Monday, 15 April 2013

495 - Maiko girls on the terrace of Kamo River, Kyoto.

Card no 495 - Hinako 
Maiko girls, Kyoto. 
Country Card Sent From: Japan 
Place that Card Sender Lives: Near Tosu, Kyushu 
Date Received: 15th April 2013 
Distance Travelled: 5,849 miles 
Time Taken: 7 days (16 days) 
Postcrossing id – JP-386235 

Only one card today but what a delightful one. Maiko girls in beautiful traditional dress on the terrace of Kamo River, Kyoto. Kyushu (九州, literally "nine provinces") is Japan's third largest island, located southwest of the main island, Honshu.

Geisha (芸者?), geiko (芸子) or geigi (芸妓) are traditional Japanese female entertainers who act as hostesses and whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music, dance and games. The meaning of gei is "art" and sha means "person of". Geiko is a Kyoto term for Geisha that means more of a "specialist of the arts". Maiko are young geisha ranging in age from 15 to 20 or 21 years old. Mai means “dance”, and and ko is “specialist of” dance. Maiko exist in Kyoto only. (Kyoto is a city in the central part of the island of Honshu). Maiko have an older sister, bound to them. They call their older sisters onesan. The word maiko is pronounced: (my-koh)

In the West there remains some confusion about the nature of the geisha profession. At various times and places, many non-Japanese have understood geisha to be prostitutes. However, legitimate geisha do not engage in paid sex with clients. Their purpose is to entertain their customer, be it by dancing, reciting verse, playing musical instruments, or engaging in light conversation. Geisha engagements may include flirting with men and playful innuendos; however, clients know that nothing more can be expected. In a social style that is common in Japan, men are amused by the illusion of that which is never to be.

The number of days travelling was actually seven but the card was requested 9 days before that. I don’t mind in the least that someone takes time to find me the right card when it is as lovely as this one.   In addition, Hinako had decorated the corner of the card really nicely.

Hinako also wrote “Hello John” in Japanese. I should ask everyone to write something like that in their native language.

 So npw I know hello - こんにちは   and John - ジョン  in Japanese.

 ありがとう ひなこ  (I think that says - Thank you Hinako)

The stamps are lovely too. They have a delicacy one would expect from Japanese stamps.


  1. I love this card! I read a book "Geisha" by Liza Dalby, a non-Japanese person to be trained as a geisha. It was great to learn more about being a geisha from a person with our mentality.

  2. It's a wonderful postcard. When I was asked about my favourite postcards for the Postcrossing blog, I indicated one similar to yours ( among my preferred postcards.


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