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Meet Geiko and Maiko from Miyagawa-chō, one of the five famous geisha districts or kagai (lit. ‘flower town’) of Kyoto, at Japan House London.

Geiko (also known as Geisha) are accomplished female professional entertainers who carry out centuries-old traditions of dance, song and playing the shamisen or other Japanese instruments. Young women undergoing an appprenticeship to become Geiko are called Maiko.

Geiko, Yoshika, and Maiko, Kikusana, perform two signature dances from the Kyoto Geiko and Maiko repertoire which express the city’s refined beauty and sophisticated culture: Gion Kōta (Song of Gion)* and Kyō no Shiki (Four Seasons of Kyoto).

In conversation with Japan House, they introduce various aspects of their characteristic clothing, and intense formal training to become Geiko.

*A work by Anno Mitsumasa, 'Gion Matsuri' appears in the current Japan House London exhibition, Anno's Journey: The World of Anno Mitsumasa

Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2020 at Japan House London