Thursday, 31 December 2009

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Guests coming for New Year...

Might not get much time for SL over the next few days as 4 guests arrive tomorrow...

Sunday, 27 December 2009

New kimono

Bashed out a yellow kimono as am a bit short of yellow ones. Found a texture HP chan gave me called "Groth", a sort of oranagy and lemony melange...

Saturday, 26 December 2009

10 people fishing in the end...

HP chan won the last few contests, super fishing. Yay, I picked up 15 fishing trophies. (6 gold, 5 silver, and 4 bronze...)

Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas to all

Hope you all get a wonderful break during the festive season. Okaasan dropped in to say hello while a few of us were fishing...

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Fishing for fun

A few turned up for fishing. Picture is Larry san and HP chan in action.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Shigyoshiki weekend

As part of the new year items, Little Yoshiwara okiya will be having our own Shigyoshiki.

Shigyoshiki is an annual traditional opening ceremony in Kyoto Geisha Hanamachi, marking the start of another year. Geiko and Maiko gather at their hanamachi theatre wearing formal black kimono and renew their vows for the new year. This is one of the few occasions when all of them are gathered together and presents a rare photo opportunity!

Geisha Yoneyu is asking for the whole okiya to vote on 2 items:
Best Geisha
Best all round member of the okiya (maiko or geisha or okasan)
We all have to vote by the 1st of the new year.

Akemi chan back

Akemi chan popped up on the second hanamachi web site. Not seen her for many months...

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Too busy!

Had a really busy day so no chance to play with Lezlie...

Monday, 21 December 2009

Made a winter kimono

I fiddled with one of my own kimono yesterday to put on a snow man texture. Very wintery...

Sunday, 20 December 2009

Shows over for the year...

Transport was the final theme and a very informative one it was. Small crowd and a very generous tip from Debra san, the Blue Lotus Lounge owner...

Saturday, 19 December 2009

Yay, Fallnangel prize

Won a dusty roses kimono from the What's in the box game at FallnAngel...

Friday, 18 December 2009

Directing again

We seem to be short of directors these days. I've stepped up for the show on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Kimono will be green and the theme is transport. I'm all set in a bright green kimono, my own made green geta, and green hair! The 3 from our previous show all signed up again. Thank you Yoneyu, Lian, and Ichumaru. I've put out a notice to the rest of the group for a performer/musician. No takers yet. I've done a backup story just in case... Yoneyu has got the tips jars out already so we're all systems go, 24 hours early.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Fantastic food show

Mouthwatering. The only word for it. Ichimaru's debut show as director was a huge success. Everyone left feeling hungry. I was on first and crashed near the end. Got back on as Ichimaru had started to copy and paste my text. The narrator carried on where it left off which was good news. I talked about food in the Heian period and wore my extravagant Heian kimono... We also lost our music for a while due to another crash. A reasonable sized crowd and okaasan was there to support us.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

All systems go

Am wearing my Heian kimono in the show today as I talk about food in the Heian period.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Ichimaru directs her first show tomorrow

We're all excited here for Ichimaru's debut directing performance...

Monday, 14 December 2009

Larry san dropped in for a chat

Patron Larry san dropped in for a chat. Ichimaru is directing her first show on Wednesday. Theme is food. I've bashed out a talk on the Heian period.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Ronin show

Our ronin show went well, though a low crowd. Ichimaru is sick so our backup, Jamins chan, stepped in...

Saturday, 12 December 2009

1$L Christms kimono from Sweet Strawberry

A very well made kimono for just 1$L at this landmark *:Sweet Strawberry:* in Amemura, Amemura (179, 6, 21). It's no modify and no transfer so can't see how it's made. There's also a yellow rose kimono reduced from 698$L to just 98$L. We had yellow kimono at a show the other day and they are quite rare, needless to say I snapped this little beauty up. Watch out for it at the next show with yellow kimono. Tonight I'm in Yoneyu's show about Ronin and Samarai. I have a harrowing tale to tell linked closely to the 47 ronin story...

Friday, 11 December 2009

Shop full!

Our little Little Yoshiwara shop was full today. Everyone chatting and no one buying!! Good for the traffic at the sim.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

I stepped in to direct

Directorless! No one seemed up for the show so I rustled some troops together, my 2 little sisters as usual and Hiroko. Purple kimono, with an open theme. I had to play the koto. We drew a largish crowd, only 1 free cushion at one point in the proceedings. Yay us... I crashed just as I'd pasted in Ichimaru's introduction... Was all running smoothly when I returned, well done girls. That's director slots in 8 days, and Yoneyu is doing lots as well...

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Fishing contest needed

Okaasan asked for a fishing contest. A 1 or 2 hour job at the weekend...

Monday, 7 December 2009

Yay, Ichimaru does her misedashi

Completed! Ichimaru has finished her first solo performance as a maiko. Yoneyu was mist, hehe...

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Stunning show location

Spectacular! The private show was a real success. 5 performers, 2playing shamisen and 3 performers. Ichimaru was first up followed by me then Yoneyu. Yoneyu danced with a parasol! We did single dances during our stories. I told about the history of geisha. Here are the words:

