I haven’t even posted photos of Day 1 of Satsuki’s erikae walk yet. Though I certainly will, for the moment I would like to fast-forward to Day 2. I caught something special which I would like to share.
Satsuki, like any new geiko on her erikae, walks alone. Yes, her Otokoshi (dresser) walks with her but as the star of the show, she is solo. Everyone has come to see her. And believe me, there is a lot of everyone; men, women and children.
Even for somebody as vivacious and used to limelight as Satsuki, it must be an effort maintaining one’s composure in the glare of hundreds of pairs of eyes and cameras out in the streets of Gion for a considerable period of time.
Satsuki was carrying out her elegant mission perfectly when Marika, her younger sister from their okiya, appeared. Can you imagine Satsuki’s joy when she saw Marika up ahead? You can, because I’m about to unveil the series of photos I captured. From her sophisticated self-restrained poses, Satsuki suddenly lapsed into ebullient fun-loving teenage-hood again. It was delightful. Body language is everything so I will say no more. (Except to say – excuse the cropping – it was impossible to get full views of my subjects without other photographers’ limbs in the way!)
After a while, Marika and Satsuki had to part company. However most of the walk had already been completed. In the last photo I got my own smile from Satsuki.
She really is a gem!
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