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Monday, 16th December 2013
In Events In Japan,

Kyoto geishas extend New Year greetings

The geishas of Kyoto have extended their New Year greetings to their teachers in a courtesy call that has become a traditional part of the profession.

Dressed in kimonos, the former capital's world-famous entertainers could be seen waiting to visit the women who trained them on the streets of a rain-drenched Gion last Friday (December 13th).

Greetings were undertaken in the practice rooms, with teachers handing their ex-students a new fan for them to use in the New Year.

The fans, which feature red kanji symbols, are also an important part of the tradition as geishas use them as calling cards.

While the term geisha is widely used in Tokyo and around the world, the language variation in Kyoto means they are known as geiko throughout the city.

It is often difficult for tourists to secure a meeting with a geisha without knowing someone in Japan as companies that offer such a service are highly exclusive and make arrangements only by invitation.