History Geisha

History Geisha

1. 0ACKNOWLEDGEMENT First and foremost we would like to thank the bright and dedicated group members for putting in their very best effort to make this assignment a successful one. Secondly, a heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to our lecturer madam …. for all the cooperation and toleration. Moreover we would also take this opportunity to thank our classmates and friends who have also contributed and gave us a helping hand. Completion of this assignment has given us the opportunity to learn more about the Japanese cultural dance, costumes and the musical instruments used while performing.

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We believe it’s pretty important to get to know the cultures and tradition of other ethnics around the globe, which could very much benefit us and allows us to raise our knowledge and understanding. 2. 0OBJECTIVES There are several purposes of this study; • To help students understand the culture of Japan through its traditional dance forms. • Based on a belief that art, particularly dance, is a form of communication among people that leads to a better understanding about the feelings and cultures of others, therefore this allows students to learn more about the Japanese cultural dance which varies. Through the learning of dance technique in a new cultural context, students are expected to reflect on the meanings of their own culture and art forms. • It is hoped that this educational experience will be a source of inspiration in their creative life. • Also allows students to be familiar with the tradition and culture of other countries. 3. 0INTRODUCTION Japan or it is also known as Nihon or Nippon. Japan is an island nation in East Asia.

It is located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south. The characters that make up Japan’s name mean “sun-origin”, which is why Japan is sometimes referred to as the “Sun”. Cultures of the Japanese vary from the culture of other regions. As it is, there are several types of traditional Japanese dance. These dances are created and mixed up from one to another yet all of them are unique in their own way. Some describe history and others are done entirely by men.

The Four traditional dances today which are different from one another are Kabuki that became known in the 17th century, Noh Mai, Bon Festival which and a dance for the spirits, and Nihon Buyo which is created from a bit of all the dances. The Kamogawa Odori is a part of Geisha Dance. The Kamogawa Odori is simply irresistible and a rare chance to see geisha perform in public. It helps make May the merriest month of the year. 4. 0HISTORY OF GEISHA At the 7th century, Geisha have their roots in female entertainers such as the Saburuko and around the early 13th century, the Shirabyoshi emerged.

Saburuko (serving girls) were mostly wandering girls whose families were displaced from struggles in the late 600s. They would perform for the nobility and some even became concubines to the emperor. Like so many aspects of Japanese culture, they were modeled after those of Ming Dynasty China. After they were relocated in the mid-1600s, they became known as Shimabara. Some of these saburuko girls sold sexual services, while others with a better education made a living by entertaining at high-class social gatherings.

After the imperial court moved the capital to Heian-kyo (Kyoto) in 794 the conditions that would form Japanese Geisha culture began to emerge, as it became the home of a beauty-obsessed elite. Skilled female performers, such as Shirabyoshi dancers, thrived. Traditional Japan embraced sexual delights and men were not constrained to be faithful and loyal to their wives. The ideal wife was a modest mother and manager of the home, love has become second important when comes to this. For sexual enjoyment and romantic attachment, men do not go to their wives, but prefer courtesans.

Walled-in pleasure quarters were built in the 16th century. At the year 1617, prostitution would become illegal and within which “yujo” (“play women”) would be classified and licensed. The highest yujo class was the Geisha’s predecessor, called “Oiran” which is a combination of actress and prostitute. It is originally playing on stages set in the dry Kamo riverbed in Kyoto. They performed erotic dances and skits, and this new art was dubbed kabuku, meaning “to be wild and outrageous”. The dances were called “kabuki,” and this was the beginning of Kabuki Theater.

With Japan enjoying a long-awaited period of peace following centuries of civil war, many samurai found that society no longer had such need of their services. It’s thought that many daughters of these formerly noble families became courtesans, with the result that quarters such as Yoshiwara and Shimabara were places of refinement and culture. These pleasure quarters quickly became glamorous entertainment centers, offering more than sex. The highly accomplished courtesans of these districts entertained their clients by dancing, singing, and playing music. Some were renowned poets and calligraphers.

