Another break in blogging…. So the next few posts will be looking back I suspect..
Totnes had another wonderful lantern festival at the end of september which it was our pleasure to attend. It was Hachidori’s first time in full minarai.. so we let her manage her first time wig without having to carry a lantern as well. Getting us both ready was more effort than normal but of course we ambitious artists piled on the activity by making up a procession of 8 people in kimono!
It really did feel quite authentic when we were all dressing together in the sitting room of the okiya. Japanese houses are normally quite small so the frantic rush in an Okiya before Ozashiki starts in the evening.. getting all the girls ready can be quite something!
We had our Hachisu lanterns with us and wandered up the town.. the market square was full of activity and I had to keep my Okaasan wits about me to make sure we kept together and didn’t lose ourselves in the crowd. I think this is one of the things that is harder to accept for those in training.. the social nature of the Maiko and Geiko… When these Japanese Artists attend an event with their sisters they have a special job to do – they have to help each other and put the event, their sisters and the guests of the event before themselves in almost every situation. This means that unless given permission they simply cannot run off into the crowd to look at something interesting. It can be tiring sometimes.. being so close together during an event, but it leads to a greater art and awareness in the long run I suspect.
On the way back Hachidori and I kept getting stopped for photos and questions so we sent Hachizaru on with the younger ones so they could get to bed at some semblance of a respectable hour. Just after crossing the old bridge a couple called to us to stop! As we turned they told us how they had been chasing us since the top of the town (I must have learnt to walk quite quickly in my okobo then 😉 ) We had a lovely chat and interview with them.. they talked, prefering to ask us questions rather than take a photo, and confessed that they had been staying in Totnes for a week and had heard about us on the first day they arrived! Coming from Scotland as tourists they had so hoped to see the Totnes Geisha before they left. They were lucky that we manifested on their last night in the town ^.^ That people are finding us so inspiring.. inspires me too 😀