57.Fukiwata, Padded Hem of Kimono
It's May. All Maiko (舞妓) must have been feeling relieved by now after the completion of the busy season of sring dance performance. Their Hanakannzashi (花かんざし, flower head dress) has been changed from cherry blossoms to wisteria or iris.
Another singature event in Hanamachi (花街, Maiko adn Geiko district) in May is the social calls by the troops of newly debut Maiko. Cheerful voices of "congrats" and "thank you" can be heard everywhere in the town. They have just graduated from the high school in March, trained at the actual Ozashiki (お座敷, Maiko party) during April, and finally made it through the debut.
In May, Maiko's Kimono (着物) is also changed to a summer version.
When we receive a call for Ozashiki, the client designates the length of Kimono, whether the long trained ones called Susohiki (裾引き) or Ohikizuri (おひきずり), or the short ones called Karage (からげ). Susohiki usually has a padded hem called Fukiwata (ふきわた) and it works as as a sinker so that the hem doesn't border the movement of foot while dancing. However, as summer Kimono donesn't have any padding, the hem twines around the foot making it tougher to dance.
The transition of seasons apprears in the way we dress too.
By the way, there was a lady called Aba-chan (あばちゃん) at our Yakata (屋形, Maiko house) who esd taking care of us. She prepares our Kimono according to the occasion, such as Susohiki which was to be worn approximately once a month, Karage for usual Ozashiki, daily Kimono for lessons, and gorgeous Kimono for special occasion. The Maiko life was supported by many people.
Thank you so much.
Talk to you soon.