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Maiko by slumberdoll Maiko by slumberdoll
On our first night in Kyoto, our tour guide Yoko accompanied us to Gion late in the evening to see some geisha and maiko. It was fascinating to see these women clad in intricate costumes and make-up walking around in such a contemporary setting.

May 21, 2009

From ~Fuyou-hime - Her name is Kosen, and she is a senior maiko from Gion Kobu. It's a misconeption from 'Memoirs of a Geisha' that a maiko's full underkimono collar must be red, it's the back of the collar that must be red. A senior maiko will have a white collar with small details, while a geiko will have a white collar back and front. That's where the term 'turn the collar' (Erikae) comes from when a maiko becomes a geiko. For examples, here is the back of a maiko's collar, [link] , and here is the back of a geiko's collar, [link]

She is wearing rain gear right now, which is why the obi cannot be seen. Otherwise, her full dangling obi (darari obi) would be visible. It's also why she is not wearing the tall shoes called okobo that are characteristic of maiko (although it is not mandatory that maiko must wear okobo, and many never wear them). Instead, she is wearing rain zori, which have a cover over the toes to protect them from puddles. If you look in her left hand, you'll see her traditional bamboo umbrella, which actually has her name on it (so as not to be confused with the other umbrellas of maiko and geiko in teahouse backrooms). I assume the weather forecast that day was cloudy and rainy, because the Okaasan watch weather forecasts closely so that maiko and geiko do not get their precious ensembles rained upon.

Related deviation:
Shy That Way

(c) Tricia Gosingtian :iconslumberdoll:

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:iconmerytsetesh:
Merytsetesh Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Student Artisan Crafter
Great photos and very informative! It's the little details like the umbrella that make this so unique.
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:iconburningrage8-13:
burningrage8-13 Featured By Owner Aug 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Sweetness!!! :)
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:iconangelworld:
AngelWorld Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2010  Professional General Artist
woooooooooooow!that is fascinated!i want to go to Japaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan!!!!
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:iconkriedz:
Kriedz Featured By Owner Oct 25, 2009
Very beautiful! These Japanese clothes are beautiful !
Reply
:iconmestrategos:
mestrategos Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2009
How can You be so lucky! You get to see and visit Amazing places >.< I am honestly, officially jealous! And I wont even mention Your skills in taking pictures
Reply
:iconagedghost:
agedghost Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2009   Artist
you were featured here: [link]

:) <3 age
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:iconkeripuda:
keripuda Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2009  Student
Classically beatiful~
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:iconglompmaster:
glompmaster Featured By Owner Aug 18, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Lucky.. I went to Kyoto too, but we could only walk around during the day, so we didn't get to see any maiko..
Reply
:iconxvivalakimx:
xVivaLaKimx Featured By Owner Aug 17, 2009  Student General Artist
At a first glance at the first two photos I thought that she was just a mere mannequin but then I saw the last photo and all I saw was life and beauty. Great shots.
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:iconcherriuki:
cherriuki Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2009   Traditional Artist
she's beautiful!!
Reply
:iconcarmelabataoil:
carmelabataoil Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Professional Filmographer
You're right, it really is amazing seeing them walking around in a contemporary setting :)

:heart:
Reply
:iconxxxwhisperxxx:
xXxWhIsPeRxXx Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009
These shots are amazing!

The top picture reminds me of something you'd see in a movie, where you'd see someone across the road and then a car would drive past and they'd suddenly disappear.

Seriously cool, I'd love to go to Japan one day on a tour where you went to every city too, to get a different way of life, but the prices i've seen are crazy expensive.