Gradually, they all became specialized and the new profession, purely of entertainment, arose. It was near the turn of the eighteenth century that the first entertainers of the pleasure quarters, called geisha, appeared. The very first geishas were men, entertaining customers waiting to see the most popular and gifted courtesans (oiran). The forerunners of the female geisha were the teenage odoriko (“dancing girls”): expensively trained as chaste dancers-for-hire. In the 1680s, they were popular paid entertainers in the private homes of upper-class samurai,[10] though many had turned to prostitution by the early 18th century.

Those who were no longer teenagers (and could no longer style themselvesodoriko[11]) adopted other names—one being “geisha”, after the male entertainers. The first woman known to have called herself geisha was a Fukagawa prostitute, in about 1750. She was a skilled singer and shamisen-player named Kikuya who was an immediate success, making female geisha extremely popular in 1750s Fukagawa. As they became more widespread throughout the 1760s and 1770s, many began working only as entertainers (rather than prostitutes) often in the same establishments as male geisha.

Peace also brought an increase in prosperity and the rise of the merchant class, or chonin. Add that to the presence of artists and an atmosphere free of the strictures of the outside world, and it truly was something of an adult amusement park, with culture thrown in for good measure. Gradually, they all became specialized and the new profession, purely of entertainment, arose. It was near the turn of the eighteenth century that the first entertainers of the pleasure quarters, called geisha, appeared.

The very first geishas were men, entertaining customers waiting to see the most popular and gifted courtesans (oiran). The first females, who appeared shortly after, were odoriko (dancers) or played the shamisen. Female geisha soon became popular enough to be able to steal clients from the courtesans, and in the case of Yoshiwara it was decided to start a kenban, or registration system, to keep them under control and force them to pay taxes. It strictly controlled their dress, behaviour and movements and was considered so successful that it quickly became the norm at hanamichi across Japan.

The geisha who worked within the pleasure quarters were essentially imprisoned and strictly forbidden to sell By 1800, being a geisha was considered a female occupation (though there are still a handful of male geisha working today). Eventually, the gaudy Oiran began to fall out of fashion, becoming less popular than the chic, “iki”, and modern geisha. By the 1830s, the evolving geisha style was emulated by fashionable women throughout society. There were many different classifications and ranks of geisha. Some women would have sex with their male customers, whereas others would entertain strictly with their art forms.

Prostitution was legal up until the 1900s, so it was practiced in many quarters throughout Japan. World War II brought a huge decline in the geisha arts because most women had to go to factories or other places to work for Japan. The geisha name also lost some status during this time because prostitutes began referring to themselves as “geisha girls” to American military men. In 1944, everything in the geisha’s world, including teahouses, bars, and houses, was forced to shut down, and all employees were put to work in factories. About a year later, they were allowed to reopen. The very few women who returned o the geisha areas decided to reject Western influence and revert back to traditional ways of entertainment and life. “The image of the geisha was formed during Japan’s feudal past, and this is now the image they must keep in order to remain geisha”. Before the war, a maiko’s virginity would be auctioned (the original “mizuage”) —this was outlawed in 1959, but has been reported as relatively normal in the 1990s, and happening “on a limited basis” in 2001. Compulsory education laws passed in the 1960s made traditional geisha apprenticeships difficult, leading to a decline in women entering the field.

The simultaneous growth of Japanese industry, which opened other opportunities for women, further contributed to the decline of the geisha industry. “I lived in the karyukai during the 1960s and 1970s, a time when Japan was undergoing the radical transformation from a post-feudal to a modern society. But I existed in a world apart, a special realm whose mission and identity depended on preserving the time-honored traditions of the past. ” Mineko Iwasaki said, In her book, Geisha, a Life. 5. 0STEPS The title for this geisha dance is “When geisha comes alive” which will performance as a performance on any festival.

It is a story that the seven geisha in photo appear to be alive. They are seven closely related siblings that come alive one by one and assigned to perform a traditional dance to entertain all the audience. The dance starts with the story that the eldest geisha who is kneeling down in the centre is awake and she awake another six of her siblings by pulling the ‘spirit thread’. Later, all the geishas are circulating a circle and then located in two roll which the first row have three geishas and the second row have four geishas.

