Earlier in the week, I attended a cultural discussion by Geisha Yoneyu-san, a very knowledgeable geisha, and after her always fascinating discussion she opened for questions. One of the questions was, are there any male geisha in real life? I have heard this question before and it sounded like and oxymoron to me, but the fact is, there are a small number of male geisha. I assume the male geisha are transvestites or some such thing, but for all practical purposes, the world of the geisha revolves around a world of women.
At the center of the world of my okiya and our hanamachi is performing. And the performing arts include geisha shows with specific themes that require elaborate kimonos, appropriate music and dance, plus the telling of stories that are in context with the theme. Last night, I was in a show directed by my Onesan and the theme was winter and snow. I especially enjoyed this performance because all of our performers wore the same kimono with elegant white fur collars, but also becasue I was more relaxed now that I have one show under my belt. Following is a photo from the show (that’s me in the center).
The shows at Burning Life are small because of the limited space available, but both Sheridan and Aynnie came to watch the performance. Hugzzz to both of them. Sheri even wore a kimono which wasn’t a surprise because one of the things that helped form our friendship and hold it together was our mutual interest in Japanese culuture.
One other thing I want to mention here is that, in becoming an SL geisha, the Yoshiwara Okiya requires us to attend classes and do study. And during this past week I spent time in our library studying, in preparation to write my paper on Japanese culture. I’m really glad that our okiya has an emphasis on cultural learning. Following is a photo I took while studying.