Better start saving the pennies! :D

:+fav:
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:iconcloudstar225:
cloudstar225 Featured By Owner Aug 14, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
beautiful picture!
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:iconleipre:
leipre Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2009
I love this! It's so sharp! What lens did you use here, Tricia?
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:iconrnomad:
Rnomad Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2009
love it.

wonderful topic, on of my all time favs, Kimono's
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:iconotherjoseph:
otherjoseph Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2009   Photographer
Beautiful shots, Tricia! I love the mood you captured here.
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:icontrami:
trami Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2009
Wow! I was just in Kyoto too!! The geisha I saw though was in such a hurry I couldn't manage to snap a picture XD
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:iconanubis1240:
Anubis1240 Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2009
you are amazing
thank you
Reply
:iconcoffeebugg:
coffeebugg Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
It's quite surreal isn't it. seeing something so elegantly traditional in such a modern landscape.. heck, I get goose bumps just thinking about the Tanabata season
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:iconyapi:
yapi Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009   Digital Artist
Wow, you actually have proper maiko pictures! All the geisha and maiko I ran into were running from one tea house to another so all I got were blurry geisha, haha!

I recognize that coffee shop, that's on the corner of the street leading to Gion corner, is it not? ^_^
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:iconslumberdoll:
slumberdoll Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009  Professional Photographer
Yeah!
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:iconorihimehimex3:
OrihimeHimex3 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009  Student General Artist
Amazing set of pictures. ^^
Reply
:iconjessyukionna:
JessYukiOnna Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009  Hobbyist
i wish i could go to japan too...
awesome shots! XD
Reply
:iconsakura-kirakira:
Sakura-KiraKira Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009
I thought they had red collars too. O.O" The fabric in the hair arrangement changes earlier but the collar colour only changes when they become a proper geisha... right? *puzzled*
Awesome photo(s). *o*
Reply
:iconfuyou-hime:
Fuyou-hime Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009
No, the front color of a maiko's collar determines her seniority, it's the back of the collar that determines the different between a maiko and geiko. A junior maiko will have a collar with a red base, with very junior maiko having a collar that is primarily red and a less junior maiko having one with a little more white. A senior maiko will have one with a base of white and a small decoration in red, gold, or silver. Geiko in contrast never have accent colors in the underkimono collar and do not have a swath of red in the back. Check out my gallery to see the difference, I clearly mark which maiko are senior and which ones are junior.
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:iconsakura-kirakira:
Sakura-KiraKira Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2009
Ohh! <3 I get it now! :3
Reply
:iconnita-sayurii:
Nita-Sayurii Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
A good way to tell is if her Obi is long or short. if its long then shes a maiko if its short shes a geshia :)
Reply
:icontino-tino:
Tino-Tino Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
Maiko dont always have red collars, my friend and I went to a costume studio and I was given a white one, as I chose a red kimono. As far as I was told, maiko wear brighter colours than geiko, who are older and don more subdued shades of blue, purple and so on.

Also, I am very jealous, as when we were in Kyoto we didn't see a single geisha or maiko despite staying for almost two weeks!
Reply
:iconcbum182:
cbum182 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
no offence to her, but from the shots, if she came strolling up towards me, I'd run! haha
Reply
:iconfuyou-hime:
Fuyou-hime Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
It's a lovely set of pictures :).

Her name is Kosen, and she is a senior maiko from Gion Kobu. It's a misconeption from 'Memoirs of a Geisha' that a maiko's full underkimono collar must be red, it's the back of the collar that must be red. A senior maiko will have a white collar with small details, while a geiko will have a white collar back and front. That's where the term 'turn the collar' (Erikae) comes from when a maiko becomes a geiko. For examples, here is the back of a maiko's collar, [link] , and here is the back of a geiko's collar, [link]

She is wearing rain gear right now, which is why the obi cannot be seen. Otherwise, her full dangling obi (darari obi) would be visible. It's also why she is not wearing the tall shoes called okobo that are characteristic of maiko (although it is not mandatory that maiko must wear okobo, and many never wear them). Instead, she is wearing rain zori, which have a cover over the toes to protect them from puddles. If you look in her left hand, you'll see her traditional bamboo umbrella, which actually has her name on it (so as not to be confused with the other umbrellas of maiko and geiko in teahouse backrooms). I assume the weather forecast that day was cloudy and rainy, because the Okaasan watch weather forecasts closely so that maiko and geiko do not get their precious ensembles rained upon.
Reply
:iconkairimun1988:
Kairimun1988 Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Wow, I also have to thank you for the information. But..... *clutches MoaG book and movie to chest* I still love it .__.
Reply
:iconfuyou-hime:
Fuyou-hime Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
You're welcome :).

