Performing arts

An Interview with Wakaba-san, a Young Geisha in Kisarazu


An Interview with Wakaba-san, a Young Geisha in Kisarazu
Continuing to Pursue Her Dreams



IHCSA Café interviewed Wakaba-san, a young geisha in Kisarazu who made her parlor debut in September 2016 while working as a temporary staff member of the local tourist association. Kisarazu is the only place in Chiba Prefecture that still has a kenban (an administrative office for geisha handling their dispatch to restaurants and other matters that also serves as a training facility). We asked Wakaba-san about her motivation in entering the geisha business, which is said to be facing a lack of successors and young talent, the attractions of Kisarazu geisha, and the enjoyment of parlor games.


Desire for work relating to traditional Japanese culture
—What was your initial motivation for entering the world of geisha?

When I was small, my family often made trips around the temples and shrines of Kyoto. I originally decided to become a geisha when I saw maiko [apprentice geisha] in the Gion district of Kyoto. In my elementary school days, I wanted to be a miko shrine assistant, or maybe a shell diver, because I liked the sea. But in the end, it was the maiko who were most appealing. I always had an interest in Japan’s performing arts as well, so I decided to become a geisha.

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