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Sakuragawa: A geisha and maiko RPG
Kimitoshi's misedashi 
21st-Feb-2012 04:43 pm
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A few days after the party with the onnagata, and after Hotaru’s first set of lessons at the school, Kanotoshi and Kimitoshi went around to each of the other okiya in the city with notes reminding the other maiko and geiko that Kimitoshi’s misedashi was imminent. They had already passed out similar announcements almost a month before, but since the district was so small and everyone was always so busy, it was customary for new maiko and geiko to pass around such reminders.

The day of Kimitoshi’s misedashi was bright and sunny. It was a touch on the warm side for mid-March in Sakuragawa, and the spring leaves and flowers were making their first appearance. Many local families were out and about enjoying the weather. Tourists too had come to Sakuragawa to enjoy the atmosphere, and today the district’s main roads and even many of the smaller ones were packed with tourists. While most tourists wouldn’t even know what a misedashi was and couldn’t identify a real maiko from another tourist dressed up as one for fun, there were many in Sakuragawa today just to catch a glimpse of Kimitoshi’s debut.

Ichisei stood at the front door of her okiya, shaking out her favorite pale yellow shawl before draping it elegantly over her shoulders, hiding the upper half of her light grey kimono and the cream obi she wore with it. She slipped her komachi geta on and stepped aside to let Ichifumi get to her zori. While the blue-clad maiko slipped her footwear on, Ichisei opened the door and stepped out onto the street to make more room. Ichifumi followed her as the twins, both wearing pink, made their way into the entryway to get their zori. Okaasan followed after them, pausing just long enough to pick a pair of new white zori out of a cubby in the entryway and set them out for Hotaru, whom she had dressed in a cheerful combination of pale purple and yellow for the day. Okaasan herself wore a dusty green. Once they were all out on the sidewalk and door had been locked behind them, she paused for a moment to fuss over the small ornaments in the twins’ hair and to make sure the brand-new blue cloth in Ichifumi’s ofuku hairstyle was neat before leading her household through the small back roads and alleys that would allow them to avoid the most tourist-filled roads on the way to the Kobayashi house.

*** *** *** *** ***

The Hoshino family lived the farthest away from the Kobayashi house, and while Hinako would have much preferred to just stay home and practice her arts, Kogiku was shrewd enough to know that putting in an appearance at another girl’s misedashi or erikae was good for networking in Sakuragawa. The event was bound to be attended by some of their customers, and of course it was an opportunity to be visible to tourists (their teachers wouldn’t be at the house to see Kimitoshi off but would instead be waiting for her at the school, where she would go to greet them). It was also a good chance to size up other houses and keep tabs on who was new, who had left, and who was moving on to another stage in her career. Hinako in particular found this interesting, as it helped her gather more information on her rivals.

In Sakuragawa, the custom at a misedashi was for the debuting maiko and her oneesan to both appear in their most formal kimono, and for the oneesan to accompany her newly-debuted younger sister on her rounds of greetings. All of the other maiko and geiko in attendance, including the others in the debuting girl’s house, would show up in fairly informal kimono for the day. Maiko were expected to have their hair styled as usual, but it was taboo for a geiko to show up in her wig or with her hair styled. It would be seen as a bid for attention and as rude to the new maiko and her house. But that didn’t mean there weren’t ways for a crafty okaasan to draw attention to her girls. And Kogiku was crafty.

The night before the debut, she had set out three colorful outfits: a bright emerald-green kimono with a black and white hakata obi for Hinako, sky blue with a black obi covered in a colorful pattern for the maiko Kozen, and sunny yellow with a grey and blue obi for Sami. They would certainly stand out from the crowd too.

Kogiku insisted that they rise early, dress early, and leave early so they could be at the Kobayashi house early enough to get good spots close to the front door -- but not so close it looked like they were trying to crowd the Kobayashi family out of their own pictures. Just close enough that people were sure to notice them.

