28 October 2010

Maiko Tanewaka たね若, new outfit

Maiko Tanewaka, portrait
Kyoto 2010

Always a wonderful moment to meet Maiko Tanewaka. Her new outfit hikizuri and obi are stunning and suits her so well. She is very proud because they are brand new and her Okaasan selected the pattern and colors  "especially for her". This is so precious that she was afraid to damage them when she danced.

Click to enlarge the pictures.

27 October 2010

Flowers of Pontocho, Maiko at Suimeikai

 Flowers of Pontocho, Maiko Ichino
Kyoto 2010

Could I dream of a better composition for this photo ? Maiko Ichino and from left to right, Maiko Momifuku, Chizu and Ichiraku. It's challenging to take a good picture of Ichino san. She is so enthusiastic, laughing and moving all the time. She participated actively to the wonderful atmosphere in front of Pontocho Kaburenjo on Oct 22 for Suimeikai.

 Flowers of Pontocho, Maiko Ayano
Kyoto 2010

Other posts about Ayano san.

26 October 2010

Maiko ichifuku 市福, Suimeikai

#Maiko Ichifuku, Suimeikai
#Pontocho Kaburenjo, Kyoto 2010

Maiko and Geiko Autumn dances are worth seeing inside and outside the Kaburenjo (theater).
After Mizuekai early Oct,  I didn't want to miss Suimeikai the dances performed by the Maiko and Geiko of Pontocho.  I attended the performance on Oct 24 but also went to Pontocho on Oct 22 and 23 only to see the wonderful scene of the Maiko and Geiko greeting in front of the Kaburenjo. The atmosphere was amazing. The above picture is Maiko Ichifuku greeting a Geiko before entering the Kaburenjo.

25 October 2010

Cosplayer portrait, butterfly

#Cosplayer Portrait, butterfly
#Cosplay at Kyoto Manga Museum, 2010

What a nice butterfly! She is not only pretty but she is also very talented to pose in front of a camera. She was moving naturally and I only had to press the shutter.
What is cosplay ?

Jidai Matsuri 時代祭り, edo era

Jidai Matsuri, edo era performer
Kyoto 2010

What a fantastic performer, natural and spontaneous smile. Jidai Matsuri other post.

Jidai Matsuri "#festival of the ages" is one of Kyoto three great festivals with Aoi and Gion Matsuri. It consists in a colorful parade of 2000 performers wearing costumes of the different eras of Kyoto 1200-year-old history.

24 October 2010

Jidai Matsuri 時代祭り, children

Jidai Matsuri, girls #portrait
Kyoto 2010

How sweet! And what a crowd around them to shoot pictures before the parade.
Other post about Jidai Matsuri.

Maiko Katsuru 勝瑠, last days as a #Maiko

Maiko Katsuru, sakkou hairstyle
Kyoto 2010

A bit weird to start a photo series about Suimeikai (the autumn dance performed by the Maiko and Geiko of Pontocho) with Katsuru-san who is not from Pontocho but  from the hanamachi of Kamishichiken. But I was so glad to see her going to Suimeikai wearing sakkou hairstyle.  A Maiko wears sakkou in the last 2 weeks of her Maiko career just before the erikae, the ceremony  where she will become a Geiko. The above picture was taken on Oct 22 on her way to Pontocho Kaburenjo (theater) where she went to attend the Suimeikai dance with a guest.
I could take the below portrait 2 days later on Oct 24 where she went again, but this time her guest was late and she had to wait outside in the rain. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to her erikae but I could congratulate her beforehand.

Click here to view my previous post about Katsuru-san

Maiko Katsuru, portrait in front of Pontocho Kaburenjo
Kyoto 2010

Jidai Matsuri 時代祭り, soldier

Soldier, Jidai Matsuri
Kyoto 2010

Jidai Matsuri "#festival of the ages" is one of Kyoto three great festivals with Aoi and Gion Matsuri. It consists in a colorful parade of 2000 performers wearing costumes of the different eras of Kyoto 1200-year-old history.

20 October 2010

Maiko Ayano あや野 , Autumn

 Maiko Ayano, #portrait
 Kyoto 2010

Finally I had the chance to make a portrait of Maiko Ayano (of Pontocho) with oshiroi (white make up). I was waiting for this occasion since I had made portrait of her without oshiroi when I bumped into her in Pontocho earlier this year. You can view this other portrait here. Not sure which one I prefer.

 Maiko Ayano, smile
 Kyoto 2010

She is not only serious when taking pictures but also smiles a lot. Lovely!

18 October 2010

Maiko Fukuai, ふく愛 at Mizuekai, smile

Maiko Fukuai, aisatsu
Kyoto 2010 

Kyoto wonder! And to conclude this Mizuekai series, another smile of Fukuai-san.

Maiko Fukuai, smile
Kyoto 2010

17 October 2010

Maiko Mamehana 豆はな, present

Mamehana san, present
Kyoto 2010

In our family we are all big fan of Mamehana san (who wouldn't?). We would not miss a chance to see her and enjoy going to Ihee (handicraft shop) whenever she is there. My daughter made a drawing of her last time we saw her. She could give it to her today together with a bouquet of flowers. Mamehana san was really surprised and moved. That was a great moment, full of emotion.

Mamehana san, close portrait
Kyoto 2010

Closer. As always so easy to take pictures of her, she is so beautiful. I thank her for the fantastic portrait series I could make today, and also for her patience to let me shoot that close with my 50mm.

