(click the photos to be taken to their source)
She is a 17-yr-old maiko from the Tomikiku okiya in the Gion Higashi district of Kyoto. In an effort to boost patronage and support for the karyukai, the Tomikiku teahouse is open to the public — most places have an invitation-only rule, so you cannot just show up and expect to be let in. Apparently the girls of the Tomikiku are known for their ability to speak English: the okamisan studied in England, where her mother’s cousin works as a Nihon-buyo teacher in London! So, wow, these ladies must be a big hit with both foreign and Japanese tourists.
Being interested in kimono and traditional music and dance, after graduating middle school, Tomitae moved from Hyougo prefecture to Kyoto to become a maiko. She debuted on October 11, 2011, and says that the maiko life is more than she ever dreamed. She acknowledges that here is a lot of uncertainty in any decision in life, and she considered going on to higher education, but protecting the history of geiko is what Tomitae-san is confident that she wants to do ^-^ She dances and plays the koto, which is a somewhat unusual instrument choice for a maiko.
It’s great to see a maiko so well adjusted and happy in this demanding profession. She is a strong and graceful girl, and I have a lot of confidence that she will stay on to become a very successful geiko.
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