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Japanese students view Jewels of Kyoto performance


The Year 10, 12 and 13 Japanese language students of Sancta Maria College were able to go to the Auckland Museum and view a Maiko performance, the first in New Zealand from Kyoto, Japan. Students were able to participate in a traditional tea ceremony where they drank bitter tasting green tea that the Maiko had gracefully prepared for the guests. Later on, the Maiko taught the students a traditional Japanese hand game.

The two Maiko performers were called, Tomitae and Tomitsuyu. Tomitae has been a Maiko for about four years so is expected to become a geisha girl next spring because after five years, Maiko can choose to continue to become a Geisha or they can choose to leave and complete high school and university. Tomitsuyu has been a Maiko for around 2 years. Tomitsuyu also spoke English exceptionally well because she spent a few years growing up in Wellington, New Zealand. Japanese language students from Sancta Maria College and other schools around Auckland were able to ask questions to the Maiko after their performance. Tomitsuyu was able to answer in English if the answers were complicated for the audience to understand in Japanese. We learnt that Maiko take about an hour to do their hair, an hour to paint their face white and about 10-15 minutes, with help, to fit the kimono. The dedication needed to become a Maiko showed throughout the graceful and articulate performances that both of the Maiko demonstrated. It was an amazing look at the traditional Japanese culture that I am sure the students are grateful for and will never forget.


Samantha Connery