Just over one year ago geisha Yoneyu and me performed our erikae,marking our promotion to geisha rank.
Today I’ll give a brief history of “Geisha”.
Geisha come out of the "floating world" the era of the pleasure quarters,
giving rise to today's "flower and willow world" the world of the Geisha.
The origin of the pleasure quarters is attributed to Saburoemon Hara
who in 1589 asked for, and was granted,
license to build a brothel by his ruling warlord Hideyoshi Toyotomi.
This was placed not far from the Imperial Palace in Kyoto
and was called the Yanagimachi or Willow Town.
High class courtesans were used to tempt the gentlemen of Kyoto,
however objections were made due to its vicinity to the palace
and so it was moved to the now infamous Shimabara.
The laws of prostitution at the time kept such activities to walled in isolated pleasure quarters,
islands of debauchery where a man might be entertained for the evening at a cost,
this meant the culture of the quarters was very insular, if not stagnant.
The courtesans of Shimabara while otherworldly and very sophisticated
were none the less "available for the night" at ludicrous prices for those who could afford them.
There were several ranks of Shimabara ladies:
the highest were the Tayu,
followed by the Koshi and Sancha
and at the top of the social hierarchy were the Hashi.
The Tayu were said to be extremely extravagant
and would often hold impromptu fashion parades by flaunting their sumptous clothing in front of the other courtesans,
and in doing so specify a natural hierarchy in the pleasure quarter.
Like so many aspects of Japanese culture the courtesans became highly ritualised
with strict etiquette ruling who could associate with the ladies of the pleasure quarters.
This made way for a new market niche,
entertainers outside the pleasure quarters could legally entertain a man
in a less intimate manner freely and without the rules that government the ways of the Tayu.
Unlicensed pleasure quarters sprang up all over Japan,
the appeal of the free thinking unruly women grew rapidly.
Many of these areas were near to Shinto shrines
and offered tea and entertainment to pilgrims,
lending the name Ochaya (or tea house) to the establishments
at which these girls entertained,
though liquor was quick to overtake tea on the menu.
The Odoroki or dancing girls were very popular in these areas for entertainment,
though as some of the girls grew older it became inappropriate to take this name
and so called themselves Geisha after the male Geisha of the pleasure quarters
who would entertain men at their banquets before they would retire for the night with the courtesans.
These male Geisha, or Taikomochi, may have been the first
but they were soon superseded by the popularity of the female Geisha.
The ruling lords at the time saw the trends changing
and began to ensure that teahouses were licensed
much as the pleasure quarters had been.
The laws governing Geisha controlled both the services they were allowed to offer
and also the way they dressed,
in this way it would hope that they would not serve as a threat to the courtesans
being neither able to engage in prostitution
nor wear the highly decorative clothing of the Tayu.
This gives rise to the simplistic kimono and [relatively] simple hairstyles of the Geisha:
the point is understated elegance rather than extravagance.
Licensed Geisha districts grew first in Gion
and then spread to other Hanamachi throughout Japan.
The Tayu soon seemed to lose their popularity
and today there are no full time Tayu in existence,
though a handful of women keep up the tradition by playing out the role in daylight hours for exhibitions.
From then on the Geisha were to be the epitomy of high fashion,
usually the forerunners of new trends and "Iki" habits.
In turn they too became ritualised and as the Geisha dwindle in number
they have become as unreachable to the average man
as the Tayu were in the pleasure quarter era.
As Western culture has taken hold of Japan
the Geisha are no longer the denizens of high fashion but the holders of a traditional culture.
One of the other major changes to the lives of the Geisha came about after World War II.
The new laws governing prostitution and entertaining girls
meant that girls could no longer be sold into the Geisha life by their families,
nor could a Maiko's virginity be bought and sold any longer,
removing the long standing Mizuage rite of passage.
Shimabara was closed in 1958, when prostitution was outlawed in Japan.
Today the Geisha life is a very different one,
girls become Geisha of their own free will,
and often only stay long enough to get married,
much as any other profession in Japan.
The Geisha population is slowly dying out
and many of the Hanamachi have disappeared in recent times.
There are talks of regulating the Geisha world,
however whether this will ever occur is uncertain.
The stigma of advertising for girls to join the profession has meant that the numbers do not grow,
and there is a social understanding that while it may be very elegant to visit a Geisha
it is not likely that one would wish their own daughter to become one.
Perhaps the Geisha will become another packaged tourist attraction
but more likely, as the Tayu became the Geisha,
the Geisha will evolve into something more fitting to contemporary Japan.
And as you see here, the introduction of virtual worlds
has given the opportunity for non-Japanese to “live” in the geisha world.
Thank you for enjoying our own geisha journey together…

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Blue lotus show

Background pictures were terrific. Yoneyu directed with the theme of children. I did the young Buddha story. We were running a bit early so I slipped in the ugly crow story at the end to make the show nearer the one hour mark... HP chan, now ichimaru, was first up.

2 shows to do in a couple of hours!

First up is our now standard Saturday show at the Blue Lotus lounge hosted by Debra Horten. Then it's off to a new venue for a show with a difference. A private show organized by geisha Yoneyu. What will we have in store? Then after the show it's horse racing at Little Yoshiwara, sadly too late for me as I'll have to dive off to bed once the second show finishes.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Yay, terrific show

Background fantastic! Found by Yoneyu on Japanese Flickr really set off the stage. My show started at spot on 2:30 p.m. and finished 58 minutes later. Some excellent stories. Astui chan was musician and crashed half way through, blame BT. I reset Yoneyu's tip jar by left clicking instead of right clicking to pay her a tip, doh... Some nice tips. Now we get ready for a private show tonight for one of Yoneyu's friends. I get to go to bed late as I'm off to HQ tomorrow to hand in my acceptance for early retirement, 10 years too early but hey,"a bird in the hand" and all that. Can't believe I'll be a pensioner in March 2010.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

I'm directing a show tonight, gulp

At very short notice I took on the show for tonight. Have 2 performers so far, with me makes 3. Just need to rustle up a musician, maybe Atsui chan will do at a pinch. There should be a couple of new girls watching so they can get on the show circuit, starting Saturday...

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Yoneyu directs a show on Saturday

I've signaled an interest in this show that has a theme of children. There are a couple of new girls that will need to watch. There's also a private show on Thursday but not sure what time that one is...