This paper model is a Maiko bust, designed by Mugi. Maiko is an apprentice geisha in western Japan, especially Kyoto. Their jobs consist of performing songs, dances, and playing the shamisen for visitors during feasts. Maiko are usually aged 15 to 20 years old and become geisha after learning how to dance, play the shamisen, and learning Kyō-kotoba, regardless of their origins.
Maiko originated from women who served green tea and dango to people who visited the Kitano Tenman-gū or Yasaka Shrine at teahouses in the temple town about 300 years ago.
At first, women served only green tea and dango, but they gradually started to perform songs and dances for visitors.
A maiko’s hairstyle is called nihongami. They arrange their hairstyle with their own hair. Maiko put kanzashi on their hair with seasonal flowers. The hairstyle changes depending on the years of experience they have.
Maikos wear kimono with the train trailing on the floor. They wear darari-no-obi over the train, which is five meters long and it hangs from their waist to their ankles.
In the morning, maiko take lessons to polish their performances. At night, they go out to work. They are usually given the opportunity to eat at high-class Japanese-style restaurants or stay in Japanese-style hotels. They perform dances, songs, play the shamisen, and serve visitors with sake. Recently, their jobs have expanded to include visiting nursing institutions or hospitals. Some maiko are also dispatched overseas.
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