Maiko Katsumomo and I, February 2019

Hello, I’m Mary (or Mari in Japan); nice to meet you! I was born in Poland, and I’ve been studying the geisha world for over 15 years. I moved to Kyoto at the age of 26. I worked with geiko and maiko daily as an interpreter and culture specialist at a former teahouse located on the famous Hanamikoji street. Currently, I am an assistant professor at a university in Fukuoka.

I started Geishakai on Tumblr back in 2011. I was a bit frustrated that, for the tourists, geiko and maiko were only considered as the pretty faces and mysterious creatures from a fairytale. I really wanted to fight the myths and connect their faces with particular names. It’s still quite important for me—every geisha has an interesting personality and personal story to share. After all, they’re just ordinary girls, like all of us.

I was very surprised when the number of international Geishakai followers surpassed 30,000. I then decided to move the blog to an independent server and started writing longer articles. And I enjoy writing very much!

Besides geiko and maiko, I focus on culture, social issues, history, science, and art.

Support my project on Patreon: