, I will give you a quick lesson on how to catch real Geiko and Maiko~.

First let’s look at a quick picture,

A Tourist dressed up, also called a Henshin

A Tourist dressed up, also called a Henshin

First off, do you remember when we were discussing the Minarai? You can see this girl wearing the hair ornament that is characteristic of a Minarai junior maiko, yet she is wearing something extra. Both of her lips are painted. True Minarai only have their bottom lip painted. Also, look at the collar of her under kimono. It has colors that the under kimono of a maiko or geiko would never have. Those colors would only be red, gold, and white (or a creamy color), this under collar has all sorts of colors like blue, purple, green, orange, in fact there’s very minimal reds, which wouldn’t happen for a minarai.

A Henshin wearing a wig

A Henshin wearing a wig

There are three main things I want to point out with this picture. First is the age. Remember, maiko at this stage are only about 15 or 16 years old. This woman is quite a bit older. Second, and this is a bit difficult to see, but you might be able to see what I’m talking about around her hair line and especially by her ear, this woman is wearing a wig. I saved saying this until now, but another aspect that is concentrated on in the shikomi stage is growing out your hair. A Maiko will not wear a wig unless it’s for a special occasion in which her hair isn’t made into the traditional “over ear” style like a festival where they preform plays. But don’t take real hair as being a clear sign of a real Maiko, a tourist can pay a fee to have her natural hair worked into either the full style or a half wig, which is pretty tricky to spot. Finally look at her under collar once more, it’s completely white, which is way too much white for that stage Maiko.

A Henshin poses with another tourist

A Henshin poses with another tourist

There are quite a few signs with this tourist, besides the signs I have already mentioned she is wearing Okobo which are simply too short, though a maiko may wear shorter okobo on certain occasions, it wouldn’t be while she is simply walking to work. She also has her kimono tied up. Maiko are trained to be able to handle their kimono with grace, carrying it while she walks, the only time she would have it tied up is if she was doing a performance that called for her kimono being tied up or if she had her hands full, and not only with that basket. Speaking of that basket, it’s far too empty, that basket should be filled with all of the things a Maiko could possibly need to go out and entertain her guests, that means it should practically be bubbled with stuff. Finally, her kimono is tucked incorrectly at the shoulders, it should be tucked practically up on top of her shoulder instead of halfway down her upper arm.

Now there are girls who can dress up past the Minarai stage, I don’t exactly know how to determine if those are real or fake, though I am confident that all the pictures I posted in the section explaining the different stages is correct. I will research that and post what I have found when I can. Here are some other tips on how to tell if a girl is a real or fake maiko.

~If you find a girl in her full regalia in the middle of the afternoon, chances are she’s a tourist and nothing more. In fact you may walk right past a real maiko in the middle of the day without even knowing it. (I’ll provide a picture of some real maiko without their outfits later)

~Just because a girl has a seal on the bottom of her obi doesn’t necessarily mean she’s real. These Henshin places have seals of their own that they put on.

~A maiko probably won’t be traveling through a populated area, they are like celebrities and already have a hard enough time getting from one place to the other without being mauled by the paparazzi, they generally take the backstreets away from all of the people.

~A maiko or Geisha does not need an escort to get to their places or help them walk. So if you see one holding the hand of someone else or even of another Maiko, chances are they are fake. Now, there are a group of people that assist them in keeping the paparazzi in line, though they do not need their assistance in terms of looking where to go or being able to handle themselves.

~Maiko wouldn’t be stopping to take pictures with tourists, as I had mentioned earlier, her patrons pay for the time it takes for her to get to her place as well.

~ It’s also important to note that Maiko and Geiko wear kimono that correspond with the season. You wouldn’t see one wearing a kimono intended for Summer in the winter, or a Fall kimono in the spring, think of it like this; you wouldn’t wear something that you would wear in the winter during the summer either. You would look silly.

