Tag Archives: maiko

This festival is held in honor for the famous Gion Kouta or Ballad of Gion song from the film “Gion Kouta Ehigasa” and was created by Mikihiko Nagata in the Yoshiuta ochaya of Gion Kobu. This year’s maiko representatives were from Kamishichiken, the first-year Ichitaka and the more senior Umechie. The Ookini Zaidan president, kabukai presidents from the five hanamachi and the Yoshiuta ochaya okaa-san were also present to pay tribute.

Ichitaka and Umechie recited some of the lyrics of the Gion Kouta and then the participants offered flowers to the memorial stone where the lyrics of the song were etched. Finally, they gave away Gion Kouta lyric pamphlets as souvenirs.


Shikomi are trainees aspiring to be maiko or apprentice geiko. They are usually 16 years old or junior high school graduate when they start their training in an okiya which lasts for about a year. They do household chores and also attend lessons for dance (mai), singing, shamisen, and other traditional instruments. If they are successful, they will be able to debut as maiko and will be assigned to a geiko who will act as their official onee-san (older sister).

These young ladies are shikomi, probably from the Kawayoshi okiya in Miyagawa-cho. They were very kind to pose for a picture. I am so much rooting for them. Go girls!