Geisha in Tokyo

Did you know there are still Geisha in Tokyo? Kyoto is not the only city where you can spot one.

Geisha 芸者 are traditional female Japanese entertainers skilled at different arts. Every year in mid April in the Asakusa district there is an Oiran Dōchū 花魁道中 (procession of courtesans) and if you are lucky enough to be around in this time of the year, you should try to go.

There, it is possible to see not only geisha in Tokyo but also Hangyoku 半玉 (apprentices), Oiran 花魁 (courtesan), Kamuro 禿 (Oiran’s child assistant), Wakai-mono 若い者 (man doing different duties in the pleasure quarters) and even a male Geisha!

Yes, there are also few male geisha in Japan. They are called taikomochi  太鼓持ち. The one in the previous picture is called Eitarou 栄太朗 and resides precisely in Asakusa, Tokyo.

They all belong to the Matsunoya Okiya 置き屋 (Geisha house)

Cat tongue – 猫舌 – nekojita

One of the things you notice the first time you go to Japan is the high temperature of some of the foods and how Japanese people seems to not care about something being really really hot.

As a foreigner you often have to wait a while until the food gets a reasonable temperature so it doesn’t burn your mouth. And this happens even in summer! It’s not uncommon to see, for example, in a ramen restaurant how Japanese people enters, orders, eats and leaves in just few minutes.

In Japanese people unable to eat really hot food are called 猫舌  (ねこじた nekojita). It literally means cat’s tongue:

猫 (cat) + 舌 (tonge) = 猫舌 nekojita: inability to take hot food

Apparently cats have a very  sensitive tongue, so people with sensitive tongues are also called nekojita. Are you a 猫舌 nekojita?

Animated Ukiyo-e 浮世絵

Ukiyo-e 浮世絵 is a genre of Japanese art based on woodblock prints produced between the 17th and the 20th centuries. Although it was considered cheap because it could be mass produced, it has created some of the most famous iconic Japanese paintings.

Some user in gifmagazine has created animated versions of some of the most famous Ukiyo-e scenes. While they keep the original simplicity, the animation adds a very interesting and original touch. What do you think?

You can find more in 瀬川三十七 Gifmagazine page.

Compressed gifs taken from PixFans