Last week I wrote about the wonderful time I had photographing Katsuyuki during her erikae in my post Daughter of Kyoto.
This week I would like to show another drawing I made from that particular trip to Kyoto in February 2011. This drawing describes something like an ambush which these two maiko walked into. As they rounded a corner in Miyagawa-cho, Kanamitsu and Kimihiro almost collided with a wall of photographers. I was in a position to see them coming so I caught the moment – bam! Of course after the cameras flashed, the photographers divided like the Red Sea and the two maiko continued on through. Their pace was, as usual, very fast. Maiko and geiko remind one of the White Rabbit in “Alice in Wonderland” – always in a hurry.
In fact that night was rather like a chapter from “Alice in Wonderland”. It was February 3rd – “Setsubun” – a celebration of the seasonal change from winter to spring. People were dressed up as all sorts of mythological and magical beings – rather like a huge fancy dress party. Teams of loudly chanting priests marched through Gion tossing beans and handing out packets of beans – to symbolize driving away evil spirits and encouraging good fortune. It was an extremely merry (and quite touching) night. So of course there were many photographers out to record events. I usually find Kyoto otherworldly but this night was beyond the beyond!
This self-appointed Alice is heading back to Wonderland in just under three weeks. I miss Kyoto and therefore it is time for another trip. A British man on the radio today was explaining to his interviewer why he was compelled to return to Spain every so often. He said, “I have to keep returning. It’s rather like a soap opera. I want to know what they’ve been getting up to while I’ve been away”. I know exactly what he means!
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