~Along with the kimono corresponding to the seasons, the Kanzashi hair ornaments also correspond to the seasons and months, so, if you caught a Maiko or Geiko and aren’t sure if they are real or fake, it’s always smart to look at a kanzashi chart. Here’s one that I found but if you don’t see yours there, then you may try to find another source. http://www1.odn.ne.jp/maya/english/kanzashi.htm

 

Now, how to catch a real Maiko or Geiko out and about? One of the best ways is by going to one of their parades or festivals, but if you don’t find yourself there at the right time, I would recommend hanging out by the tea houses and okiya around 5pm, that’s when they come out. If you’re around before then look out for the famed hair style. If you do happen to find a real Maiko be prepared for the hordes of paparazzi, and please don’t feel offended if she doesn’t stop to take a picture with you or poses for a picture, they are on the clock after all. Also, please please please don’t shout out to them or try to touch them! As one famous Maiko said “We are not Mickey mouse and this is not Disney World, we are not here to entertain the public, we are here to entertain our patrons.” To touch the kimono of a Maiko or Geiko would be like dumping mud on a Ferrari, after all, those kimono can cost upwards of 30,000 dollars. If you’re brave, you can always ask nicely to take a picture of them, but do it quickly and always be respectful.

Some maiko out of their full regalia. You can see they have their hair still in the traditional style, which can stay in that style for a week.

Some maiko out of their full regalia. You can see they have their hair still in the traditional style, which can stay in that style for a week.

On a couple final notes I am in no way an expert. I have used several references but have coppied and pasted none of it. This is just a conglomeration of all the information I have acquired over a few months of research. If I get any information wrong, please let me know and I will fix it right away. I own NONE of these pictures, they are all from different sources I have found through google. If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post them, I will happily view and respond to them~

Happy New Year


Just to let you know, this is just a little bit of rambling along with what’s been going on with me lately, I’m kind of zenning out.

Well, it’s finally here, 2013. Hopefully there will be no more end of the world bullshit and no more whackos with guns. I have to admit, after the shooting I saw how insane people can be. So much so that when the 21st came up I was afraid of going to work the next day because I deal with enough crazy people as it is… I work at a local amusement park by the way, still going there while babysitting. Luckily the date seemed to have the opposite effect. There were less crazy people than ever before. This year I’ve been working so much and concentrating on school, I’m realizing I don’t have enough fun. Maybe it’s because I want to save my parents and my own money but I think this years resolution will be to get out there and have more fun, be adventurous and such. This winter break has been the hardest month I’ve had in a while. What I thought I would be able to do is to just chill out, see some friends, get back into my drawing, and so forth. But to be honest, I have barely seen any of my friends. Just two guys have been able to hang out with me, one is my ex boyfriend and another is a romantic interest that I’ve come across.

 

Straight from the get go after taking my finals I had a ton of babysitting jobs lined up. A few that went from 9 in the morning to 12 at night… it was crazy, and all boys… ugh, they’re so emotional. That got me some money to go Christmas shopping, after the babysitting jobs calmed down a bit. I went back to the place where I used to work, the amusement park thing, and sort of hung out, saw my old friends and such. Then before I know it, my old boss comes up to me and asks if I can work some. I told him I could but he would have to get me a SET schedule, so I could find out when I could babysit and when I couldn’t so I could send that to all my babysitting clients (A total of 4 or 5 families). They did their best and everything balanced out pretty OK. Though they did mess up the last week which pissed me off a bit especially since I wrote them a note telling them I could work 3 to 4 days MAX. They must have took this as I could work from 4 to close every day because that’s exactly what they did… I tried to explain that I had babysitting jobs and they scheduled me incorrectly. It was too late but luckily my babysitting clients are pretty flexible and allowed this. Ugh… Soon I’ll be going back to school and I’m quite relieved, I only have 2 classes but each account for 6 credit hours… so they’ll be tough. I’m not going to risk having to work about 45 minutes away from school and having my classes, so I told them straight up, that I wouldn’t be able to work anymore after this week.

