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 Post subject: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Wed May 21, 2014 10:03 am 
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Shikomi
Shikomi

Joined: Wed May 21, 2014 9:18 am
Posts: 7
Location: Quito
Favorite Geiko: Tsunemomo Kikutsuru
Im currently working on an investigation about how some people get so absorbed into a foreign culture they start feigning being a real part of this foreign culture, and thus gaining status with knowledge and resources within a comunity with the same interest.

In the lines of Japan and specially the Flower and Willow World, i find that enthusiasts on the theme tend to try too hard to pretend to belong to it. (dont get me wrong, i am absolutely neutral on the theme really, since im the grey section of the japanophile range, or something like that.)

What are your thoughts on westerners attempting to construct a Flower and Willow World of their own? ( that includes western women wearing full gei-maiko costume and makeup, tea ceremonies without proper spiritual background... etc)

How are the beauty standards being mended between the japanese attire imagery (kitsuke), and the western body (tall people, broader eyes, rounder longer noses, etc), do you find it aesthetic or horrid?

Where does the tribute cross the line with "trying too hard"?

IF by any chance someone finds this theme offensive, please dont get me wrong, im not judging peoples actions, i just want to understand the why and how people work around the lines of culture.


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 5:14 am 
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Junior Maiko
Junior Maiko
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:41 pm
Posts: 541
Reminds me of Hachisu Okiya in England run by a middle-aged lady who dresses like a hangyoku. Incredibly dishevelled looking costumes. They look like a henshin experience you would like to get your money back for.

But, if their website is to be believed, they are fairly popular.

I find any kind of recreation of the karyukai outside of Japan, especially if by westerners, absolutely abhorrent. Caucasian faces are not flattered by oshiroi. It looks terrible, and ends up as a parody of the art is imitates.

Quote:
If I try to imagine a similar situation occurring within another culture, the outcome is equally as offensive and wrong. Imagine a group of people from Italy or France or Australia who admire native american culture start dressing up as chiefs, invented a tribe name, started wearing sacred cultural artifacts and giving themselves traditional names, then began charging for dance performances they called Pow-Wows. All without involving native american peoples and without ever bothering to properly research the culture they so admire. It would be a preposterous and hideously offensive case of cultural appropriation. In my own case if a group of people formed a traditional Portuguese folk dance (rancho folclorico) troupe and just invented their own dances, threw together made-up and inaccurate costumes, and starting charging for performances, I’d be livid. Folk arts and artists are protected in Portugal and dance troupes/folk group support an entire industry dating back hundreds of years. The same is true of geisha and foreign okiyas.

Unless a drastically different model emerges, I find their existence predatory, offensive, and beyond ridiculous. Foreign okiyas have simply not earned what they want to lay claim to. A vast majority of geisha fans are completely against foreign okiyas due to their complete lack of accuracy, ignorance of geisha customs and rules, general disrespect, and “geisha/maiko” whom have no formal training or experience with the real karyukai.


Source

EDIT: adjskdjalksjdoaisjdlaisdj


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 7:23 pm 
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Shikomi
Shikomi
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:54 pm
Posts: 88
Favorite Geiko: Umeha Ryouka
Favorite Maiko: Umechie Ichinana
oh my goodness this is horrifying


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 11, 2015 10:35 pm 
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Geiko
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Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:53 pm
Posts: 1410
Favorite Geiko: Umechika
Favorite Maiko: Umechie+Mamechika
I know... it's like they got dressed in the dark. Those wigs are the ugliest I've ever seen O_O


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 9:08 am 
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Okasan
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 2247
Favorite Geiko: Katsuna
LOL, I was about to post these ladies. For me, imitation is really not a kind of any flattering. Although, there are some gaijins who are kitsuke experts (and I love them!), I think I've never seen any good "foreign okiya". I personally think the whole idea is really bad and childish.
Henshin experience is pleasant by the way and I'd try it myself in Japan. Dressing in hikizuri at home is very nice, too but there is a very thin line between studying and admiring the geimaiko world and imitating them.
As for me, I try to take the best of geiko and maiko but remain myself all in all - I observe their gentle moves and elegant style, so I try to transform their modest presence into my normal life. I really became more subtle and fragile because of them :D


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 11:55 am 
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Shikomi
Shikomi
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 12:06 pm
Posts: 74
Favorite Geiko: Kosen Wakana Kotoha
Favorite Maiko: Tomitsuyu Umechie
Well, I think that making an "okiya" should stay only as a form of role-play, at most. Charging money and not mentioning it as a role-play (so stating it's a real deal) is not right. I do dress-up as maiko, but I never call myself one (I highlight the fact, that it's a henshin and I was not educated in any hanamachi). I try to educate people by sharing what I know (you have no idea how often I need to explain, that geisha is not a prostitute, and what is she actually doing at work) and encourage them to find out more by themselves. I find this "real foreign okiya" stuff infantile. For comparison, there is "Gejsza art" in Poland, a performance group. They do geisha inspired performances, but do not call themselves real geisha or okiya (they describe themselves simply as performers, they play music and do some japan-ispired dance), so even if I'm not a fan of their performances (aesthetic is also like "henshin done wrong"), I don't find it wrong, or offensive.