While they are dancing, one of the geisha saw something on the floor and asking for all her siblings come around and check the items. Later, they picked up the items as such as the flowers and small folding fans. The geishas start to use the flowers to dance and enjoy the things that they just found. After having a lot of funs and dance, finally, all of them found to be exhausted without much of energy to support them outside at this world. The eldest geisha was calling all her siblings again to go back to their own world which means of going back to the photo that they belong to.

The dance comes to an end after all the geishas stick back to the position that they should be. 6. 0MUSICAL INSTRUMENT In traditional Japanese music, there are three general types of instruments – percussion instruments, stringed instruments and wind instruments, mostly flutes. There is a huge range of instruments beyond the scope of this page, ranging from bells used in Buddhist ceremonies to various kinds of drums used in gagaku (Imperial court music). In the last few years, there have been a growing number of artists who have been bringing these instruments to younger audiences.

Taiko group Kodo and young shamisen duo the Yoshida Brothers are two well-known examples of artists who give the old instruments new life and energy, and have been very successful abroad. Below we look at the more commonly heard instruments: |[pic] |Drums | |Kodo drummers at Earth Celebration 1996 |There are many large Japanese drums, or taiko. Most | | |have two membranes which are nailed or laced and are | |[pic] |struck with sticks.

The most dramatic is the Odaiko | |Kotsuzumi |(big drum). The physical energy and sheer excitement | | |of an Odaiko performance is an integral part of many | | |Japanese matsuri (festivals). Perhaps because they | | |see this all the time, most Japanese people don’t get| | |particularly excited by taiko performance groups like| | |Kodo, while foreign audiences are enthralled by them. | |Each year, Kodo host Earth Celebration, a festival of| | |taiko drumming, international music and performance | | |art in their home base on Sado Island. Many people | | |come to Japan from around the world to enjoy the | | |festival and it is certainly a highlight of the | | |Japanese cultural calendar.

Kodo also tour | | |extensively abroad every year. | | | | | |The hourglass-shaped tsuzumi was introduced from the | | |Asian continent around the 7th century and the name | | |is derived from Sanskrit.

Two varieties, the smaller | | |kotsuzumi and the larger otsuzumi are used in both | | |noh and kabuki performances. The kotsuzumi is held on| | |the right shoulder and the player alters the tone by | | |squeezing the laces. The otsuzumi is held on the left| | |thigh. Like all other traditional arts in Japan, | | |there are several schools of tsuzumi. | |Stringed Instruments | | |The koto is a 13-string zither, about 2 meters long | | |and made of Paulownia wood. It is plucked using picks| | |on the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand,| |[pic] |while the left hand can be used to modify pitch and | |Performance at Meiji Shrine |tone.

Koto are used in an ensemble in gagaku or as a | |The Yoshida Brothers 2000 album Move |solo instrument. One of the most famous koto players | | |and composers was the blind musician Miyagi Michio | |[pic] |(1894~1956), who was heavily influenced by western | |Biwa |music. | | | | | |The shamisen is a 3-string lute.

It is believed to be| | |a variant of the Okinawan sanshin. The length of the | | |shamisen varies from 1. 1 to 1. 4 meters. It first | | |became popular in the pleasure districts during the | | |Edo Period (1600~1868) and also began to be used for | | |the musical accompaniment in kabuki and bunraku | | |performances.

The kabuki variety developed into its | | |own form of dance music, the nagauta or long song. | | |Shamisen are made from one of a variety of woods such| | |as red sandalwood and the head covered with cat or | | |dog skin. The pegs are traditionally made of ivory | | |while the strings are twisted silk. | |Traditional shamisen playing requires the player to | | |be quite stiff and expressionless. But young players | | |like the Yoshida Brothers or Agatsuma Hiromitsu bring| | |a whole new, some would say rock and roll, approach | | |that gets young fans in a frenzy of excitement while | | |putting their elders in a fit of anger. | |The biwa is a short-necked lute, used from the 7th | | |century in gagaku, to accompany early puppet plays | | |and also by blind monk entertainers, the Japanese | | |equivalent of travelling minstrels.

The main | | |character in one of Japan’s most famous legends, The | | |Story of Earless Hoichi was one of these biwa hoshi | | |(lute priests). There are many styles, the most | | |popular being Satsuma biwa which was developed in the| | |16th century.

