Although the word matsuri is always translated as 'festival', some festivals and holidays are more correctly included in the nenchu gyoji or annual events originally observed by the Imperial court. These observances are mostly of Chinese or Buddhist origin but as most Japanese don't really consider their religious significance, they also don't distinguish them from matsuri. The dates of some holidays, such as Adult's Day in January, have been moved to a fixed Monday in order to have guaranteed three-day weekends. The government made some changes in in an effort to stimulate the sluggish economy. The birthday of the current emperor is always a national holiday, as is the birthday of the late Emperor Showa.
The History of Geisha in Japanese Culture
Kyoto Geisha and Maiko makeover EXPERIENCE
For Part 1, please click here. Now that you know a little about the hard work and commitment required to become a geisha if you've read the first post! The role of geisha in Japanese culture has evolved over hundreds of years to arrive at the iconic cultural status we recognize today. There are still hanamachi that can be found throughout Japan. Pictured above a hanamachi found in Kanazawa.
Geisha kimono in Japan
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The okiya is typically run by the "mother" "oka-san" of the house, who handles a geisha's engagements, the development of her skills, and funds her training through a particular teahouse. Though a geisha is legally required to be registered to an okiya in order to work, and may live there as a trainee, it is not a legal requirement for geisha to live within their okiya. A geisha's engagements at parties, and her lessons in singing, traditional dance , musical instruments and tea ceremony are also booked through her okiya. Many geisha, particularly those working in more traditional geisha communities such as those found in Kyoto , live within the okiya they are affiliated with, though some working in other areas of Japan - such as the geisha of Tokyo - are more likely to commute in from their own apartment. There may be more than one geisha or maiko living in an okiya at any given time, and the mother of the house may also be an active geisha herself; however, there are no requirements for an okiya to have any geisha at all in order to keep its license as an okiya.