Sunday, February 12, 2017

Geisha

Do you really know about Geisha?
Geisha, Sumo wrestler, and Oiran were the THREE admired occupation as super stars in Edo period(1600-1868)

Geisha(芸(talented)(person)) is a traditional Japanese female entertainers who is trained to perform various arts such as classical music, traditional dance, games, wise and political conversation. She is multi-talented, and is not easy woman who settle for less than her supreme talent. Geisha was a super star as well as Sumo wrestler and Oiran before WW1. Geisha is not a prostitute. Geisha is beautiful from inside out with such education, training, commitment. Geisha shows strength and grace.

Sumo(相撲) is a traditional Japanese wrestling and national sport. It carries rituals with religious background such as the symbolic purification of the salt. Only men can become Sumo wrestlers. Sumo wrestlers live in the same home(sumobeya) and eat, train and sleep every day. Sumo lives are possibly the most rigidly regimented and disciplined of any athletes in the world. Sumo wrestlers were skinny long ago. But thank to CHANKO NABE, the delicious hotpot with meat, veggies, noodles and anything your like to be in it helps them gain weight. Not this alone make them fat, but the routine of exercise on an empty stomach and sleep after eating to help turn the calories they consume into fat.  Unfortunately this increase in weight means that modern sumo wrestlers' life expectancy is more than ten years shorter than that of the average Japanese male. (Sounds familiar? If you eat a lot after exercise and rest, you will be fat and your life expectancy becomes 10 years shorter than fit ones. And your saved 401K, IRA, and social security will be unused because you will be gone soon... as government calculated.)

Oiran(花魁) is a highest class of "woman of pleasure" or prostitute just like Cleopatra during Edo period(1600-1868). She has to be educated with same range of skills as Geisha and more. She has learn ikebana(flower arrangement), calligraphy, koto, shakuhachi, tsuzumi(hard drum), and shamisen. She also must be able to read, write, and converse well with wit and elegance. High status Oiran is extremely pricey. An evening with Oiran is well beyond monthly wage of highly paid occupation or annual salary of a regular job. Today, Oiran who entertains as a Geisha no longer provide sex.

Geisha has Obi(belt nut) in the back.

Oiran style has Obi(belt nut) in the front.

As I grew up... I wore kimono often in Japan.
I love wearing kimono. I feel it fits me. Yes!! All above pictures are myself. I will wear more in the future as many as I could, too.
 
(Left: mother, Right: me)
 
This Furisode(way of wearing kimono) was almost same price as Honda civic. My father asked me to choose from a gift of car or handmade expensive one of kind kimono for adult day ceremony and life. I chose kimono without hesitation. Today, this kimono is gone by the storm of my mother's death and things disappeared from her home...
 
This is also Furisode. I wanted to wear RED, but store staffs told me to wear Black kimono because not many can wear Black kimono and not overwhelmed by kimono. They said someone who can wear Black Furisode must be strong in attitude/aura/existence. They forced me to wear this. And... I loved Black Furisode Kimono!
Furisode are the most formal style of kimono worn by unmarried women in Japan. The furisode is made of very fine, brightly colored silk, and is commonly rented or bought by parents for their daughters to wear when celebrating Coming of Age Day the year they turn 20.

<Before>
<After>
and more different style of kimono...
Ohime-sama(princess) kimono

Jyunihitoe(十二単: 12 layers as one)
a layered kimono worn by a Japanese court lady on a ceremonial occasion. It's 12 layers of kimono. After I wore 12 layers, I could not vary walk by myself. The last layer was heaviest. I felt like dragging beddings.

I wore special contact lens to make eyes look dolly and big for this Before and After photo. It took almost 90 minutes to have an assistant to put make up, hair and Oiran kimono. The wig and kimono were heavy, but after wearing it for 20 minutes, I got used to it. Loved it.
Finally I could wear RED kimono(Oiran style though...)!!
Oiran style wearing kimono shows more neck area.