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Sunday, 24 April 2011

The April in Kyoto Geisha Show

The magnificent geisha of the Nakanoshima okiya performed at the Hosoi Mura Kabuki Theater on Thursday, April 21st. Kansai's kabuki theater is located in the heart of the Miagawacho hanamachi (flower town) and was a perfect venue for a show paying homage to Kyoto during it's glorious Springtime revitalization.

April is the time of the cherry blossoms and bright white & pink skies. And Kyoto is a place where the history of the geiko lives within the enchanting buildings and traditions. April is a time for picnics, music, dance, stories and poetry and this is what the Nakanoshima performers gave to the audience. Following are a few scenes from the show:

Act 2: geiko Toshiha Magic and maiko Starmoon Yakubu performed a scene composed from a famous willow tale.

Act 3: two lovely geiko, Josiane Llewellyn and okaasan Miyako Akina perform a scene about the sakura blossom.

Geiko Masumi Manamiko narrated the show and at the beginning of Act 3 she told of, "the Kyo Odori or Kyoto dance, that is performed by maiko & geiko of the Miyagawacho district." She explained how it, "...depicts famous places and things in Kyoto throughout the seasons." Also explaining, "this very original odori enjoys great popularity." With that, she called for a famous kouta from this odori.

Gieko Toshiha began, "Dear patrons, our next performance will be the 'Miyagawa Ondo', a special song specific to the geiko and maiko of Miyagawacho. It is a fast paced, lively song, and we hope you enjoy it! Ookini san doshita!"

Act: 4, The final act included the shows' full company, dancing while Geiko Toshiha delivered the "Miyagawa Ondo"

The Nakanoshimi Okiya is one of the treasures of Hosoi Mura. They perform throughout the week at the ochaya (tea house) on several days a week, but their full stage performances are more rare. The performers in the event were:

Masumi Manamiko
Toshiha Magic
okaasan Miyako Akina
Josiane Llewellyn

Starmoon Yakubu
Yordie Sands

For those who aren't familiar with the Nakanoshima Okiya, it is at the heart of the Hosoi Ichiba roleplay experience. During the week, the geiko and apprentice geiko open the ochaya (tea house), located within the walls of the okiya, and serve visitors in the style of a real okiya. It is a cultural experience and it is open to the public.

To learn about the ochaya's events while inworld, search for and join the Nakanoshima Ochaya group or join the Hosoi Mura Community for notices about all activities in the community. Also, for those interested in becoming geisha, the okiya does accept apprentices for training from time to time, so for more information contact okaasan (mother) Miyako Akina.

by Yordie Sands

(A personal note, it was my honor to have performed with the ladies of the okiya and I wish to thank them.)

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