I honestly love the people I work with… It’s just the people that I work for and some of our customers that drive me up a wall. I’m friends with just about all of my co-workers, there are just a few outside guys that I don’t know since I’ve been gone for so long. My one boss is quite the pain though. I don’t think he realizes the pickle that we are in, in terms of employees, we simply don’t have enough inside people so basically every one works every day from about open to close. The whole point of me coming back for a short term was to train the new people he hired on, so they would have enough especially since most of our girls are fairly new. But every person he hires either can’t take it (Either all the stress or the boss himself) so they quit, or he fires them. One of the girls we have on is very sweet, and she has the basic concept of what to do, she’s still missing a few pieces of how things are run, but her problem is that she kind of stands around lost until you tell her to go do something. She needs a little nudge to get things going or she’ll just stand there. She’s going on a family vacation soon and the boss and our bartender who is a senior employee ( She’s practically a manager) isn’t sure if they are going to schedule her back on again after her vacation. I just don’t think we have the liberty to do that since it is pretty tough keeping people employeed there. I’m not going to lie and say I’m the best one there, because honestly I’m not, especially after not working there for months at a time. There are times when I forget things and have questions. I think that if the boss were more understanding and patient we would have excellent employees. He tends to go off on silly things and changes things around way too much to keep track of what’s going on. It’s not that he’s a bad person, he’s just really rough and tends to refuse to just drop things. For example. There was a time when he was trying to change the channel on the tv at the bar. I saw people at the ticket window, and for whatever reason he doesn’t want me using it, even though I know what I’m doing there. So I yelled to him that there was someone at the ticket window. He’s a bit hard of hearing so sometimes you have to do that to get his attention. It wasn’t like I wanted him to go there right away, I was just informing him of the situation. So instead of being a reasonable person and acknowledging that he now knows someone is there wanting help, he goes off on me saying “What I’m doing here is much more important than what’s going on over there! You don’t tell me what to do! There will never be a day when I listen to people your age and do what you want me to!” I mean Jesus Christ! What?  It’s called team work and he doesn’t know how it works. I swear, if it weren’t for the people that work there I would probably quit on the spot. But I’m not the type of person to screw other people over, especially those I care about and who care about me. One of my good friends there gave me a good quality knife today, just because I said I wanted a new one, out of nowhere. And my beloved bartender offered to pay the difference for my new phone that I’m getting soon (And I’m super excited for BTW). It was only 30 bucks but I thought it was extremely thoughtful. Of course I didn’t need the money since I had been working there so I kindly declined. It was just a very sweet gesture. We all take care of each other like a big family and I love it. Even though we deal with stupid people who infuriate us, and I will have to write stories about later on, we can always vent to each other and laugh it off then hug it out. Anyway, it’s late and I’m tired. It’s about time for bed. Goodnight and happy New Year!

Life hates me 7/29/12


God damn it… I can’t believe how crappy I feel… After a week straight of working several hours I got a week off because of a scheduling error, which isn’t a big deal since I was honestly exhausted and have a lot on my plate but just my luck the day after I started that week off I got sick right away. . It’s ridiculous right? I mean, cut me some slack here. So instead of doing all of the productive things I wanted to do I was instead stuck inside with a terrible sore throat and a head ache. Luckily I did get a few things done and I had hoped that after that was all over I would be able to work again but the day my cold thing got the worst is when I went back to work. I don’t know if it was because of the heat or the smell of hot sauce and pizza that got to me but it just made it worse than ever before. I had told myself hat I was going to power through, at least get through half of the day but just three hours in my Managers noticed how much I was struggling and sent me home. My one manager who I love so much because he’s so awesome joked around telling me to get him sick. He lives right upstairs of the whole operation being the owners son and all so we joked “You’re too sick, go home!” And imagining him trudging up the stairs. My other boss was less friendly but he’s not known to be soft and fluffy and was saying something along the lines of I was going to infect everyone. So once the other girl came in they pretty much kicked me out XD. I got home feeling miserable with a head ache, sniffly nose and killer sore throat and in desperation took some NyQuil, which was clearly my mistake because it just made me feel even worse than before.. I fell asleep but it wasn’t restful and now that it’s actually late I can’t get to sleep not to mention it’s making me so nauscious for some reason. Ugh just kill me now… this is all so brutal. I’m hoping that this is my illnesses endgame and it will finish up soon…  otherwise I don’t know what I’ll do I can’t keep preparing for classes under these conditions.

