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50. Erikae, Changing collar



Geiko (芸妓) promoted from Maiko (舞妓, trainee of Geiko) are called Erikae-san (衿替えさん, Maiko who changed her collar). Nowadays, not a few Maiko quit right after their Maiko and leave. I guess these girls want to remain the same forever.

Despite the fact that Maiko is merely a trainee of Geiko, Maiko is gaining more popularity. However, as for myself, I was pretty much excited and was feeling impatient to be a Geiko.

The reasons vary: Geiko 1) uses wigs so that they don't have to use uncomfortable Hakomakura (箱枕, a box pillow made of wood), 2) is grated more freedom, and 3) is allowed to dance of mature choreography, and etc...But above all, my motivation was my dream Oneisan (お姉さん, Geiko). I truly wanted to be a Geiko like her. Whatever occasions, whether it's Ozashiki (お座敷, Banquet with Maiko and Geiko) or lessons, in her presence my face always got blushed and couldn't listen whatever my customers or teachers say. I used get scolded or laughed a lot.

The picture above shows a special hair style called "Sakko (先笄)” only for Maiko right before turning Geiko. It was once popular among young wives of rich citizens at the end of the Edo (江戸) period until the Meiji (明治) period.

I remember the sleepless night right before the day I became a Geiko. Unfolding my Sakko hair by my Oneisan and Okasan (お母さん, the female owner of the Maiko house) cutting my Mottoi (元結, a paper string which ties the hair knot), I was deeply moved. Partially because of the completion of my Maiko period, and partially the tense I was feeling inside for the independent status, a Geiko.

Thank you so much.

See you soon.

Beniko

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