Saturday, May 19, 2012

..Being an Oiran 花魁変身..

One funny thing I did in Kyoto... I became an Oiran for a day! 
I can hardly recognize myself in the pictures though...

And yes it's really me!

Oiranって? Wikipedia attack:
Oiran (花魁) were courtesans in Japan. The oiran were considered a type of yūjo (遊女) "woman of pleasure" or prostitute. However, they are distinguished from the yūjo in that they were entertainers, and many became celebrities of their times outside the pleasure districts. Their art and fashions often set trends among the wealthy and, because of this, cultural aspects of oiran traditions continue to be preserved to this day.

I think a lot of people tend to confuse Geisha for Oiran...
I wasn't very clear myself until I saw the movie Sakuran, starring Anna Tsuchiya ... A very nice movie. Definitly recommend! And I love Anna Tsuchiya, she always plays strong women. She is gorgeous in real life too, I was lucky enough to touch her hand during a live show

Nowadays Oiran henshin is very popular because:
1- kimono used are usually more beautiful and more glamourous
2- the general outfit is more sexy and you can do some pretty sexy photoshots

So I went to the traditional area of Kyoto...

And after 40 minutes make-up and dressing...

I also met 2 maiko-san (apprentice geisha)...

Notice the difference of hair, obi (belt with front lace) and kimono!

They were going out after the picture. Usually you can keep the maiko outfit for the day and visit Kyoto. I imagine a lot of people and especially foreign tourists can confuse them for real maiko-san and chase them for a picture haha!

As I chose Oiran, I could not get out (Oiran were not supposed to go out anyway, they would wait for customers in the main house), so I did a few modelling pictures with the photographer

I like the last one a lot! Even Oiran need to keep up with technology!