I’ve been away because of FOOTBALL!!!
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I’m sorry I haven’t posted in weeks, I was in the countryside without an internet connection. I’ll be posting stuff soon! Watch out for posts on yakko shimada and sakkou hairstyles soon.
This is a TAKA-MAKURA, literally, a high pillow. A maiko (or geiko who is having her hair styled such as during Miyako odori) sleeps on this pillow to keep her hairstyle from being ruined the next day. This pillow is filled with beans and tied to a wooden stand. I’ve also seen Kikune from Miyagawa-cho use only the pillow without the wooden stand but the principle is still the same.
You used this makura to support your neck (some people prefer sleeping sideways with their chin rested on the pillow, some with their necks on the pillow either sideways or on the back) so that there is little pressure that will be exerted on the hair, thus keeping the hairstyle in place.
Maiko get their hair styled once a week and therefore only have one night where they get to wash their hair and sleep in a normal fluffy pillow.
NIHONGAMI (Traditional Japanese Hairstyles) : Katsuyama
The Katsuyama hairstyle is worn by senior maiko of 4 out of the 5 kagai (hanamachi), Gion Kobu, Gion Higashi, Miyagawa-cho and Pontocho, during Gion Matsuri. These 4 kagai are the ones located in and around the Gion district and thus celebrate the Gion Matsuri (Gion Festival) held during the entire month of July. (The 5th kagai, Kamishichiken is located further north and is not included in the Gion district.)
The Katsuyama hairstyle is said to be created by a courtesan (yujo) named Katsuyama.
How to spot a KATSUYAMA hairstyle from the other nihongami:
1. The mage is rolled under and a long roll of chirimen cloth is wrapped around the bottom.
2. The mage of the Katsuyama hairstyle sits around the same height as the mage of the ofuku hairstyle
3. A piece of black washi is also placed underneath like a tongue.
4. A maiko will always wear a green tama kanzashi (ball hairpin) on the lower left of her mage when wearing the Katsuyama hairstyle because it is the tama kanzashi for summer (from June to September).
NIHONGAMI (Traditional Japanese Hairstyles) : Ofuku
The ofuku is the 2nd hairstyle that a maiko wears. This is worn from about her 3rd year towards the end of her maiko stage. A maiko who wears ofuku must wear a red collar with heavy white embroidery, almost like a pure white collar except for a red strip at the back. These two indicate that a maiko is in her senior stage of training.
Traditionally (before the 1956 Anti-Prostitution Law of Japan), the graduation from junior maiko to senior maiko was marked by the mizuage ritual (which I might discuss fully in another post). Thus, a maiko who underwent mizuage remained a maiko for a few years until she turned her collar in a ceremony called erikae to be a geiko.
As usual, for maiko nihongami (and many other nihongami styles out there), the ofuku is made up of 4 parts, the maegami (front), the bin (wings), the mage (bun) and the tabo (back hair). The only difference between the wareshinobu (the first hairstyle) and the ofuku is in the mage.
Differences between the ofuku and wareshinobu:
1. The mage of the ofuku sits lower on the head compared to the wareshinobu.
2. The wareshinobu also has the mage split into two while the ofuku is only split in the bottom part.
3. The wareshinobu inserts 2 rolls of cloth (kanoko) into the gaps of the split. For the ofuku however, a folded piece of cloth made out of chirimen (silk crepe) called the teragami (or chirimen teragami) is pinned to the middle of the bun and the bottoms tied under the bun. Also a tongue-like piece of black Japanese paper (washi) is tied under the bun.
Watch out for these future posts about nihongami:
1. Sakkoumage (or sakkou)
3. Yakko Shimada
and possibly other special hairstyles that maiko wear for special occasions like Setsubun and geiko hairstyles.
Watch out for these future post series about maiko and geiko and kimono:
1. Monthly Kanzashi
2. Kimono motifs
3. Karyuukai celebrations
4. How to identify real maiko from fake maiko/faiko (ordinary girls dressed up as maiko)
THANK YOU FOR WATCHING!
I promise lots of kimono and karyukai pics and trivia/info coming your way.
~ Mamechino ~
Onshukai is the annual autumn dance production of Gion Kobu. It showcases maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu dancing Inoue-ryu style of Kyoumai.
Each of the gokagai (5 hanamachi or geisha districts) train in different schools of dance. Inoue is the school of traditional dance (kyoumai) that the maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu study.
Here we can see Katsunosuke and Momokazu both from the Odamoto yakata (okiya).
In this photo, minarai Kimihiro of the Toshikimi yakata of Miyagawacho has lost the bottom piece of her kanoko. Poor girl.
For information about the wareshinobu hairstyle, click here:
NIHONGAMI (Traditional Japanese Hairstyles) : Wareshinobu
The wareshinobu is the first hairstyle that a maiko wears in her career. This is worn for 2~3 years and is an indication that the maiko is a JUNIOR MAIKO, that means she is still new in the profession and is learning a lot of things.
A wareshinobu, and any nihongami in particular, consists of 4 parts: the front domed hair (called maegami), the wings (called bin), the bun (called mage), and the back hair that is swept up (called the tabo or tsuto).
For this particular photo, Koyoshi is having her misedashi (maiko debut) and thus, there is a pair of silvery wings (called miokuri) which stay in her hair for at least 3 days after her misedashi.
How to spot a WARESHINOBU (as compared to other traditional hairstyles):
1. The mage is high up on the head.
2. The mage is split into 2, with 2 cylindrical pieces of bright red cloth (called kanoko) inserted at the top and bottom to form its shape.
3. In the middle is a pin (called kanoko dome) that holds the whole hairstyle together.
4. The tabo does not droop to cover the neck.
Interesting info about the wareshinobu and nihongami:
- Kanoko means “child of deer” and is meant to look like the spots of a fawn
- The kanoko for maiko is either all red or red with white spots (like a fawn)
- Maiko have their hair styled once a week.
- They have their hair styled in wareshinobu about a week or before they start their minarai phase (pre-debut) so that they can get used to sleeping with the makura (pillow).
- Maiko sleep on a special pillow that looks like a cylinder. Contrary to what the movie Memoirs of a Geisha in particular shows us, the pillow is actually large enough to support the neck.