What is a Maiko?

In Kyoto, the word maiko refers to an apprentice geiko (elsewhere in Japan, these entertainers are referred to as “geisha”)–a woman who has not yet completed the necessary training and ceremonies to become a full-fledged geiko, or entertainer. Since maiko normally go to the hairdresser only once a week, they rest their necks on traditional wooden stands (known as takamakura) while sleeping. This way, the elaborate hairstyle remains in place. Traditionally, geisha (or geiko) wear a white collar (han’eri) inside the neckline of their dress kimono, while the collar of a maiko is normally red. Also by tradition, a new or debuting maiko’s collar is not only red, but unadorned. Later

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