Being civil


Alright guys, this is my first time posting about my current job which is at a local amusement park. I’ve been working there nearly a month but may soon have to leave because of school, but I want to give it a go first before officially calling it quits. Anyway, I’m a generally good person, I like to help people when they are in need and like to make people happy whenever I can. When I heard that my co worker was going through a really hard time, her dad had just died, losing a battle to cancer. I had told her right off the bat that if she ever needed me to cover or ever needed help or ever needed to go home early I would cover her and would take care of her, It’s just thought it was the right thing to do and even teared up at the thought of what it would be like if I lost my dad. She did use these opportunities, leaving early a few days because she was understandably tired, covering her when she needed to take personal breaks, so on and so forth. I don’t know if it’s just me but when someone does something nice for me, I try to be nice to them, and it’s not like I’m asking her to give me a ton of gratitude or anything like that, all I ask is to be treated as a human but this girl… I don’t know what her deal is but she treats me like shit. At first I thought it was just the situation, but she treats everyone else fine. Maybe you’re not understanding what I mean by treating me like shit, so let me give you a couple of examples;

-About a week ago we had a camp come in, I was working at the ticket redemption area, where kids redeem tickets they won at the arcade for little prizes, there was this little girl hanging out around that area, just watching kids get their prizes all the while being calm. I asked her if she had any tickets, she told me she didn’t have any money, so seeing that I had a dollar in my tip jar I took it out and gave it to her to play some games and win some tickets of her own. At this my co-worker came up to me and said “You know we all split those tips right?” I told her I did, she says she saw me take a dollar out to which I responded I was planning on taking a dollar out of my split of the tips from the very beginning. To this she really blows me away in saying that people have been talking about me taking tips from the bar. Now, when I serve a customer at the bar and they leave a tip for me I take that tip and put it in my tip jar, it’s not like I shove it in my pocket or anything like that, I just put it in the tip jar that we will be splitting anyway. She tells me that I’m not even supposed to be working the bar anyway. I told her that there are many times where she goes home and it’s just me and one other person working, that person may be working at the ticket station and if there is a customer there at the bar I am going to help them. I’m not just going to let them sit there hungry and thirsty, that’s just ridiculous. And it’s true, there are so many times where she just goes home early when she’s not supposed to, which isn’t a big deal since we can handle it. Is it just me or is that ridiculous? Saying I’m not allowed at the bar when my normal station is just steps away. Sure, if they want a mixed drink which I don’t know how to do, then I’m going to get someone who can make it and they can have the tip, but if they want some food and beer then I know I can do that and there’s no reason for me not to. The fact she was practically accusing me of stealing tips is just unbelievable, I’m not the kind of person to take from others or leave them up shit creek without a paddle, I’m not going to take money that does not belong to me. I had told my other co worker about this, clearly upset by this, thinking someone would think of me like that when I have done nothing to suggest I was that kind of person, my other coworker gasped in shock saying there’s no way I would do something like that.

-Alright the second thing, this just happened a few days ago. We had a couple parties come in during this particular problematic encounter. After the majority of the parties were finished this coworker along with another girl who came back after I guess a few months of absence were doing the dishes of their parties. I wanted to help but seeing that two people were already doing the dishes I felt that if I tried to push myself in I would just end up getting in the way, a fair idea I thought, so I went along my way restocking and watching the counter like I’m supposed to when the problem one came up to me and started berating me saying “We have two parties to get to and you are doing nothing, you should be cleaning them, not us, this is ridiculous, blah blah blah blah” she went on and on. I don’t mind cleaning dishes when needed and if you need help there is a way to go about it, like, oh I don’t know, asking nicely perhaps? And it wasn’t just that. Not thirty minutes before she started yelling at me about this we were having a big rush, a line of people that I was taking care of all by myself without the help of any of the girls who are supposed to work as a team. She was relaxing in the back bullshitting around with the managers while I was rushing around everywhere. I don’t know, it all seems so stupid how hypocritical this girl is.

