Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fake maiko.


These 2 young ladies in Gion were being photographed by a whole gaggle of foreign tourists who most probably believed they were seeing maiko or geisha.


In fact the 2 women were customers of one of the many "Maiko make-over" shops that are in Gion.


With prices ranging from 6,000 up to more than 40,000 yen. you can get made up and wear the costume and then wander around Gion.


So, how can you tell they are fake?

A simple rule of thumb is that if it is the daytime, then almost certainly they are cosplayers. Another thing to look for is how they walk. Very few non-maiko will be able to walk in the correct maiko way. The bags they carry and how they lift the kimono are also give-aways.



  1. Very interesting. I never thought that I might be seeing fakes in Kyoto. Are they models who work for the remake company, or just customers who got remade? If they are models, you would think they would at least teach them how to walk somewhat realistically.

  2. OK not daytime. but how do reals walk, and what is the backpack bag, and how do they lift the kimono?

  3. Not remake companies, they are just customers. Many girls like the image of being a pretty maiko, with the finery and expensive things that go with it, but cannot or will not work to become one. So, they can dress up to play maiko for a day through these companies instead! Especially in Kyoto, where it is easy for these shoppes to acquire discarded hikizuri and maiko obi.

  4. It's all about folks and cultures. I think that women seems beautiful with those dresses. I really want to know Japan someday.