Maiko is a female entertainer dressed in beautiful kimono like Geisha, who is trained in the traditional Japanese arts, singing, and dancing. The word "Maiko" refers to so-called "Geisha" in other parts of Japan such as Tokyo's Asakusa, Kanazawa in central Japan, Fukuoka in southern island of Kyushu. So it might be safely said that Maiko is Kyoto's Geisha.
Ususally a girl aged 15 or 16 starts trainings as a maiko trainee. Then after nearly 1-year hard training, she becomes Maiko. Then Maiko becomes Geiko usually at the age of 20, after gaining plenty of experience as a Maiko for 3-4 years. So we might safely say it's like, say, yellowtails having different names as they grow.
< What are the differencesbetween Maiko and Geiko?> When it comes to their appearances; (1) Hair style: Maiko have their own hair done in a traditional Maiko style at an exclusive barbershop. On the other hand, Geiko wear a wig for the traditional Japanese hairstyle for Geiko. (2) Kimono: Maiko wear a kimono with long obi (sash) hanging down from their back. By contrast, Geiko wear a kimono with short obi.
<Where's Maiko?> There are five Kagai, or Maiko amusement place, in Kyoto. Four of them are located in the eastern part of Kyoto and the other in the central Kyoto. One of the most popular districts is Gion, located in the east side of the Kamogawa River. It is said that there are almost 100 Maiko/Geiko living in this area.
< Maiko with a long sash hanging down from their back>
<Maiko wearing kimono on a daily basis>
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