One day we almost connected, we were laughing and talking and she was treating me like a human, I had told her I was worried that she hated me, she told me that she’s just really timid, this was before these two intense incidents and it makes me think she was just spouting bullshit. Like I said, I enjoy helping people and I don’t expect them to kiss my feet or anything like that, but it’s not too much to ask to just use common courtesy, there’s a difference between being timid and being a bitch.

I just needed to get that out the since it’s been bugging me for a while and I want to talk to her but it’s just so hard to talk to her since she’s so unapproachable, she treats everyone else nicely except for me and I don’t know what I did wrong, I don’t want to seem bitchy or anything but to be quite honest I’m done with helping her out, until she shows an ounce of kindness towards me I have to say I’m absolutely done, if she needs me to cover her or needs to go home or anything like that I have to admit, the desire to help her has dissipated completely.

New computer!!


Hey guys, been a few days since I’ve last posted but I wanted to tell you about a big happening. I finally got a new laptop!! It’s been a hard time working where I’ve been working lately but in a way that job funded this new lappytop~ I used to love my old laptop but there were major problems that it presented through the three years I’ve had it. For one it was a fireball, it was an HP which is known for heating up but this is ridiculous, it would have fans going off super loud right from the get go and would heat up considerably within like 15 minutes, so much so I was forced to get a cooling station to save my legs from third degree burns. My old one was also a freaking behemoth, it had a 17 inch screen which is pretty ridiculous but it was under my cousins advice to get a huge ass screen, I guess he didn’t realize I would be bringing it into classes which brings me to my other problem, when I had it on during class because the fans were going off constantly it was super loud, like if I brought it to class and turned it on the people in front of me would stare at me because it was being such a distraction so I would get embarrassed and put it away it was also really heavy to bring into classes. Finally if that weren’t enough my laptop just recently decided it was having enough of me and so when I would close it to put it into sleep mode, you know when your laptop goes through it’s background processes? Well mine would keep going for hours, non stop, heating up more and more until it would be so hot when I got to it, which brings me to the next problem, I would open it, it would keep going on but the screen wouldn’t turn on, at all, I would press the power button forever and it wouldn’t turn the screen on our turn the computer actually off so I would be forced to unplug it and pop the battery out to finally get it to power down, but that’s not good for a computer. I had several people look at it, they had no idea what was wrong with it and set my computer to just power down completely if I ever closed the screen, but that’s not realistic considering the fact that the only real reason I ever shut the screen is to let it calm down a bit to cool off so it wasn’t burning me anymore and I wouldn’t ever be able to have it on for any extended period of time to write papers or do research or do homework or anything and that’s not realistic for a student so I had thought I would buy a new little laptop that I would bring to class just to take notes, but the more I looked at laptops the more I realized that if I got a more high powered one I would be able to afford I could just re-do all the old programs onto the new one and just nuke my old one to give to my parents since my dad is going back to school but he also has a desktop back at home he could use for other work. My boyfriend came looking with me and I found a laptop I could get for 300 dollars less than my current laptop that I absolutely fell in love with, he wanted to help me buy it which I appreciated but knew I could afford and I never like borrowing too much money from people I care about and that’s where we are today! I love my new Asus laptop~ It’s sort of steampunk esque with the light silvery gold tone with a black strip where the mousepad is and separated black keys. I love how it doesn’t really look like normal laptops and has a nice sleek design it also runs as cool as a cucumber, it has been on all day and is no hotter than lukewarm, it also has Windows 7 with is a lot better than the freaking Vista I had before not to mention it’s so quiet, you can’t even hear it and light enough for me to bring to my classes with ease. I still have a lot of files and programs to transfer over and acquire before I can turn my old one over to my parents. The main ones that I don’t have physical disks that I know of that I need are my photoshop, my sims, my printer, and a few other things, but it’s going to take time to get all of the stuff that I’ve acquired over three years over to this brand new machine.