- JAPAN IN FOCUS
Schoolgirls experience maiko culture in Yamagata event
14:40 JST, June 14, 2022
YAMAGATA — High school students in maiko costumes strolled through the center of Yamagata City on May 21 in an event that let them try on the attire of apprentice geisha.
Geisha culture in Yamagata began after the Meiji Restoration in the 19th century when the last feudal retainer of the domain established a ryotei Japanese-style restaurant. It was highly praised by writers, artists and important figures in the political and business world. Over time, however, the number of ryotei and geisha gradually diminished, and the culture faced a crisis of survival.
The Yamagata traditional performing arts promotion group, which trains maiko, started the event in 2020 for high school students in the prefecture to raise interest in the traditional culture. Three participants from the city joined the event on that day.
Getting dressed up and applying white makeup, the three put on wigs that weigh about 1 kilogram, received instruction in maiko behavior — such as not showing their teeth when smiling — and then walked around the city. They took pictures with passersby.
“I had a great time,” said Mai Nishida, a second-year student at Yamagata Nishi High School who is interested in traditional Japanese culture and was looking forward to the makeover. “My interest in maiko grew more through the event.”
Her mother, Yuko, 57, took many photos of her daughter as they went on their walk.
“She’s so beautiful. It became a good memory for my family,” Yuko said.
"FEATURES" POPULAR ARTICLE
Kyoto Train Offers Passengers Journey Wrapped in Autumn Colors via Maple Tree Tunnel
Autumn in Full Swing in Kyoto
Korea Craze in Japan Unlikely to End Anytime Soon; Shin-Okubo is a Hub of Korean Pop Culture, Food
Kintetsu Dept Store, Fujiya Open New Pekolicious Sweets Shop in Osaka
Nagasaki: Mom, Young Daughter Help Keep Mask-changing Chinese Art Alive
JN ACCESS RANKING
- BOJ Ueda: Japan Increasingly Likely to Hit Inflation Target
- Japan April-Sept. Current Account Surplus Hits Record High
- Food, Beverage Price Hikes Show Signs of Easing; Fuel Prices, Consumer Frugality Slowing Down Price Rises
- Japan 2023 Food Exports Reach 1 Tril. Yen at Record Pace
- 69.7 Bil. Yen in COVID-19 Loans to Small Businesses Uncollectible