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  • 紅子

6. Maiko Trainee Days

In March, lessons for the Spring Dance performance begins. At the second floor of Kaburenjo (歌舞練場) theater, many types of lessons, such as segment practice and run-through rehearsal, are conducted while the choreography and the standing positions are confirmed. The whole process was very hard since we usually have lessons from one teacher called Oshisho (お師匠), whereas in this season we have many participation of expert Geiko (芸妓) called Oneisan (お姉さん) and other teachers to observe us.

Sometime I got completely enchanted by the graceful movement of Oneisan enough to forgot my turn of act. I was scolded but I loved this final rehearsals very much.

At the venue of the Spring Dance performance, a tea ceremony corner is prepared. Maiko trainees called Shikomi-san (仕込みさん) play the role of Ohikae (お控え, tea ceremony assistants) serving the tea made by the hosting Geiko to the guests.

The name of the hosting Geiko and the Ohikae are displayed at the tea ceremony corner. Since Ohikae are merely the trainees and have no official Maiko names yet, their real names are displayed.

The debut of Maiko is referred to as Omisedashi (お店出し), and once the debut date is decided, an official Maiko name is given to each debutante. In the Maiko names, usually one Kanji (漢字) character from Oneisan (お姉さん, mentor Geiko) is quoted.

When a Maiko retires, a triangle paper on which the Maiko name and her real name are written is distributed to people associated. This is the announcement of her resignation, and is the first time for her to use her real name in her long Maiko days. Therefore, Ohikae role is a very precious experience for Maiko trainees to use their real names just before becoming a Maiko.

Thank you very much.

Talk to you soon.




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