Thursday, April 24, 2008

My First Misedashi or The Death of My Camera Lens

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Today Miyagawa-cho welcomed Kyoto's two newest maiko into their ranks, bringing Kyoto's maiko count to a grand total of 102, the highest in over 40 years!

I wasn't quite sure my poor camera lens was up to the task, after the beating it's taken lately. The final straw was a fatal fall after I fell victim to a sneek-up tickle-and-run attack by a little girl in Miyagawa-cho. She caught me off my gaurd, holding my camera as I almost never do: by the strap, lens dangling down to ground.

Anyone that knows me knows I am extremely ticklish. My poor lens never stood a chance. The instant that little gucha-gucha girl got her fingers on me it was out of my hands, quite literally.

By all appearances it survived unscathed, and for the rest of the day it fought like a trooper. By the next day it stubbournly refused to zoom out. Since then I've been stuck between 50 and 105mm (way up from the usual 24-105 range). I still had some wiggle room, so I I've been trying to make the best of it.

The Misedashi: My Camera Lens' Last Stand

Then just before the misedashi, I realized it was stuck at 105mm. As if it wasn't bad enough that it was pouring rain. I kept my cool, thinking "at least I can still take pictures, right? Yay! My first misedashi!"

Take pictures I did! Trust me for that (^_<) My little lens hung in there until the very last. When it was over I headed to the Sanjo Starbucks in Pontocho to recharge. The second I sat down my lens just came undone. Long story short, it looks like I'll be headed to the nearest Canon service station tomorrow if I plan on taking any more pictures this trip! It wouldn't be that bad, but I spoke to a semi-pro photographer today who said it will probably be a few days and a few hundred dollars. And by few, I mean five. Five hundred dollars! Nande yanen!

So anyone who wants to chip in to help save my camera lens, Mboogiedown is accepting donations at PayPal (^_<)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Maiko + Sakura = (^_^)

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Someone looks happy! Clouds of cherry blossoms and a cute young maiko named Ichiharu make for one memorable hanami pre-game festivity... More on that later (^_<)/

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Kyo Odori: Opening Day Update 2008

CORRECTION: The maiko Satonami performs in the opening scene with the geiko Chiyoe and Kanachisa. Thank you to everyone who pointed out this mistake!

The past few days have been incredible: full of maiko, geiko, sunshine and cherry blossoms in full bloom. We even stumbled upon a procession of Oiran! Everywhere I look, I see a haiku. If only I had the words to share them with you.

Well, I'm no Basho, but I do have a camera (^_<) There is absolutely nothing like Kyoto in the spring. It's like a dream! I can't wait to show and tell you all about it!

If anyone would a program from any or all of the spring dances, please contact me or leave a comment!
Peter MacIntosh has uploaded a few images from this year's Miyako Odori program to his blog! Check it out!

More updates coming soon...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Miyako Odori : Opening Day Update!

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The geiko Mari peforming the role of temae,preparing the tea slowly, mindfully, with utmost grace.

The good news is that Miyako Odori began today, and that I was there to see it! The bad news is that spectators are no longer permitted to photograph the performance without a special, expensive license. (ioi)

At least we can still take a few pictures during the tea ceremony (^_<)
As Mari finishes preparing a cup of tea, Katsuyuki brings another.

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The maiko Katsuyuki in the role of ohikae.