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City-funded novices start courses in being a geisha

http://dwqovw6qi0vie.cloudfront.net/article-imgs/en/2011/11/11/AJ2011111117122/AJ2011111117209.jpg
(Instructor Tsuyako Kashiwaya, far right, demonstrates the "Shimoda-bushi" dance to her three trainees.)

SHIMODA, Shizuoka Prefecture--Three trainee geisha, including a young Chinese woman, have been recruited as part of local government-backed drive to preserve the geisha tradition in this historic port.
"Awagiku," "Iroha" and "Rinka" were the only applicants for the 5.23 million yen (about $70,000) geisha trainee program set up by Shimoda city authorities and advertised through the government’s "Hello Work" job placement centers.
They are all in their 20s and previously worked as office workers, but are now learning the intricacies of the geisha art. They will have their salaries paid by the city, through a central government job creation program, for six months until March.
Awagiku is from Kochi Prefecture, Iroha is from Aichi Prefecture, and Rinka came to Japan from China 10 years ago.
They represent the hopes for the future of a dying geisha community. Until about 30 years ago, there were about 200 geisha girls in Shimoda with four "kenban" offices training and dispatching women. Nowadays, there are only five geisha except for the three rookies, and one kenban, headed by Tsuyako Kashiwaya.
The training sessions started on Oct. 15 at a traditional Japanese house built in the early Taisho Era (1912-1926).

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The women, all of whom were completely untutored in wearing traditional Japanese dress, first learned how to wear kimono, tie their “obi” sashes, and fold the clothes.
They are now learning a dance based on the seafarer's song, "Shimoda-bushi" (Shimoda melody), which has been sung around Shimoda for about four centuries. The dance is said to be difficult to master because of its odd movements, including representations of the motion of waves. Kashiwaya and senior geisha "Nami" are working with the trio for about five hours almost every day.
They will also learn traditional "nagauta" songs, samisen playing and try to master another local dance, titled "Tojin Okichi," which tells the tragic story of a Shimoda woman at the end of the Edo Period (1603-1867).
The trio are expected to participate in the local "Okichi Festival" at the end of their training in March.

By TS on Nov 20, 2011
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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。