Monday, June 2, 2008

Tengukai with Taikomochi

Peter belongs to a gourmet group called the "Tengukai" which is a group of Japanese professionals who are all accomplished in the arts or specialists of Japanese culture who enjoy good food and drink. Every month or so they get together, perform their various arts for each other, as well as hire maiko, geiko etc....

On May 31st they invited a "taikomochi" or "hokan" (male geisha) from the Asakusa district in Tokyo to join the festivities. Sakuragawa Shichiko is one of four remaining taikomochi in Tokyo. Here are a few pictures of the group and then evening.

Impersonating a courtesan and name sticker.

Shichiko-san having a laugh with Tengukai members.

Shichiko-san with Peter and Tengukai members.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tokyo Azuma Odori

The Azuma Odori has been held in the Shimbashi Embujo Theater since 1923. It is one of the public's only chances to see the geisha of Shimbashi, Tokyo in action. This is an event that happens anually, usually at the end of May, and is usually attended by geisha representing all the districts in Tokyo, and many made the trip from Kyoto, including the top names from Gion Kobu and Miyagawa-cho. Peter was asked by a Kamishichiken tea house owner to take her to see the dances last Sautrday, so they went for the day. Because photos were prohibited, we're posting the cover of the pamphlet and some pictures inside that were taken but another photographer (these are not Peter's photos).

The cover.

Geisha performing a dance called "Ume no Sakae" (The Prosperity of Plum Blossoms)

Geisha performing in the roles of Oiran (highest class of Tokyo cortesan) and Shinzo (apprentices to the Oiran).