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56. Ashiarai, Excursion with Colleagues



Ashiarai (足洗い) is an overnight excursion trip for Maiko (舞妓) after the completion of spring dance performance each year.

The destination of my first Ashiarai was Kashikojima (賢島) in Mie (三重) prefecture, which later became famous as the venue of Iseshima (伊勢志摩) Summit. The trip was long time ago so that I don't remember where we went to, or what we did. However, I vividly remember how happy I was during the trip. We talked and talked all the way, having a lot of snacks and sweets exchanging lots of smiles with each other.

We might have seemed like a group of ordinary school girls since we wore Western cloth and our Maiko hair sytle were untied. However, one thing very different was the way we spoke.

We Maiko have a very unique way of talking which is called Hanamachi kotoba (花街言葉, Maiko and Geiko language). For example, when someone gave us snacks or drinks, we expressed our gratitude with Maiko accent in a relatively slow mannar. Our chat must have been very conspicuous in the train.

At night, many of us got drunk and somehow elated. An elder Maiko asked to dance to other Maiko who was rather rigid-minded. The funny thing was that the Maiko danced a "Chari-Mai (ちゃり舞, commical dancing)" and received a house of ovation. Even the hotel staff members gathered to observe because Chari-Mai was so rare.

We always entertain people, but at that night, we were entertained. That was one of my precious memories.

Thank you.

See you around.

Beniko

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