The number of frets varies from 4 to 6 | | |and strings vary in number from 3 to 5 but there are | | |usually 4. The biwa is held almost vertical and | | |played with a large bachi (plectrum). | | | | Flutes The most famous flute is the shakuhachi bamboo flute. It has 4 or 5 finger holes on the front face and a thumb hole on the rear face.

As with other instruments above, it was imported from China for gagaku. In medieval times, the shakuhachi became associated with wandering Buddhist priests known as komuso or ‘priests of nothingness’. They played the shakuhachi as a spritual discipline and during the Edo Period they had the exclusive license to play the instrument. During the more progressive Meiji Period (1868~1912) various other schools started, some influenced by western music. Other flutes include the nokan used in noh performances and the side-blown takebue and shinobue often heard during festivals.

Kodo often incorporate flute pieces into their repertoire. Koto It is a 13-string zither, about 2 meters long and made of Paulownia wood. It is plucked using picks on the thumb and first used in an ensemble in gagaku or as a solo instrument. One of the most famous koto players and composers was the blind musician Miyagi Michiot two fingers of the right hand, while the left hand can be used to modify pitch and tone. 7. 0COSTUME Costume of Geisha • Geisha were strictly prohibited to wear extravagant clothing, and they were limited to wearing plain, non-figured cloth with their crest.

Their collars were to be of white material. The hairstyles were to be of a uniform style, namely the “Shimada” style and they were only allowed to wear three ornaments in their hair. One comb, and two hair-pins, one longer than the other. The History of Geisha Make-Up in Japan Their face snow white, eyes and eyebrows lined in crimson and black, bee stung lips – painted crimson. This is the face and make-up we have come to associate with maiko and geisha. The origin of white face make-up in Japanese culture is largely disputed.

It has been said that in the middle ages, the white make-up originated when a Japanese traveler returned from Europe with stories of “pale faced” beauties. Whilst this sounds plausable, it is also been said that it originated from China and was adopted by the ladies of the Japanese court. Considering that the use of white make-up in Japanese history can be dated back as early as the Heian Era (794-1185 AD), a time when Japan was largely influence by the Chinese culture, this seems more likely the case.

The women of the Heian era (and up to more modern times) used either a rice-flour powder or a lead-based powder mixed with water into a thin paste and applied to their face as a foundation. They then would remove their eyebrows with tweezers and paint in thick, straight, false eyebrows high on their forehead. The juice from benibana or sallflower (beni) was used to redden their lips. To finish off this dramatic look, they would then blacken their teeth. This was achieved by staining the teeth with a mixture of oxidized iron filings steeped in an acidic solution.

Application of this mixture would need to be repeated every couple of days or the teeth would return to white. The custom of teeth blackening ended in the Meiji era and is now only used by kabuki actors and by maiko-san for the week before they become geiko. The look of the Heian era was considered to be quite elegant and beautiful and appears to have been adopted by the courtesans of the pleasure quarters in their efforts to recapture the romance and elegance of the long gone “Golden” era. When geisha first started to emerge within the pleasure quarters, their style was quite low key compared to the courtesans.

This was largely due to the strict governmental regulations of the time which were enforced in an attempt to stop geisha from competing with the courtesans. The kimono that geisha wore was of more somber colors and plain patterns and their hairstyles were less elaborate with the use of hair accessories limited. Last but not least, unlike the courtesans, they wore simple light make-up. Rather than these regulations restricting geisha, it seems to have worked more in their favor leading for geisha to become the very embodiment of iki – “cool” “chic”.

By this time, the courtesans, with their thick heavy make-up and overtly gaudy appearances were starting to be seen as old fashion. Over the years times and fashion have change and geisha appear to have adopted the make-up look that the courtesans were once looked down upon. Today it is one of their most noticeable and enduring features along with their kimono and hairstyles. The Art of Geisha Make-Up At the start of their career, Maiko find themselves wearing the heavy white make-up all the time.