Memoirs is written beautifully... but don't trust the facts. The general rule among geisha enthusiasts is to read MoaG for the characters, and read Liza Dalby for the truth...
Reply
:iconkairimun1988:
Kairimun1988 Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2009  Student Traditional Artist
Lol, I already knew that much :) I understand the culture too much. Sayuri/Chiyo stole my heart. .__.
Reply
:iconslumberdoll:
slumberdoll Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Professional Photographer
Thank you for all this useful information. Can I post this in the description? (will credit you, of course)
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:iconfuyou-hime:
Fuyou-hime Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
Yes, of course :). I'm glad I could clear things up for you.
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:iconokuaki-maiko:
okuaki-maiko Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
i looked at the title and thought it was me XD haha you got me there for a second XD but im still loving this photo :D
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:iconpaper--sky:
Paper--Sky Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009   Photographer
I just read memoirs of a geisha. She is stunning. These are beautiful shots.
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:iconookami-aoiro:
Ookami-Aoiro Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
from what i've heard from teachers over in japan is that the traditions have evolved. Maiko and Geiko are not what they used to be some traditions were lost during the war.. WWII but thats just what i've been told =S
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:iconmettiz:
Mettiz Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
she looks beautiful :)
I thought maikos only had the lower lip painted red...
Also they are supposed to have two stripes in the neck, while geishas have three (if I remember correctly) did you see something like that?
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:iconbandzondermensen:
bandzondermensen Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
what a wonderfull smile!
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:iconaristosan:
aristosan Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
If I could sit still on a plane that long I would love to go to Japan. Great shot !!
Reply
:iconfletcherhughes:
fletcherhughes Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
She is beautiful and elegant. I love the story of these images and how she is just walking down the street in her get-up. This is a really cool collection. XD
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:iconshi-eun:
Shi-eun Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
do you miss japan already???
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:iconlolkiwi:
LOLkiwi Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
the pictures are great <3
the first picture could be in a horror movie :|
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:iconmaikanno:
Maikanno Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
agreed
Reply
:iconkruemelmonstrr:
kruemelmonstrr Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009   Photographer
Its an amzing cultural photography.
To be honest, I thought Maikos and Geishas were a part of the old Japan, I thought they didn't have any anymore, but obviously they do.

Great photos :)
I like the light and the colors
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:iconbantumi:
bantumi Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
hai. kelan kaya ako makaka gawa at makaka experience ng ganyan.. :) galing galing :)
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:icongetas-panchan:
Getas-PanChan Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
Maiko don't always have red collars. She is definitely a Maiko. ^^
Reply
:iconneskind:
neskind Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009
I was watching a documentary on maiko and here is what I Learned

1. Geiko and Maiko are both geisha the difference is that Maiko a virgins and therefore considered more valuable.

2.Geisha are traditional entertainers not prostitutes like the stereotype. Before World War 2 these women could offer extra services if they so chose. This is somewhat taboo now because of western perceptions.

3.Also as a footnote opera singers are traditional entertainers just like geisha and also like geisha in the old days they used to sell themselves to the rich and powerful. Yet these days they don't and our Japanese friends do not stereotype them as whores, maybe we should return the courtesy.
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:iconmanamadeleine:
ManaMadeleine Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2009  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Heya! Well, I can't tell for sure if it's a maiko or not, only that Long sleeves means you are not married - so that doesn't mean that a geisha would absalutely have shorter ones. From the looks of it I would say that she was a geisha however because of the colours she's wearing - also maiko are in training so they wouldn't normally be out as much at night unacompanied. :/ Gion's great isn't it? Did you get dressed up as a maiko while you were there?
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