The Very first autumn to enjoy with Maiko
On the 16th, a middle day of three-day weekend, we hosted and held an event ‘The Autumn to Enjoy with Maiko.’
Originally, there is a custom ‘No first visitors without invitation’ at any Ochaya (teahouses) in every flower town, which means you never be able to ozashiki (to go the party or banquet with geiko and maiko) unless you have a direct connection with Ochaya itself or Okami, the proprietress.
Though this still remains the same, we managed to hold an event for people to experience ozashiki play, obtaining cooperation from Okami at the teahouse, Umeno in Kamishichiken. Even if a customer has never gone to one before, he is welcomed since Geisha Japan became an introducer between ochaya and the first-visiting customers.
Also in the past, we have done various events, but it was our first time to hold one on a large scale. Honestly, we could not be so in peace and quiet as it was a first trial for us. And the result is …Thanks to you, it was a huge success!
We held the event in okuzashiki, the inner parlor of a new building which has just opened in last summer at Umeno. There are two courses,‘ Hannari’and’Hokkori’. In ‘Hannari’, there are pike conger which is known as high-grade fish in autumn, yuba and the fresh Kyoto variety vegetable on the menu, while Japanese sweets, yakimochi from Tenjindo are served with maccha, the powdered green tea at ‘Hokkori’. Tenjindo is established sixty years ago and yakimochi is so extremely popular among both tourists and local people that they often sold it out during the morning. Customers both enjoyed eating and playing with maiko.
Okami showed a beautiful voice with skilled shamisen tone. There is a mysterious glamour in her voice as if cherry blossom of spring and purple smoke are blended together. It was so chic, coupled with the sunlight streaming in through the window. Maikos who performed dances in ‘Gion-Kouta’ and ’Kyo-no-Shiki’(the four season of Kyoto) looked even more shining all around.
One of representative ozashiki plays,’Toratora’ and ‘Konpirafunefune’’ were demonstrated by pairs of maiko and all the customers played with them.
Toratora is famous for its rhythmical call, it goes like ‘Tora tora tora tora…tora tora tora‘with beating time with hands. With Konpirafuenfune, music is played with shamisen while a game goes on. As it gets very close, to intensify and gain in excitement, the music gradually increases in tempo, it really makes players thrilled!
Maiko defeated customers one after another. Each time they said,’Oh,I’m done for!’ showing the give-up pose and bursting into a big laughter. Everyone came together and the party was a successful meeting. As one would expect, four maikos participated the event was so good at winning, but some customers were quite strong, exciting games played as well.
After Ozashiki play, they promenaded the flower town of Kamishichiken altogether with okami and maikos. There are many Machiya, the traditional townhouse in town, the external appearance of its style is characterized by ‘bengara-koshi’, a red color lattice, mushiko windows (windows with an ultra-fine lattice) and Inuyarai (short arched fence, traditionally bamboo),etc.
Starting from a visit to Kitano Tenmangu (Shrine), known commonly as a nickname, ‘Tenjin san’ and made a tour to well-known stores including a gamaguchi (purse) and Japanese pickeld vegetables specialty stores, ‘Matsuhiro’ and ’Mori’.
Finally, the company reached Kamishichiken Kaburenjo Theater. This is a place where geiko and maiko show their performances for the Kitano Festival and the Kotobuki-kai. It is normally closed on weekends but they opened it especially for the event. In ‘Hokkori’ course, they even showed a treasure film of maiko to the party!
Now it’s time for the party to be in full swing. The closing part for the event is a commemorative photo time in Japanese garden of the Theater. Red-colored lanterns swing in a gradual wind, and Kamishichiken’s symbolic crest, the five dumplings crest drawn on them looked as if they are waving to say good-bye to them.
Each customer took various pictures with maikos. The most popular plan among participants was the promenade. “I’ve never imagined to be so close to maiko. I really enjoyed talking and walking around the town with them, it was really like being in a sweet dream. It was too much fun!!”-we received many comments and opinions like this.
The event was a first big step to be able to implement our mission that is to become a bridge to link maiko and Kyoto,the city of maiko to the world.
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