Monday, May 19, 2008

Miyako Odori Kimono and The Art of Gion

Kyoto Rewind: April 1st, 2008

'Uniform' kimono worn by geiko and maiko in the opening prelude, autumn scene, and finale of Gion Kobu's annual spring dance: Miyako Odori.

Before the maiko and geiko of Gion Kobu grace the stage to perform Miyako Odori, the Dance of the Old Capital, overly-anxious guests like me try to curb their enthusiasm by browsing the exhibit of artwork done by the maiko and geiko themselves, including paintings, calligraphy, and flower arrangements. A few of the famous "uniform" kimono the dance is famous for are also on display, highlighting different designs and themes used over the years.

Oil painting of two geiko wearing the Miyako Odori 'uniform' kimono and hanakanzashi (flowered hair ornaments) by the geiko Suzuko.

Kimono design used in the fifth year of Heisei, 1993.

My personal favorite, worn in the fifty-third year of Showa, 1978.

This design must have been the height of kimono chic in Showa's fifty-nineth year, 1984.

I loved this simple silhouette which captures the mystique, innocent playfulness and youthful beauty of a maiko. I wish I knew who painted it!

Another lovely portrait, artist unknown.


Anonymous said...

Pssst... I know, I know. You start a rough but useful cat burglar course and you snatch those kimonos, and the silhouette portrait, and you send them to me. It -is- a foolproof plan! *cough gently* Just kidding. Seriously though, I just love the silhouette portrait and my favourite kimono is the second, I truly love the way the fans are woven! ^_^

Abbey said...

My favorite was the one from Showa 51. 1976, y'all! Buck buck buck!

Jenny said...

All the kimono were gorgeous but my favorite was from Showa 59, 1984.
The art work by the maiko and geiko was great too <3

Jane said...

I think I agree with you, my favorite is the green kimono. I love the colour and the beautiful kusudama. Wish I could see them really close up so I could tell what was woven, dyed, or embroidered.


Anonymous said...

Wow Thanks for posting all of this Melissa!

I can't believe Suzuko made that painting! She is a great artist (and not just as a Geisha).

Thanks for showing us all of the different Odori kimono's!


Anonymous said...

my name is Minoru i have a miyako odori showa 53 year green kimono. i decided to sell it. if anybody is interested i leave my email address here. please leave me a message if you are interested.
this is an authentic miyako odori kimono made of chirimen silk and habutae, the picture is on flickr my account is miyakomaeri or kiyoharal .
this offer is for real collector. it is a museum piece in excellent condition.