When she is first initiated as a maiko, she is helped with her make-up by either her older sister or okasan, but after then, she has to quickly learn how to apply it herself. Once she becomes a geisha, she continues to wear the heavy make-up until she has been in service as a geisha for three years. Once she has been in service for three years, she then switches to wearing less elaborate kimonos and simple make-up and starts to wear her hair pulled back in a simple bun. The reason being is that her “beauty” is now in her maturity and “gei” (art) ather than her appearance. For formal occasions and dances though, she will wear a katsura (wig) and the make-up. Geisha over 30 normally only wear the heavier make-up when they are wearing katsura for a dance requiring this attire. The application of the make-up is a time consuming process and must appear quite daunting for the new maiko to try and perfect. The make-up is applied prior to dressing to avoid the risk of getting make-up on their kimono. Firstly, they apply a wax/oil substance (which is melted in their hand) called bintsuke-abura to their skin.

This is applied to the face, neck, chest and nape area and helps for the white paste (foundation) to adhere. Next, white powder is mixed together with water into a paste and applied with a brush to the face, neck, chest and nape. Originally, the use of white lead for the face was quite common, but, as it is known today, it is highly toxic and must have lead to illnesses and un untimely death for some of the ladies who used it. Today, rather than the lead counterpart, modern cosmetics are now used for this purpose. When applying the foundation, they leave a line of bare skin around their hairline – this gives the illusion of wearing a mask.

On the nape of the neck they leave two “V” shape lines unpainted. For special occasions, (when a maiko debuts, when maiko becomes a geisha and when formal kimono is worn) they leave three lines unpainted. After the foundation has been applied, a large sponge is used and patted all over the face, throat, chest and nape of neck. This serves to soak up the excess moisture from the water – and blend the entire foundation into a flawless mask. The next step is painting in their eyes and eyebrows. When applying the eye make-up, they have to be very careful and have a steady hand.

One mistake in the application and they might very well have to restart the whole make-up process right from the beginning as unlike western make-up, small (or large for that matter) alterations are almost impossible. The eyebrows are drawn in black with a touch of red. Traditionally they would have used charcoal to darken them, but today, it is more than likely modern cosmetics are used in their place. She will then outline the edges of her eyes with red and black as well. The amount of red in the eye make-up starts to decrease with time from when a maiko becomes a geisha.

Eventually the red eye colour will be minimal or may even be excluded all together. Last but not least are her lips. The lips are filled in using a small brush. The colour comes in a small stick (traditionally sallflower), which is melted in water. Crystallized sugar is then added to give it’s luster. For their first year, Maiko paint only a little bit of colour on her center lower lip. This appears to originally originate from the fact that in Japanese history very small lips where once considered sensual and attractive.

Today, in this modern age though, it appears to be more of a tradition than anything else. After their first year, Maiko start to colour their top lip, but never filling in the entire lip. When they become geisha, they continue to paint their lips smaller but eventually over time as her make-up becomes more clear and distinct, she starts to paint in her full lips. Hairstyles of Modern Day Flower and Willow World – Part OneType of Maiko Hairstyles Shikomi and Minari-san Along with wearing a simple kimono, young Shikomi-san start their training to become a maiko by wearing a hairstyle of their own choice.

At this particular point of time in her training, it is very important that she grow her hair long to enable it to be pulled up into the many different coiffures of a Maiko. As young Shikomi-san become Minarai-san for the month prior to her debut as a Maiko, she now is able to have her hair dressed professionally by a traditional hair dresser and adopt the wareshinobu hairstyle. Along with this change, she will also start wearing the elaborate kimono of the maiko. However, to indicate her lower and learning status, her obi is in the handarari style, and is only half length rather than floor length of a Maiko.

This is generally what sets her apart as a Minarai-san. With much trepidation no doubt, after the comforts of an ordinary pillow, this is also the time the young Minarai-san must learn to start sleeping on the traditional pillow “omaku” (or makura). Maiko The hairstyles of Maiko, along with their kanzashi, are reminiscent of young girls from an age long gone and quite unlike those of the older, more mature Geiko. A Maiko must have grown her hair long during her Shikomi-san and Minarai-san stages so that her own natural hair can be dressed up. Through the duration of her training, a Maiko will wear up to five different airstyles: wareshinobu, ofuku, sakkou, katsuyama and yakko-shimada. The latter two are hairstyles worn on special occasions by senior Maiko and the sakkou style is worn on her graduation from being a Maiko to becoming a Geiko. Maiko are also known to don a variation of the shimada mage hairstyle during the Miyako Odori. Wareshinobu For her Mishidashi (debut), the young Minarai-san has her hair dressed in what is easily one of the most elaborate hairstyles she will wear through the entire time as a maiko. This particular hairstyle is decorated with a large and interesting assortment of kanzashi.

