Japan from the inside out

The apprentice geisha

Posted by ampontan on Thursday, November 22, 2007

IF YOU’VE NEVER SEEN an apprentice geisha perform, this is your chance.

KNB-TV in Toyama City, Toyama Prefecture (which has a 70% chance of snow tomorrow) broadcast a 59-second report on a maiko, an apprentice geisha in Kyoto, returning to her former nursery school in the city of Kurobe to perform for the children.

If you have RealPlayer, you can access the clip here.

Following is a quick translation of the newscaster’s report:

“A Kyoto maiko originally from Kurobe visited her former nursery school on the 21st and performed a graceful dance for the children.

“The visitor to the Ishida Nursery School in Kurobe was the Kyoto maiko Miharu (17), whose original name was Yurina Jodo.

“Miharu attended the Ishida Nursery School, and on the 21st she performed the dances Kyo no Shiki (The Four Seasons of the Capital [Kyoto]) and Gion Ko’uta (Gion Song) for the students and local residents.

“Miharu wanted to become a maiko in her primary school days. After being graduated from junior high school, she trained in Kyoto and debuted as a maiko in October 2005.

“The children were thrilled to see an authentic maiko, and they were captivated by her charming and graceful dances.”

Partway through the broadcast, there is a shot of three girls saying “kawaii” simultaneously. That’s the word for cute.

This should play if you have RealPlayer. If there are a lot of problems, let me know and I’ll see if I can figure something out.

3 Responses to “The apprentice geisha”

  1. bender said

    Partway through the broadcast, there is a shot of three girls saying “kawaii” simultaneously. That’s the word for cute.

    Do you think they were made to say it? They sounded pretty brainless.

  2. ampontan said

    Bender: I think everything on television in the US and in Japan is staged, to an extent, except sporting events. (And then there’s yaocho in sumo.)

    I sometimes watch the last half of Shoten with the rakugo comics and the zabuton routine. I enjoy it, and it’s educational, but it seems pretty clear that they all get the questions beforehand.

    I mentioned this in passing to a very intelligent Japanese guy I’ve known for a long time, and he said, no, no, they’re professionals, they come up with that off the top of their head.

    His wife agreed with me, however.

  3. bender said

    I’ve always had my doubts on the last part of Shoten (Ogiri), too.

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