Memoirs Dances of a Geisha

April 4, 2008 at 10:38 am Leave a comment

Last year, Himawari wrote about springtime in Japan, which is marked by cherry blossom festivals or hanami. For the entire month of April, you can also enjoy the Cherry Blossom Dance, or Miyako Odori (sometimes known as “Dances of Spring”). Performances take place four times a day for an hour each at the Kaburenjo Theater in Kyoto’s entertainment district of Gion. Geiko (the Kyoto dialect of Geisha) and Maiko (apprentice Geisha) both join in on the colorful and beautiful dances. In fact, Mai means “dance” and Ko means “child” so Maiko literally translates to “dancing child / girl.”


The annual performances first began in 1872 as an attempt to promote industry, business and status in Kyoto after Tokyo (then called Edo) grabbed the spotlight by becoming the new capital of Japan in 1869. Today, visitors to Kaburenjo Theater are encouraged to visit the surrounding gardens, partake in a shortened tea ceremony and eat manju cake. Who needs Broadway with that kind of service? Check out the exquisite costumes, scenery, fan work and dancing below:

Sarah S.

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Entry filed under: Japanese Beauty, Japanese Culture. Tags: , , .

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April 2008