Firstly, her hair is dressed up in the traditional wareshinobu style, which is said to accentuate the “loveliness” of the Maiko. This particular hairstyle is easily recognizable due to the two strips of red silk ribbon, with white spotted pattern, called kanoko (ka no ko literally means child of deer, and is so called due to the spots on the fawn’s back), that has been woven through the mage (the mass of hair, or “bun” on the crown), and visible through the hair on the top and bottom section. For normal occasions, the wareshinobu generally is decorated with kanzashi relevant to the month and the season.

For the event of Misidashi, the new Maiko will wear two fan shaped bira-bira-kan (fluttering kanzashi), tortoiseshell kanzashi worn on both sides at the front and one at the back (with symbols representing the current season), tortoiseshell kushi (comb), tama kanzashi (coral), kanoko-dome and miokuri (two sets of three rectangular decorations of red silver and gold, located at the bottom of the mage). After her Mishidashi, when she is a full-fledged Maiko, she continues to wear the wareshinobu hairstyle for the next three years.

Through this period of time, she will wear her kanzashi in accordance to the strict monthly seasonal calendar. Ofuku Traditionally, a young Maiko would change to the ofuku hairstyle of the senior Maiko after her mizuage, or when she got her first danna. One point of time in history, this change would have taken place between the ages of 13 and 15, although due to changes in laws, the age was slowly raised. Whilst this event would mark a change in the maturity and advancement of the Maiko, it no doubt would be of some embarrassment to her as everyone would now what events took place for the change of hairstyle! In the modern day hanamachi, mizuage is a practice that no longer takes place and the transformation to the ofuku hairstyle now takes place on or around her 18th birthday or three years after the start of her training. Visually, from the front, the hairstyle looks very similar to the wareshinobu except for the kanoko showing at the top of the mage in the wareshinobu style. At the back though, it is distinctly different with the kanoko being replaced by a chirimen tegarami.

The tegarami, which is triangular in shape, is pinned to the bottom of the mage, rather than being woven through the mage as in the previous style. The alternative name for the ofuku hairstyle is derived from its distinct look, the momoware or, better known, the “split peach” hairstyle. There is a debate though on which style is actually the correct one for momoware though. Some traditional hairstyle experts claim that it is the same as the ofuku with no split at the top, where others claim that the momoware actually has a small split in the top of the mage similar to the wareshinobu, but not as wide or prominent.

Regardless, it has been stated that the name emerged due to the shape being sexual and tantalizing in nature, although this information has likely evolved over the years due to the fact that this hairstyle was worn by girls who had lost their virginity. It is highly possible the real meaning is lost in time, and quite a bit less exciting. The senior Maiko will wear the ofuku hairstyle for the duration of her training up until two weeks to a month (there appears to be conflicting time frames) before her eri-kae (turning of collar) where she will don the elaborate sakkou hairstyle.

Being a senior Maiko, she is also now able to wear both the katsuyama and yakko-shimada hairstyles for special events and festivals. Katsuyama Each July for the Gion Matsuri, senior Maiko wear the Katsyuama hairstyle (also sometimes referred to as marumage despite a noticeable difference between the two styles) with special kanzashi to represent the summer. The origin of the katsuyama is directly linked back to 17th century Edo to a very popular and famous tayuu of the same name. It is also often seen in historical plays, although the actual style is slightly more exaggerated.

The Katsuyama was also widely worn through out the Edo era by married women, and only went out of fashion at the beginning of the Showa era with the introduction of a new style called sokuhatsu, a style reminiscent of Charles Dana Gibson’s “Gibson Girls”. Women were encouraged to wear the shokuhatsu due to it being more conventional and hygienic, and of course, more modern. Aside from the ordinary hana-kanzashi and jade tama-kanzashi, Maiko wear a special pink and silver circular kanzashi called bonten that sits in the middle of the mage showing through on both sides.

