Back in April I wrote about photographing the geisha Mameharu behind the scenes at the Miyako Odori tea ceremony. The photo I posted only shows Mameharu, but the maiko Mamechika was also there, as was a young shikomi (maiko in training) I’ll call A-chan.
I first noticed A-chan as we were making our way into the Gion Kaburenjo theater. Mameharu was in front, followed by Mamechika, A-chan, and then me.
As we walked briskly along a dark and narrow corridor, Mameharu and Mamechika would tell A-chan something she needed to do, and A-chan would immediately say “Yes” and write a note in a small pad she was holding.
I had never seen A-chan before, but I was impressed by her right away. She looked very young, but she acted very maturely. The hallway was quite dark and Mameharu and Mamechika were walking very quickly and talking to A-chan without even looking at her.