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60. Yukata, Summer Cotton Kimono



Maiko (舞妓) do not wear Yutaka (浴衣, summer Kimono made of cotton) at Ozashiki (お座敷, Parties with Maiko and Geiko. Work place for Maiko). However, at our lessons, we wear Yukata.

Not like colorful Yukata for the general public, Yukata for Maiko are usually in white and navy, and the patterns are very simple. Every year around the end of May, a lot of Tanmono (反物, a roll of cloth) are delivered to our Yakata (屋形, Maiko house) from schools of Japanese dance, Nagauta (長唄, Japanese classical singing), Kouta (小唄, Japaneses ballads), Tokiwazu (常磐津, style of joruri narrative for kabuki dances), and Ohayashi (お囃子, Japanese orchestra).

Those Tanmono are to be tailored by professional hands according to each Maiko's size, and we attend Yukata-kai or otherwise called Yutaka-zarae (浴衣ざらえ, Yukata meeting), which is more like a school play, all together in uniform Yukata.

Accordingly, the number of Yukata we own increases as many as the number of lessons you take. For me it was tiresome to maintain and tidy up so many pieces of Yukata. I wore last year's Yukata mostly for lessons, and this year's were for performaneces, such as Yukata-zarae.

At that time, I was thinking Yukata was very comfortable, because I had to wear heavy Kimono (着物) all the time. However, now that I have grown completely accustomed to wearing Western cloth, Yukata is no longer comfortable.

In general, bear foot is a standard for Yukata, but Maiko and Geiko wear Tabi (足袋, Japanese socks), Zohri (草履, formal sandals), and Otaiko (お太鼓, square style Obi considered as formal) when going to lessons. I remember the school teachers and the advanced Geiko were wearing casual style Obi called Hanhaba (半幅, half witdth Obi), but still, we Maiko and younger Geiko had to wear Otaiko.

Thank you so much.

Talk to you later.

Beniko

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