Maiko Tanewaka in Kyo Odori 2009
The maiko Tanewaka of Miyagawa-cho performs in "Miyagawa Ondo," the grande finale of Kyo Odori, held every April in Kyoto. In 2009 Tanewaka was entering her third year as a maiko, so she was starting to play a larger role in dances. In this photo she is in the front row of maiko during "Miyagawa Ondo," which shows she is now a relative veteran. Unfortunately, this is one of the last photos I ever took of Kyo Odori because photography was abruptly banned midway through the 2009 Kyo Odori. I photographed the geisha Kimina and Tanewaka several times during the first few days of the dance, but when I returned for a final time there were signs posted in Japanese and English prohibiting all photography. With or without photography, Kyo Odori is still my favorite dance performance, and I still attend once or twice every year.