*** *** *** *** ***

Because they left so early, the Hoshino family was indeed the first family to arrive. Even so, they had been beaten to the house by several eager tourists (who quickly turned their attention to the colorful crowd) and a short, chubby white woman dressed in a purple iromuji and carting the biggest, scariest, most professional-looking camera of the day. She had a tripod tucked under one arm and was waiting patiently by the door, as though she thought they family was expecting her. She gave a slight bow of acknowledgment to the Hoshinos, but only Kozen returned the acknowledgement. The Ishida and Harukawa families arrived from slightly different directions at almost the same time, and the respective members of each family greeted each other and the Hoshino girls cheerfully…though Yaesuzu kept her distance from Hinako. She waved eagerly to Hotaru and Sami, hoping both would join her for a chat before Kimitoshi appeared.

A rather nervous-looking Japanese family, all dressed in Western clothing except for the mother (who wore a chic maroon tomesode), worked their way through the crowd and joined the kimono-clad white woman at the door. They spoke together for a few minutes before someone pushed the front door open, which caused the tourists to go nuts snapping pictures (they ALL wanted that first shot of Kimitoshi taking her first steps as a full maiko), but it was a false alarm. Rather than Kimitoshi appearing, the Japanese family and the woman who had been waiting by the door were all brought inside, and then the door was once more shut firmly behind them.

Ichifumi groaned a little. “We’re going to be here a while,” she murmured. “I think that was Kimitoshi’s family only just arriving, and they hadn’t even let Miri-chan in yet…”

The Ishida twins nodded, and Harukawa girls all sighed a little. Near the door, Kozen looked a little sour. “My family was late too,” she muttered to Sami. “They said the traffic from the hotel was awful because of all of the tourists trying to get to our house to watch my misedashi too.”

As the women waited together, chatting with each other and exchanging stories of their own debuts, more people began arriving to watch. Ryuuki and Masuyo arrived, as Ryuuki had promised Kimitoshi he would. They worked their way through the crowd of tourists to stand closer to the maiko and geiko. Another pair of men arrived from the same direction the Harukawa family had come, and the maiko and geiko turned to greet them as well. A short time later, and elegant black car with dark windows pulled slowly down the small street, stopping a short distance from the crowd gathered in front of the house. The driver hopped out to open the back passenger door, and a tall, leggy blonde climbed elegantly from the car and joined the waiting crowd. She was much taller than most of the people gathered, and even though many people moved aside for her she didn’t try to move to the front of the crowd. She nodded greetings to the maiko and geiko as well, then turned her attention back to the front door to wait patiently, an expensive digital camera clutched in a black-gloved hand.

Yaehisa, Yaesuzu’s older sister, looked around. “Well,” she said to nobody in particular, “looks like everyone is here. Even one of our customers from overseas. Now we just get to wait…I bet Kimi-chan’s kimono is gorgeous.”
24th-Feb-2012 01:01 am (UTC)
Hotaru saw Yaesuzu waving to her, and joined her friend as they waited for Kimitoshi's appearance through the divided black curtain with her okiya's crest emblazoned on it in white. Her hair had been pulled back into a simple bun, and her kimono was a little more formal than the usual yukata she wore, though nowhere near the regalia Kimitoshi was going to be donning for her debut.

She stared a little at the very tall blonde woman who'd joined the crowd. "Who is she?", she asked.
24th-Feb-2012 04:05 am (UTC)
"Who?" Yaesuzu asked, looking around. Her eyes fell on said tall blonde, and suddenly she knew exactly who Hotaru must be talking about. "Oh, her! That's Siofra." It sounded kind of like SHEE-fruh when she said it. "She's from...oh, where is she from...Ireland, I think. She comes to Japan a lot on business and is a member at one of the ochaya here. She likes to give us presents. I didn't know she was back in Japan, actually."

Yaesuzu noticed Shido working his way through the crowd and signing autographs. "...is he...signing autographs?"
24th-Feb-2012 04:53 am (UTC)
"Shee-fruh?" The name sounded odd to Hotaru's ears. Before she could further ponder the quirks of Irish names, she heard Yaesuzu choke out something about autographs. She followed the older girl's gaze, and saw the onnagata, Onoe Shido V, in the crowd. She gasped in surprise, he was famous! Or infamous, depending on who one talked to. She elbowed Yaesuzu in the ribs, whispering, "What's he doing here?"
24th-Feb-2012 08:07 pm (UTC)
"Signing autographs, from the look of it," Yaesuzu said dryly. "He works at the theater here, didn't you know that? He's one of their top onnagata. He's a member at the Hanazaki ochaya." She looked around a bit and nodded to the other two onaagata, gossiping off to the side a bit. "Those two work in the theater too, also as onnagata. The three of them are always holding parties around here."
26th-Feb-2012 11:40 pm (UTC)
Intellectually, Hotaru knew who Onoe Shido was, of course; his face graced the pocket calendar (and many other school supplies) of her best friend, Yoriko, who considered herself to be one of his biggest fans (Hotaru personally favored Satome Taichi herself). Yoriko would surely die of jealousy once Hotaru wrote and told her that she saw him here. But-

