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46. Fukiyose, Autumn Scenery in Japan



Fukiyose (吹き寄せ) is a term for assorted Japanese dry confectioneries in the shapes of wind-scattered leaves, nuts, and berries, expressing the autumn scenery in Japan. It is so pretty that Fukiyose is often employed in many patterns of Kimono.

In my Yakata (屋形, Maiko House), five Maiko including me were living together, and our Okasan (お母さん, the female owner of Yakata) offered us Fukiyose patterned Kimono in five different colors in every autumn. The Kimono were so beautiful and I still can recall the joyous cheer from our customers when all five of us appeared at a Ozashiki (お座敷, the venue of Maiko banquet) together.

The Maiko who marked the highest sales can choose the color of Kimono first. As for myself, I have worn the black (黒), dark red (えんじ), sky blue (水色), Toki-iro (朱鷺色, tender toned yellowish peach color), and Hiwa-iro (鶸色, bright light green of Hiwa bird) ones.

In every way, we five Maiko (舞妓) were competitive with each other. Imagine if there are five Maiko in a house. Naturally, everything is a competition, including Sales at Ozashiki, progress of dance and singing lessones, number of frequent customers, ability of make-up, and popularity among colleagues and trainees.

However, it doesn't mean we were enemies at all. We got along very well with each other. When one of us was being slandered by a Maiko in other Yakata, all of us got very angry.

Having said that, we were angry only within the house. Because it was strictly banned to spoke about what happened at Yakata to others. We all knew the distinction between home and the outside. The most important motto we were taught during our trainee period was: Never speak about what happened at Yakata or Ozashiki. If you are unable to keep a secret, you cannot live here".

I was merely 15, and Okasan's teaching was almighty to me.

Thank you so much.

Talk to you later.

Beniko

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