I made a spontaneous visit to Kyoto last week. As far as I knew nothing was happening; no erikae or misedashi (debuts). I planned to walk and photograph for three days and hoped that I would find some good material for drawing. Imagine my surprise when on the second day I walked into an erikae! It was the erikae of Kimihiro of Miyagawa-cho. I was incredulous and gobsmacked! But there was no time to be a stunned mullet. I gathered up my wits and got straight to work with my camera.
Today I have been sifting through 800+ images from my three Kyoto days and printing a great many of them. The top photo moved me to stop what I was doing and quickly write a blog post. The photo is of Kimihiro and her younger sister, Kimitoyo. I don’t mean just geiko/maiko sisters but REAL sisters. Kimitoyo looks so proud of her big sister. You can see there is love, respect and admiration between these two girls.
This interaction came when the official erikae walk was over. Kimihiro went inside her okiya and at that point most of the photographers left. I was chatting to a friend when, surprisingly, Kimihiro came back outside with Kimitoyo. Only a handful of people witnessed this sisterly scene. There was much posing, chatting and laughing – and happily for me, tolerance of the photographers.
Related post: Kimihiro and Kimitoyo more photos from the Erikae of Kimihiro