Kyoto geiko entertainers begin New Year visits
NHK -- Dec 14
Traditional female entertainers in Kyoto have started offering early New Year greetings.

December 13th is the first day of the New Year preparation period in Japan's ancient capital.

A group of geisha, known in Kyoto as "geiko," and their apprentices called "maiko" wearing colorful kimono made calls on Thursday to thank people for their support over the past year. They visited their dance teacher, Yachiyo Inoue, in the entertainment district of Gion.

They exchanged greetings in a room decorated with traditional rice cakes. Inoue encouraged her students and gave them folding fans.

One of the maiko said she was nervous because this was the first time she had taken part in the ritual. She said she wants to help the apprentices who will begin training next year by looking after them like a big sister.

京都の祇園で正月を迎える準備を始める「事始め」があり、舞妓(まいこ)さんたちが踊りの師匠の家をあいさつして回りました。京舞・井上流家元で人間国宝の井上八千代さん(62)の家には舞妓さんらが次々と訪れ、井上さんは声を掛けて祝儀の舞扇を手渡しました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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