Kyoto geiko entertainers begin New Year greetings
NHK -- Dec 14
Traditional female entertainers in Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto are offering early New Year greetings to their teachers.

In Kyoto's Gion district, December 13 is regarded as the day for starting preparations for the coming year.

A group of geisha, known as "geiko," and their "maiko" apprentices wearing colorful kimono visited their dance teacher, Yachiyo Inoue.

They exchanged greetings in a room decorated with rice cakes. The students thanked their teacher for her support during the past year. Inoue gave them folding fans.

A maiko called Asuka said her teacher wants her to do her best in a dance performance at next year's festival. The Miyako Odori is held every April in Kyoto.

Asuka said she realized in the past year what was lacking in herself, and hopes to use what she has learned next year.

京都・祇園などの花街で13日、芸舞妓が芸事の師匠やお茶屋にあいさつし、正月を迎える準備に取り掛かる「事始め」が行われた。
News sources: NHK, Kyodo
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