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  • Beniko

10. OMISEDASHI -The Date of My Debut-

My Omisedashi (お店出し, debut) day was May 3rd. I remember the clean air of the bright morning.

First I paid courtesy visits to the Ochaya (お茶屋, tea houses at which Ozashiki are held) where I spent my Minarai (見習い, Maiko intern) period and then to many other Ochaya. The Kimono (着物) I wore was extremely heavy because it was the formal costume only for debutante Maiko (舞妓) which consists of three layers. In this crested, three layered black Kimono, I served at Ozashiki (お座敷, Maiko banquet) as a debutante for the first three days of my Maiko days.

In the same morning, the ceremony of exchanging sake with my mentor Oneisan (お姉さん) was completed, and we were officially announced as a sisters.

Talking about courtesy visits, I don’t remember where exactly I was headed for, maybe it was on the way to Yiemoto (家元, grand master of dance or tea school), the taxi I got on was sandwiched by two Mikoshi (神輿, portable shrine) with a statue of sacred fox on it. Yes, I was stuck in a festival procession of nearby Inari (稲荷) Shrine. I, with my face painted in white, must have been looked like a part of the sacred procession to the eyes of sightseers.

At night, my mentor Oneisan and I got busy even more, attending one Ozashiki to another together. Thanks to good intentions of many people, such as Oenisan’s frequent customers, the Ochaya I spent my Minarai days, and other associated people celebrating my debut, we were invited to many Ozashiki.

There was a customer who noticed me that I was a debutante by the crest of my Kimono, and invited me to his Ozashiki, saying “Oh, I like Omisedashi (debutante)!" At first I felt nervous in front of him but somehow managed to make a deep bow and produced my Hanameishi (花名刺, business card for Maiko with floral patterns) in the exact way taught by my Okasan (お母さん, the female owner of Maiko house) and Oneisan.

At Ozashiki, I performed dances, brought the customers to the door of the restroom, changed ashtrays. After a while, Okasan of the Ochaya poped-in and said, “We are truly sorry but she (me) has to move to the next Ozashiki" and it went on and on repeatedly all through the night. I assume my Omisedashi night was successful, even though I hardly remember.

Thank you so much.

Talk yo you soon!



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