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 3:53 pm 
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Okasan
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 2247
Favorite Geiko: Katsuna
Kikyou, about Gejsza-art... they are really tacky. I got to know them personally and I'm not a fan. They actually "perform" in TV shows, journalists call them geishas sometimes but they have no idea at all about this world. They own a quite big collection of Japanese antiques and one of them visited Kyoto where she followed geiko and maiko in a touristic way at the Hanamikoji. But when I talked with them, they actually didn't know a single one fact of the karyukai. I asked why they wanted to start a henshin group and they stated that geisha look so pretty and dance so nice. Well, at least for me it's not enough for someone who appears in the media and calls themselves "geisha performers". Also, they wanted to share my personal knowledge with their audience but when I sent them all the important stuff and facts, they just disappeared and never spoken to me again. It was weird O_o


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 10:52 pm 
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Shikomi
Shikomi
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Joined: Mon May 27, 2013 12:06 pm
Posts: 74
Favorite Geiko: Kosen Wakana Kotoha
Favorite Maiko: Tomitsuyu Umechie
Ugh, I didn't knew them from this point of view...


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:15 am 
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Maiko
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Joined: Sun Feb 15, 2015 6:58 pm
Posts: 687
Favorite Geiko: Eriha Kofuku
Favorite Maiko: Konami Mameaki
blanche wrote:
LOL, I was about to post these ladies. For me, imitation is really not a kind of any flattering. Although, there are some gaijins who are kitsuke experts (and I love them!), I think I've never seen any good "foreign okiya". I personally think the whole idea is really bad and childish.
Henshin experience is pleasant by the way and I'd try it myself in Japan. Dressing in hikizuri at home is very nice, too but there is a very thin line between studying and admiring the geimaiko world and imitating them.
As for me, I try to take the best of geiko and maiko but remain myself all in all - I observe their gentle moves and elegant style, so I try to transform their modest presence into my normal life. I really became more subtle and fragile because of them :D

^^^ all well-said

and as you say, I try to carry myself in a ladylike manner and emulate a geisha sense of manners and hospitality when interacting with others. I too have become more "subtle" and delicate because of my interest in Japanese arts and culture


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:26 am 
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Junior Maiko
Junior Maiko
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:41 pm
Posts: 541
Quote:
im the grey section of the japanophile range, or something like that


Aren't we all? I certainly am. Someone on voat called me a weaboo the other day for crossposting the geisha subreddit to the geisha subverse and I felt pretty sad. I spend a reasonable amount of time each day searching for new content and catching up on kagai-related news (what is available in English, anyway), and it really is my one great passion. No need to be negative and rude about it.

:?

(maybe I should start a tumblr...)


Off-topic. Anyway! As a gaijin, an Australian of caucasian background, I would never try to imitate. I think it's all about recognising that there is a line between admiring and respecting a culture and wanting to be part of it, even going so far as to be potentially harming that culture in some way.


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:23 am 
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Junior Maiko
Junior Maiko
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:41 pm
Posts: 541
What do you think of Sayuki (Fiona Graham), and more recently, Kimicho of Tokyo? Do you think that serious attempts at assimilation by foreigners is okay? Why/why not? I will post what I think on this separately below to hopefully not poison the well. I really do wonder what other outsiders looking in on geiko and geisha culture think about this.


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 12:37 am 
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Junior Maiko
Junior Maiko
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:41 pm
Posts: 541
My 2¢:
I do admire those who have gotten so close to this culture, but I really can't see how a gaijin can ever be taken seriously as a geisha, regardless of her artistic achievements. I think that oshiroi looks frumpy on a Caucasian face. Sayuki's katsura looked really odd and huge, although that may have been just that it fitted poorly or wasn't designed with her face in mind. I don't know. I would like to see Kimicho in oshiroi.

But then, I think that a similar argument may possibly have been aired in the past. Think of the evolution of houkan/taikomochi (male entertainers) to geiko (female), and then geiko to geisha. Times change.


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 2:40 pm 
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Okasan
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Joined: Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:58 pm
Posts: 2247
Favorite Geiko: Katsuna
I think that it's all about the art. If you are good enough, they will accept you. I really like it how Kimicho doesn't try to imitate typical geisha look. She wears simple kimonos and no oshiroi with neat hairstyle. She's very modest. I think that she really fits in.


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Wed Oct 28, 2015 10:02 pm 
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Junior Maiko
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Joined: Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:41 pm
Posts: 541
I do agree.

I wonder if how I feel about it really is just based on the Sayuki affair. Kimicho seems entirely the opposite of her. I hope we get to see more of her soon.


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 Post subject: Re: japanophilia irritabilis?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 29, 2015 8:33 am 
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Okasan
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Joined: Mon Dec 31, 2012 7:53 pm
Posts: 4353
Favorite Geiko: Fumino
Favorite Maiko: Momihina
Don't forget Ichigiku (Liza Dalby, right?). I've only seen a few pictures of her with Katsura and Oshiroi, but I think it looked quite good.


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