Thursday, 16 July 2015 05:10

The Maiko

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Additional Info

  • Country: Japan
  • City: Kyoto
  • Year: 2013
  • Author: Luca Fecarotta

In ancient Japanese tradition the "Maiko" are the helpers of the most famous Geisha, apprentice. The Maiko must sing, dance and play the shamisen (traditional Japanese instrument), as well as learn to speak the dialect of Kyoto (particularly different from the normal Japanese ... for example: THANK Arigatou in Japanese is said, in dialect Kyo-Kotoba, OKINI).

These girls, usually aged between 15-20 years old, are dressed in kimonos and, in the evening, painted of white-faced. In fact The make up of the Maiko is traditionally very heavy and also extremely complex to execute. Usually on the make up they leave a neutral line that surrounds the entire hairline, giving the effect of wearing a mask. On the back of the neck instead leave two lines in "V" neutral, that is considered sensual. On special occasions (such as when she becomes a Geisha) they draw three lines instead. As time passes and she get close to become a Geisha, this make up becomes lighter.

Even after three years that a woman has become Geisha, may decide to lighten so much make-up almost to make it disappear from the face. The meaning is that the geisha shows its beauty not so much in appearance, but especially in the inner, which manifests itself in an absolute mastery of the various artistic disciplines.
Nowadays it is more difficult to meet them, but in cities like Kyoto, these traditions endure more.
This Japanese girl is a friend of mine that has been paid to impersonate this charming character .. I have encountered two real street, with no painted face because still day time, but were not available to any photograph.

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