View my previous posts of Mamehana san here and also here.

16 October 2010

Mikoshi, Festival at Higashiyama

Carrying the Mikoshi, Higashiyama
Kyoto 2010

This is another great thing about Kyoto. You just walk from a garden to another in Higashiyama on Sunday afternoon and you suddenly bump into a Matsuri (festival) and get impressed by this photogenic scene of people carrying a Mikoshi (portable shrine) in the middle of the street..

15 October 2010

Maiko Kofuku 小ふく at Mizuekai

Maiko Kofuku, aisatsu
Kyoto 2010

Oct 10, 15:50. Maiko Kofuku greets the guests and geiko just before entering the Kaburenjo (theather) to attend Mizuekai. The light was perfect at this time in Miyagawacho. I am so glad about these series.

Maiko Kofuku
Kyoto 2010

Maiko Kofuku, portrait
Kyoto 2010

12 October 2010

Maiko Kikushino 菊志乃 at Mizuekai

Maiko Kikushino, portrait
Kyoto 2010

Maiko Kikushino at Mizuekai. I am grateful to her for this lovely portrait despite of her busy "greetings session" before attending Mizuekai.

11 October 2010

Maiko Fukuhiro ふく紘 at Mizuekai

Maiko Fukuhiro, greetings at Mizuekai
Kyoto 2010

Amazing atmosphere to see so many Maiko gathering in front of Miyagawacho Kaburenjo (theather) before Mizuekai. They were all so beautifully dressed and smiling.

10 October 2010

Maiko Fukuai, ふく愛 at Mizuekai

Maiko Fukuai, portrait
Kyoto 2010

Mizuekai, autumn dance performance at Miyagawacho. Oct 10. Fukuai san, sweet and beautifully dressed. She didn't perform a dance at mizuekai as she did the day before. She was going to Miyagawacho Kaburenjo (theather), this time to attend Mizuekai. I could congratulate her for her performance I enjoyed the day before.

9 October 2010

Autumn Dance, Mizuekai みずゑ會

 Maiko Fukuhina and Toshihana, Mizuekai
 Kyoto 2010

Maiko and Geiko of each hanamachi (Maiko district) perform seasonal dances every autumn. I attented Mizuekai, the dances of the hanamachi of Miyagawacho. You're not supposed to take pictures but I couldn't help it and did a few stealth shots.

Maiko Fukuhina, Mizuekai
Kyoto 2010

Miyagawa-ko-uta, Mizuekai
Kyoto 2010

8 October 2010

Maiko Tanewaka たね若 automn

#Maiko Tanewaka, #portrait
Kyoto 2010

Needless to say that it was another great moment with Tanewaka san, these pictures speak for themselves. Unfortunately, this was the last time she performed at Kyoto Kokusai Hotel. Surprinsingly there were only a few people which enable to talk and have fun. And once again, I am so grateful to her for this wonderful portrait series.

Click here to view my previous posts about Tanewaka san

 Maiko Tanewaka, These eyes...
Kyoto 2010

Maiko Tanewaka, This smile...
Kyoto 2010

4 October 2010

Japanese dolls, Ningyou 人形

Doll, dancer with fans, #50mm
Kyoto 2010

Dolls or ningyou are a popular symbol of Japanese handicraft elegance and refinement. They can represent children, characters of the imperial court, heroes, divinity or demons. Some have a long tradition and are still used nowadays for some festivals or presents. Kyoto offers many possibilities to admire (and buy) dolls. These ones are available at Kyoto handicraft center where I could play with my 50mm and set the focus either on the face or the fan to obtain this bokeh.

Doll, holding fans, 50mm
Kyoto 2010

3 October 2010

巻蛇き Jamaki Festival 2 - Children portrait series

 Boy carrying the "snake", Jamaki Festival
 Tawaramoto, Nara 2010

This is the event of the year where the whole village has to participate in the preparation or the parade. This is great fun for the children who are always excited and enthusiastic...at least at the beginning. And great fun for me to take these pictures of them and to try to capture their emotion. The colors were great with the blue costumes on the yellow wheat stalks.

Click here to view my other post containing the explanation of this festival.

 Boy portrait 50mm, Jamaki Festival, Nara 2010

Happy but probably exhausted after a day carrying the "snake" around the village.

 Getting ready for the parade, Jamaki Festival
Nara 2010

Only men can carry the "snake" for the parade. This young boy seems proud to be part of it.

 Boy in the parade, Jamaki festival, Nara 2010

2 October 2010

巻蛇き Jamaki Festival 1- Parade

Carrying the 200kg snake head, Jamaki Festival
Tawaramoto, #Nara, 2010

Festivals are always photogenic events. In Japan, each village or district usually held a festival at least once a year. Jamaki Festival occurs in June in Tawaramoto near Nara, a peaceful village surrounded by rice fields.
So what is Jamaki Festival all about ? First, the men  (only the men) need to carry the head of the snake like on the above picture to bring it to a temple where they will attach it to the body made of wheat stalks. Ja 蛇stands for snake and maki 蛇き for roll. The festival consists in rolling wheat stalks to make a snake of 18m long that will be carried to the houses of the village on the same day as a belief for fertility.

Priest blessing the participants before the parade
Nara 2010

Old man, making the snake, Nara 2010

Parading to each house of the village, Nara 2010

Men carrying the head, children carrying the body
Nara 2010

Nara 2010

The peak of the parade is to roll the snake around the participants until they fall.