Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Secrets of the Apprentice Geisha TV Show

Maiko, apprentice geisha, are mysterious even to many Japanese, and on this variety show, they go through a list of things viewers might be surprised to learn about maiko.

Maiko Kanoyumi is the guest. Here's a quick rundown of what they talk about!

Included are the following "secrets":

-They can't use their cell phones in front of people.

-They wear kimono everyday.

-They don't wash their hair for a week (due to it having to be set in the traditional style with camellia oil, etc.).

-They have lessons everyday.

-They are not supposed to talk when walking down a street (to add to their elegant personas, I believe).

-They are not supposed to enter any "low-brow" places like convenience stores, Starbucks, or McDonald's.

-For one month they wear the same hairpin decorations (kanzashi). (The reason for this is the kanzashi reflect the seasonal flowers or motifs of each month.)

-For one month they wear the same formal kimono when they dress up. (Same reason as the kanzashi.)

-They wear tall wooden "okobo" clogs.

-They call male guests "onii-san" (older brother) and female guests "onee-san" (older sister). I've read this is to respect their privacy at parties, where things can easily be overheard in other rooms.

At the end there's a funny bit where one man in the host audience asks Kanoyumi about the hair washing, and what day in the 7 days it is. She says it's been three days since she's washed her hair, and he asks the old man next to her to smell her hair.

He pronounces it "good-smelling." The maiko and the guy in front (I'm assuming a sumo wrestler) say they do the same sort of hair styling, so the guy asks the old man to smell his hair too! He agrees that it's the same good smell. :)

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