Tag Archives: image

The Maiko Taneju of Miyagawa-cho

The maiko Taneju of Miyagawa-cho in June 2006

Before I get to today’s photo, is anyone familiar with the site ink361.com? I just came across a Facebook page with a link to one of my photographs there, and of course neither the Facebook page nor ink361 mentions my name at all.

Even more troubling, ink361 seems to be a service for printing photos, so ink361 users might be selling my images there. One of my photographs I saw there (Tanewaka dancing in Kyo Odori) had my logo watermarked on it when I uploaded it to this blog, but the person on ink 361 has cropped the watermark out. That is usually a sign of malicious intent.

If anyone has any insight, I’d appreciate it if you could let me know.

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Mikoshi Arai at Gion Matsuri

Mikoshi Arai is held on July 10 every year as part of Gion Matsuri in Kyoto

Mikoshi Arai is another lesser-known event of Gion Matsuri that is well worth attending. It is held every July 10, and the three portable shrines that play an important role in the festival’s ceremonies are purified by a Shinto priest. Men carry the shrines and these burning logs of bamboo from Yasaka Shrine to Shijo Bridge and back.

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Miyako Odori Coming Soon to Kyoto

The maiko Makiko of Gion Kobu dancing in Miyako Odori, the Cherry Blossom Dance held every April in Kyoto.

Although it’s unusually cold in Kyoto at the moment, spring and Miyako Odori are just around the corner. Miyako Odori, the largest and most famous dance performance of geisha and maiko, is held every year at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo in Gion Kobu in Kyoto from April 1 – 30. There are four shows daily, at 12:30 p.m., 2:o0 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 4:50 p.m. This photo of the maiko Makiko was taken at the 2007 Miyako Odori, when I had special permission to photograph the dances for my book Geisha & Maiko of Kyoto: Beauty, Art, & Dance (2009).

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Yama Boko at Gion Matsuri

Yama Boko, the grand procession of floats and main event of Gion Matsuri, is held on July 17 every year. The first Hoko float of the parade holds the Celestial Child (Chigo in Japanese), and the second, third and fourth Hoko floats have figurines instead of a real child. This photo is a close up of the figurine on the second float.

The Hoko floats are the larger two-story floats in the procession. They are so big they need to be pulled by large groups of men, anywhere from 15 – 50. The Yama floats are smaller (though still incredibly heavy) and are actually carried on the shoulders of the men from whatever district of Kyoto the float is from.

For any photographers interested in photographing Yama Boko, I recommend a lens of at least 200mm and preferably 300 mm. This photo was taken in 2008 with a Nikon 70 – 200mm VR1 on a Fuji S5 Pro. With the 1.5x crop factor and the lens at 200mm, I had just enough reach for a photo like this one.

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