Sister Support


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.

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 She really is a gem!

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10 thoughts on “Sister Support

  1. anna warren portfolio

    There is such joy in the photo of the two girls with their arms out to one another. It looks as though the sight of her sister somehow released Satsuki from the bonds of formality, and as you say, took her back to being just a girl again. I particularly like the photo of Satsuki arranging Marika’s hair decoration, such an intimate, gentle moment.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Earlier in the walk a couple of young people in the crowd had made themselves known to Satsuki. Maybe they were her old school friends. Again, Satsuki flipped straight over to being a kid and posed for and with them making funny faces. It was so fascinating to see how she could nip in and out of character.
      I love the intimacy of the hair ornament arranging photo too.
      The arms-out photo makes me think of times in my own life when seeing a close friend or partner was such a huge relief it was almost overwhelming.

  2. Míriam

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful moments! Those pictures of Satsuki-san and Marika-san show what a loving sister relationship they have.

  3. juliepodstolski Post author

    You may be wondering, readers, why Satsuki’s kimono looks a different colour in a couple of these photos (photos 6 and 7 out of 10). That’s because those two photos were taken with my I-phone.

  4. stefan2009

    This scene must have been sooo charming <3. Thank you for sharing it, it gives us a little the impression we have been there :).


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