“Maiko” is very famous, isn’t it?
But, do you know what they do? Do you know how they became Maiko ?
This time, I did checking about “Maiko” in detail.
What are Maiko ?
Maiko perform traditional Japanese music and dances at exclusive parties in the area “Hanamachi” centering on Gion of Kyoto.
Maiko is unusual to go out to besides Hanamachi and the other places at the daytime, and it is said that it’s rare that even the persons who lives in Kyoto see real Maiko.
The origin of Maiko was in the Edo era, and women served tea for a person who visit to shrine and a person who travels.
Time goes by, that women served alcohol instead of tea, and they began to show dance and music by Japanese traditional instrument like Japanese classical performing arts. this was the origin of Maiko.
Everyone can become Maiko?
To become a Maiko, young girls as 15 would be desirable, and decision is requested in an early time of life.
Apprentice geisha are called Maiko, therefor, they keep on learning Japanese traditional culture and entertainment such as music and dances forever.
To become a Maiko…
.Girls go to interview to “Okiya” that Maiko lives in.
.If they passed an examination, they begin to live in okiya with seniors, and starts training as “Shikomisan”.
About for a year, they do personal care for seniors, help with okiya and do training to become Maiko.
They live in a group without their parents, so there is not free time and their own room. Almost girls give up to become Maiko at this time.
.A day to make their debut as Maiko is decided, if they passed an examination of Japanese traditional dance “Mai”.
.They are called “Minaraisan” for one month after “Omisedashi” which is a day to make their debut was decided.
They wear kimono, and apply makeup called “Shironuri” which is the distinctive white makeup to the face and neck, and go to “Ochaya” which is high-class Japanese stylerestaurants every day.
.They will have training term for five years to become “Geigi” after they debuted as Maiko.
They keep on learning to polish up their skills for art and service: Japanese traditional music and dance, “Mai”, “Ohayasi” and “Shamisen”, and service for customers.
-To protect Maiko’s image, they can’t step into McDonald’s or Starbucks and so on.
-To protect Maiko’s image, they mustn’t have the cell phone. Even if they have it, they mustn’t use it.
-Of course, they can’t use communication tool such as SNS.
-They have to stop to talk because they mustn’t talk while walking.
-There is not the salary because they are apprentice. But they can get only ten or twenty thousand yen as pocket money.
-They can’t take a bath for a week because it takes long hours to tie their hair.
-Japanese hair ornaments called “Kanzashi” are designed by each season flowers, such as February is “Ume”, April is “cherry Blossom” and October is “Chrysanthemum”.