Friday, April 13, 2012

Piecing together a maiko hikizuri's history.

I recently posted a photo of an unnamed maiko-san wearing the first maiko hikizuri I ever bought.

From this book Here.
I think the book was published in 1978 so I then had a look at my Miyako odori programmes around that time and came up with a few surprising results.
From the Miyako odori program for 1963 Here:
With all the maiko portraits I used for this you can see the crane motif on her left shoulder, that is how I am identifying them as my hikizuri, I could very be wrong about all of this.
From the 1970 Miyako odori program:

From 1975 Miyako odori program:

From the 1982 Miyako odori program:
So there we go, four different maiko supposedly wearing my hikizuri.
Very curious. Senko and Teruji really make this a puzzle, because their names aren't similar, however I feel confident saying Mameharu and Mameryo were sisters because they have the same "Mame" in their names. 
I know that isn't always the case but mostly its how it goes.
Mameryo also wore this hiki here:
I also found some other "Mame" girls possibly wearing this hiki:

Possibly looks like the same hikizuri? If it is then there are another two maiko-san that are possibly sisters.
Mamehiro seems to be the only one still working, however what I can find about her says that she's affiliated with the Niben yakata in Gion, I don't know if that is the yakata that she was a maiko in as Niben has a Hanabishi mon and as a maiko she is clearly wearing a kikyo mon.
More photos of Mamehiro as a maiko:

From Here. If anyone could help translate the text above that would be very helpful :)

If the portrait of Senko from 1963 is my hikizuri that would put the age of the hikizuri at 49 years of age, at least. 
So if this hikizuri was in use for about 20 years between 1963 and 1982 possibly longer but I haven't anymore evidence just yet.
Some time between mid 1980's and 2010 the hikizuri was sold/given away/somehow made its way to a henshin studio in Kamishichiken: Katsufumi
I seem to have lost links to the original pages that contain the following photos, if you know them please let me know and I shall link it up...
Here  is a random Japanese blog with a henshin wearing this hikizuri, the date of the blog entry is January this year but unless they stole it from my mum's house (!) its an old photo ;)
What an interesting. busy life its had. There are a few yakata in Gion it might have belonged to, I won't know for certain though until I get more information.
If anyone knows what okiya Mamehiro belonged to as a maiko that would be very valuable information!


~Kimichisai~ said...

I love that hikizuri of yours!
I was wondering: could that be, that there are twins of your hikizuri? I think sometimes maiko and geiko have twin hikis. If not,you have a great piece of history indeed! ^^ is your hikizuri in good shape?

Kofuji said...

Its not in great condition, a lot of the fabric is very delicate and worn in some places.
The gold couching (is that what's its called?) is coming off in places but I can fix that.

Anonymous said...

I just realized...Senko is the name of the maiko whose hanameishi I have in a book:

There's a link in the comments to her in an odori program. She was apparently an accomplished dancer, gaining the name Senko Inoue by at least 1966. If you look at the comments in that photo, there's a link to an article concerning her and Kanoju. (Where according to the author, she complains a lot about maiko life and wants to go to college and get married....however he also describes her as "no beauty", so I take his account of her with a very large grain of salt)

Geiko Yuriko is also mentioned in the article...perhaps these girls were from the same okiya? I think it might be worth looking into.

Kofuji said...

Damn computer! Didn't upload my reply now I've got to remember what I wrote!

Thankyou so much Bika-chan!
I was actually going to buy that Life magazine when it was on ebay just before Christmas but I was so busy with other things, and I regret not buying it now!

Its a very interesting article.
Although its possible that the three of them are from the same okiya they might not also be so I'll try to do some background research on Kanoju and Yuriko but it'll be difficult finding vintage information on people.