"Congratulations" to Welcome New Year"Kotohajime" in Kyoto Geisha Districts13 December 2014 - Local topics
On December 13, "Kotohajime," or an event to start preparing for New Year's Day in the geisha districts and among old-established families in Kyoto, took place in Kyoto City. In Gion-machi, "Geiko" and "Maiko," or geisha and apprentice geisha, visited their instructors in performing arts and "Ochaya," or tea houses where guests are entertained by geisha, with the greeting to celebrate the coming new year "Omedetosandosu."
In the practice room at the house of Yachiyo Inoue, the head of the Inoue School of Kyoto dancing, in Higashiyama Ward, 78 "Kagami-mochi," or rice cakes offered to deities, were arranged on the tiered stand, already creating a New Year's atmosphere. Those Kagami-mochi were given by the apprentices.
From a little past 10:00 a.m., apprenticed Geiko and Maiko came one after another for greetings. Ms. Inoue gave feedback and encouragement one at a time, while showing consideration for their physical condition and handing them a dancer's fan with expectations. Katsue, a 19-year-old Maiko, said, "Next year also I would like to devote myself to practicing dance even more than this year."
The Kagami-mochi that decorated the house were presented as a December gift to three foster homes in the city through the Kyoto Shimbun Newspaper Social Welfare Foundation.(translated by Galileo, Inc.)