Mamesuzu and Mameharu at Hassaku in Gion Kobu

Mamesuzu and Mameharu at Hassaku in Kyoto
Mamesuzu and Mameharu at Hassaku in Kyoto

I'm posting this photo of the geisha Mamesuzu (left) and Mameharu at the request of a loyal reader. Thank you for all your comments and support, Stefanie! Other readers might be interested in this photo because it shows the different stages in the careers of geiko. The young geiko I know (all in their twenties) say that the real geiko are the women like Mamesuzu. In contrast to Mameharu, who had only been a geiko for nine weeks when this photo was taken, Mamesuzu has been a geiko for more than nine years. Mamesuzu's art has reached a level of accomplishment high enough that she no longer needs to paint her face white or wear a katsura (wig) like Mameharu.

Unfortunately, not many maiko or young geiko reach this level of achievement and retire after a few years, like quite a few have done this year in Gion Kobu. I hope Mameharu follows in Mamesuzu's footsteps and remains a geiko for a long time! Finally, my next post will be on Sunday, September 2 when I return from vacation. Then it will be time to say goodbye to my favorite geiko, who is one of those aforementioned women who is retiring...