Summary of 2018—what the year of the dog means for the kagai?

Rainy Yasaka Jinja, phot. Geishakai

Last year was rough. 2018 is marked with tragedies, sorrow, happiness, surprises, big decisions, and even bigger disappointments. Kyoto is still standing strong, though, despite the fact that a kanji for “disaster” is haunting us from the head temple of Kiyomizu complex. Indeed—what I like the most about Kyoto’s culture is its peaceful stability against all odds. But, as this culture greatly relies on weather conditions, sometimes the sacred customs need to be adjusted slightly. For me, personally, the kanji describing last year is “change” and “humbleness”. These two words are imminently related.

(more…)

Discovering Humanity of Geisha—Why It’s So Crucially Important?

Maiko Ichisumi on the day of her official debut, photographed by Hideki Ishibashi for 55maiko.net

We, as a media audience, have certainly witnessed quite a few important social issues within the past year. Some of them led to an unnecessary extreme, yet they all raised an important question—how to treat women, minorities, and traditional culture possibly in the most respectful way?

(more…)