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54. Tatazumai, the beautiful appearance



During the training period to become a Maiko (舞妓), we are engaged in a series of very strict lessons, such as manners at Oszashiki (お座敷, dinner and drinking party with Maiko and Geiko), choice of words, dancing, tea ceremony, and Japanese instruments, etc. After the bedut, I was told by my Okasan (お母さん, the female owner of Maiko house) that Maiko should earnestly pursue beautiful "Tatazumai (佇まい, appearance)".

"What is beautiful Tatazumai?", I wondered.

I asked my dance teacher, and she said "it's the balance of your body. It should be at the center”. When I asked the Japanese flute teacher, she said "inhaling and exhaling is also a part of it".

According to a dictionary, Tatazumai is described as "standing posture, the atomosphere it creats". The harder I tried to learn, the more difficult it became to understand. However, after a few years of working as a Maiko, there were some moments that I felt, "Oh, this can be the beautiful Tatazumai I am yearning to know".

Suppose, if it is the same program of dancing, the apprearances are totally different depending on the dancer. It's not only the posture or the figure, but also the atomosphere they created. It can be expressed as "aura". Some peolpe have elegant aura, others sweet and tender, and othres unswerving spiritual strength.

In order to achieve my beautiful Tatazumai, I tried very hard to keep improving myself, valuing the sympathy to others, and polishing the elegant way of speaking and behavior. I tried whatever I could think of.

Now that I'm not a young Maiko anymore, but still, I cannot find the answer to the question, "What is the beautiful Tatazumai?" I take it as my lifetime assignment given by my Okasan.

Thank you so much.

See you soon.

Beniko

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