Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Mizuka and I attended the 131rd Annual Miyako Odoro. We have attended every year since we met. It is the annual event where the geisha of the Gion district perform their traditional dance. The event is open to the public, but is a lot about the patrons of the tea houses getting a chance to see the geisha and maiko perform their art that they practice so hard to perfect through the year.

The geisha, and maiko are given tickets that they must sell to their patrons. The tea houses pick up many of these tickets and distribute them to their clients. Mizuka and I always buy a pair from Kaoru.
The show consists of a plot that changes every year, but it all is framed in four sections and there is a scene for each season where all of the maiko come out in a line.
On the left hand side of the theater, the Japanese drums and the Japanese flutes play. The geisha playing the flute in this picture is our good friend Fukunami.
On the right side of the theater are the geisha who play the shamisen and sing. The geisha third from the left is Kimiya-san and the geisha second from the left is Komomo-san. Both good friends.
And everyone shows up for the grand finale!
The geisha also do a tea ceremony for the guests.
The Japanese green tea made and served by the geisha is nice and you get to keep the plate that the snack comes on. (Sorry again Dr. Atkins!)


If that was the Miyagawa-cho theater, you were just a few seconds away from my mother-in-law's house, a 140-year-old machiya amongst the ocha-ya there. I was there yesterday having my own Atkins-busting feast, capping off a one-day Kyoto tour for my little brother. That neighborhood has real old-worl atmoshphere, maiko ducking in and out of ocha-ya and taxis, the golden glow through the koshi-mado (slatted shutters).

i live in viet nam, i want to see you, japanese green tea.