A few weeks ago when I wrote that I was planning a trip to Kyoto, my good friend Atsushi-san invited me to an ozashiki. Who would not jump at such an invitation? I wrote back “YES PLEASE!” On 27th June at the appointed time and place we met and walked to the ochaya (traditional teahouse) where the ozashiki was to be. I was introduced to the owners of the establishment, Master and Okaasan, who are warm-hearted lovely people. Soon after, Satsuki-san entered the room. If she looks amazing in photos, she is even more beautiful in real life. Her glow lights up the room.
I had found a funny little person at Perth Airport called “Koala-Mate”. If you spoke to him, he repeated what you said – but in a high-pitched voice. Needless to say, he was a big hit. Satsuki-san could hit a high note but Koala-Mate talked back even higher.
After chatting for a while (and drinking sake) it was time to go upstairs to see dancing. At this stage our second maiko companion arrived; effervescent and exquisite Chiyoko-san. The two elegant maiko danced a summer dance about fireflies. They danced to the accompaniment of shamisen played soulfully by Mameyoshi-san.
While an ozashiki is relaxed and joyful, the dance is performed with utmost respect. This is high art and one feels privileged to be watching. So much grace – it is enough to bring a tear to one’s eye – (and it did).
After the dancing there was plenty of time for photos before we all descended back downstairs to the bar for more refreshments and merriment.
Isn’t Chiyoko-san gorgeous!? I noticed the circular window behind her and asked her to pose for photos. I was mentally composing how she would look in this harmonious setting. The little horse on the right reminds us that 2014 is the ‘Year of the Horse’.
How do I feel now that I am back in Australia? I feel that I visited an ‘other’ world; a world as magic as those created by, say, Lewis Carroll, C. S. Lewis, P.L Travers or Hayao Miyazaki. I am still under the influence of the enchantment.
Will any drawings come out of this night? YOU BET!
Thank you, Atsushi-san.
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