Friday, May 20, 2005

Golden Week Finale: Kyoto

Pontocho`s Kamogawa Odori
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A geiko preforms the tea ceremony before Pontocho`s spring dance, the Kamogawa Odori. Pontocho is one of the oldest geisha districts in Kyoto, and one of the most prestigious.

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Long after the cherry blossoms that the Miyako Odori celebrate fade, the country side turns green, accented by royal purple Irises and Lavender Wisteria. Kamogawa Odori is colored in the purple haze of late spring`s pallete.

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Trailing purple wisteria (fuji) and flag irises, usually of the blue variety, denote the height of spring.

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The long sleeves of the young maiko`s ornate kimono, as well as the many hanazashii, or hair ornaments, she wears easily denote her rank. A Geisha dances behind her, the short sleeves and subdued design of her kimono and lack of hair ornaments making her no less beautiful. Young maiko, or geisha in training, have yet to perfect their art, and as such, rely on their beautiful and extravagant appearance to impress their patrons. As a maiko perfects her art, her costume and makeup become much less important, and is seen as a distraction from the true beauty of her skill.
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'Hopes are like (hanazashii) hair ornaments. When a girl is young, she wears as many as she can, but when she gets older, she looks foolish wearing even one.'

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Hisamari, a high ranking Pontocho Maiko.

7 comments:

Mom said...

Aunt Fran loves your web site! I just looked at it and it is awesome. Did you go to a new
Geisha dance? These pictures are beautiful.

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Andrew Osbourn said...

A correction Mellisa-san, On your photo's of the tea ceremony, The Geisha is a geiko right? She has the twisted collar since the hair is very similar so to avoid confusion.

Melissa said...

Yes, Andrew, you are correct. Thank you for pointing that out. As you can see, this is a very old post (2005). It is from one of my first geisha dances, very early in my developing interest in Kyoto's geisha culture. I believe this is explained in later posts.

Andrew Osbourn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew Osbourn said...

Sorry I didn't mean to seem like a know-it-all. I did not know.
I love your blog, take care.

Melissa said...

Not at all! Thank you for bringing it to my attention. I wish I had time and check all my old posts for mistakes...