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Entrance to the Ichiyo Sakura Matsuri festival site on Komatsu-bashi-dori near Asakusa, behind Sensoji temple. 小松橋通り
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Festival banner. The Ichiyo Sakura Festival is held in April along the main Komatsu-bashi-dori street lined with Ichiyo cherry blossoms. These photos were taken on April 14, 2007. 小松橋通り
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The festival lasts all day long, from morning until late afternoon. Incudes a flea market. 小松橋通り
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Stage entertainment held on one end of the street. 街角ステージ
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Ichiyo sakura cherry blossom trees line the street where the Oiran Dochu procession will proceed. 一葉桜
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Close-up of Ichiyo sakura cherry blossoms. "Ichiyo" means "one leaf." You can see that the flower actually has a small green leaf inside. 一葉桜
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At the starting point of the procession, the oiran gets ready to wear her high and heavy wooden clogs.
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The star and main focus of the festival and procession, the oiran or tayu courtesan.
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Head of the Edo-Yoshiwara Oiran Dochu procession which started at 1:30 pm. 江戸吉原おいらん道中
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The procession is headed by tekomai geisha who sing.
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Baton holder
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The kamuro attendants precede the oiran.
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Oiran. Her wig and geta clogs weigh the same (about 7 kg or 15 pounds each) to keep her head and feet balanced. Her whole outfit weighs about 60 pounds (27 kg). That's why she needs his shoulder for support as she walks. 花魁
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A large crowd line the narrow street.
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Oiran Dochu procession, Ichiyo Sakura Festuval, Tokyo
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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花魁道中
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Oiran Dochu procession, Ichiyo Sakura Festuval, Tokyo. Her obi sash is tied in the front in a knot called manaita-musubi.
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Unlike normal kimono, she wears the obi sashi in the front instead of the back. This is so that she can show off her beautiful obi which would otherwise be covered by the uchikake outer garment.
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Elaborate oiran wig weighing about 7 kg or 15 pounds.
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Four ladies in waiting called shinzo, follow the oiran. They are future oiran.
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The Oiran Dochu procession proceeds slowly along the Ichiyo cherry-lined street.
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The procession nears the main stage where the procession ends.
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The oiran in clear view near the stage.
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They pose in front of the stage and bowed before going backstage.
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Oiran and her attendants then performed a short but spectacular oiran show on the stage from about 2 pm. おいらんショー
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おいらんショー
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The gold folding screen, koto music, and dance made it a real visual treat.
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Oiran drinks sake.
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Lighting a tobacco pipe. (Real smoke)
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Her customer smokes the pipe.
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Oiran dances.
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Back view
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I was shooting like rapid-fire continuous mode.
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Oiran dances with her kamuro attendants
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Great show
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Very colorful under the sun.
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Spectacular kimono
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Oiran have their obi sash tied in the front instead of the back like geisha in Kyoto.
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Her obi sash is also very ornate.
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I can only wonder how much this kimono costs.
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At the end of the oiran show, they posed for photographers.
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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Kamuro
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After the oiran show, the Oiran Dochu procession is held again for the return trip from 3 pm.
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The procession passes by Ichiyo sakura trees.
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Oiran Dochu procession, Tokyo
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Oiran Dochu procession, Tokyo
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Before crossing the busy intersection, oiran takes off her clogs to wear normal slippers.
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Her attendants keep her steady as she changes her footwear.
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Be sure to see my video at YouTube.
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Clogs
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She put her clogs again and completed her return trip.
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The name of her teahouse was Matsubaya which was the last teahouse in the Yoshiwara district.
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Bravo!
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I saw this festival again on April 10, 2010 and these are the pictures. The highlight was not one, but two oiran entourages who appeared.
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This time I focused on the Oiran Show and didn't chase the procession heading to this stage. The opening act were these musicians playing festival music.
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The first oiran group arrives in front of the stage.
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Kamuro. They might be high school age.
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The oiran herself. This year, the oiran and other women were portrayed by women who applied for this job voluntarily. I don't think they performed professionally in any oiran shows.
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Kamuro attendants.
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The tekomai geisha first appeared and posed for photos.
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Tekomai geisha posing for photos.
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Oiran show begins. Also see my video of this performance at YouTube.
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Oiran
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The show was almost the same as before. She leans back like this.
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Then leans sideways mimicking the slope of Mt. Fuji.
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End of the first oiran show.
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The second oiran then appeared on stage.
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Spreading her wings. She did almost the same thing as the first oiran, except for the latter part of the show.
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Leaning right, then...
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Leaning left.
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She receives a smoking pipe from her kamuro.
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She lights the pipe.
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Lots of eye candy in this show.
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She gives the pipe to her customer.
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He smokes it. Also see my video of this performance at YouTube.
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She gives an approving (seductive?) glance at him.
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Then they got up and left the stage.
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They pose for pictures.
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Oiran
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The person in black is the kurogo attendant.
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Oiran and her court pose for pictures.
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On the way back, both oiran did not wear the high geta clogs as they did when they arrived. Too tiring...
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Tekomai geisha
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Kamuro and oiran
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A beautiful day for an oiran matsuri.
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She posed for me too.
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Kamuro attendants and oiran courtesan at the Ichiyo Sakura Matsuri Oiran Dochu Procession in Asakusa, Tokyo.
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Ladies in waiting.
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Back of oiran.
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She wears normal footwear and not the high clogs. Too bad...
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Oiran stopped and posed for me. How nice of her...
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Also see my video at YouTube.
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The day's entertainment was capped by taiko drummers.
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My YouTube video of the oiran show in 2010.
 
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