A thick red ribbon made from ro silk with various patterns in silver/gold is also woven around the base and through the centre of the mage. Yakko-Shimada Yakko-Shimada is the style that senior Maiko wear for the New Year period, Setsubun and on the 1st of August. For the New Year’s period, senior Maiko will wear the yakko-shimada style with kanzashi that has an eyeless pigeon and dried ears of rice. In addition, she will also wear hana-kanzashi, bira-bira kanzashi, tortoiseshell kanzashi, kushi, a ring of coral and jade beads and a tama kanzashi.

The base of the mage is also wrapped with a thick shibori ribbon of either blue or pink/red. She will wear this particular style for approximately one week, carrying over into the start of the New Year ceremonies for the hanamachi. The second event that the yakko-shimada is worn is for Setsubun, the eve of spring which occurs on the 3rd of February. Whilst it is dressed similarly at the back with thick shibori ribbon, the kanzashi worn for this event is hana-kanzashi, and sometimes a blue and pink shibori windmill. The third event for the year is Hassaku (the Giving of Thanks), which happens annually on the first of August.

On this particular day, Geiko and Maiko alike pay their respects to their sensei, tea house proprietors and others. The full formal black crested kimono ensemble is required and is worn along with tortoiseshell kanzashi and the appropriate hana-kanzashi for August. Sakko / Sakkou Around the age of 21 (or earlier, if the Okasan feels the Maiko is mature enough), preparations are put into place for the Maiko’s eri-kae ceremony, her debut as a Geiko. Two weeks before this ceremony, the Maiko will have her hair done up in the sakkou hairstyle. Just as the hairstyle for the eginning of her apprenticeship, her hairstyle signifying the end of her apprentice is equally elaborate and striking. The sakkou is easily recognizable by the hair being piled up and twisted into loops, with one pony tail of hair hanging over the back, cut at the end (“hashi no ke” hashi=bridge ke= hair). Originally, it appears that this hairstyle was worn by married women of the merchant class in the late Edo era (through to the beginning of the Meiji era) and that the cutting of the hair would normally have been performed by the husband, as a sign of the woman’s devotion to her husband and his family.

The cutting of the hair is now performed by the Okasan and whilst the hair cut is not the Maiko’s real hair, the significance of this gesture remains the same: to indicate that the Maiko is expressing her willingness and resolution to devote her life to the arts of Geiko. The kanzashi worn for the sakkou style are a combination of the relevant hana-kanzashi for the month, tortoiseshell kanzashi, one bira-bira kanzashi and tama-kanzashi. In addition to the hana-kanzashi, she will wear a kanzashi of a crane on the left hand side made from either silver or gold mizuhiki cord.

She also wears a kushi and several kougai made from tortoiseshell, and last but not least, three red ribbons at the front, wrapped within the mage (along with thin strips of silver) and at the back. Additional Maiko Hairstyles According to Mizobuchi Hiroshi in his book, “Kyoto Hanamachi” and the book “Beauty of hairstyle-tradition of Japan”, Maiko in the Pontocho district go through several other hairstyle changes in the month leading up to the sakkou style. Mizobuchi gives names of the hairstyles as umemodoki (also known as osomemage), oshidori no hina, osafune, mizuguruma and ikiguruma.

Along with these styles, he also mentions other “modern” Maiko hairstyles worn in the Pontocho district such as kikugasane, oshun and yuiwata. Unfortunately, there is very little information about these additional hairstyles styles or their significance and occasion to elaborate any further. 8. 0 CONCLUSION In conclusion, Geisha is very interesting in one of Japanese culture. Looking to the evidence and proofs, we found out that it’s very different and super something.

Japan is one of the simple countries which emphasize much in terms of their relationship between each other they got lot of varieties to serve. Geisha is one of it and we feel glad that we manage to dig and expose our self more to their culture by doing this assignment. So in future when people from Japan come to Malaysia or maybe if we are unexpectedly bumped into them or maybe they’re visiting our school, we can easily tag along since we knows bit about their culture so that later we can talked together about it and we can share our different cultures and beliefs.


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