"Signing autographs? Is that kind of, um, wrong?"
27th-Feb-2012 08:21 pm (UTC)
Yaesuzu tilted her head this way and that, trying to decide the best explanation. Her sister Yaehisa took over. "I suppose it's not wrong, but it's a little...show-stealing," she said. "I mean, it would be kind of sad if Kimi-chan came out and nobody was paying attention to her because everybody was paying attention to him, wouldn't it?"

"Surely he has more class than that," added Ichifumi, who had wandered over to see what they were up to. "It looks like the autograph singing has died down a little, doesn't it?"

The others nodded in agreement, then Yaesuzu let out a happy (yet somehow quiet) little squee of happiness. "Oh! I think I see something moving behind the door! That must mean she's almost ready!"
28th-Feb-2012 02:43 am (UTC)
Hotaru gasped along with Yaesuzu, and listened for the telltale sound of the flint striking. It would be soon now!
24th-Feb-2012 02:17 am (UTC)
Shido strolled happily down the narrow street, humming contentedly to himself. It was a beautiful sunny day, if a bit hot, and Shido was dressed comfortably in a light grey linen suit with matching grey ostrich leather shoes. He held a white cotton parasol surely in his left hand, and a neat little bag in his right. Shido was infamous for his aversion to tanning, and took all measures to prevent even the slightest damage to his skin.

A row of colorful mokuroku posters lined the outside wall of the okiya, and Shido nodded to himself in satisfaction as he found the one he had commissioned. It was conspicuous, but not flashy, featuring a cheerful waving neko, an elegant paper crane, and a cluster of pink roses at the bottom. Pink roses which perfectly matched the item in the bag in his hand...

A sizable crowd was beginning to gather, and Shido could see Ryuuki and Masuyo mingling with geisha and maiko. He meandered his way through the press slowly, letting the chatter of the crowd carry the news of his arrival to Ryuuki and Masuyo's ears rather than approaching them outright. He paused to sign an autograph or two for fans, and to assist an older woman to a better view of the door.
24th-Feb-2012 04:13 am (UTC)
Ryuuki and Masuyo were conversing quietly with the Ishida and Harukawa okaasan when Ryuuki finally looked up to see what the crowd was fussing about. He knew it wasn't Kimitoshi -- no crowd at a misedashi ever fussed so quietly about a new maiko making her first appearance. He looked around for the source, eyes landing on Siofra (whom he could identify but didn't know personally), the maiko and geiko, the waiting tourists and press contingent...oh. Shido. Of course.

"He's here," he murmured to Masuyo.

"Yes, I noticed," Masuyo murmured back, sounding considerably more sour than Ryuuki had ever heard him. "God, is he REALLY singing autographs? At someone else's misedashi? ...It's a good thing you got the invitation to Tokyo and not him, if it had to be one of you representing us on the stage there I would much rather have it be you."

Ryuuki didn't answer. He had no idea why Masuyo had such a problem with Shido, and had no interest in getting dragged into whatever little feud the two had going on. He knew he had a much better chance of maintaining both friendships, as well as looking better to outsiders, if he kept his nose clean and out of trouble.
26th-Feb-2012 11:27 pm (UTC)
Shido continued to meander lazily through the crowd, placing himself near Ryuuki and Masuyo, but not close enough to be "with" them. He flirted harmlessly with an obaasan while they waited. She was charmingly coy, a trait he dearly missed among "modern" women, the kind who were forward enough to try to take their liberties with him! He'd never forget the pair of wagamama who actually stationed themselves on either side of the door of the men's restroom at Club Kujaku, waiting for him to come out. It had been a narrow escape that night...
27th-Feb-2012 08:38 pm (UTC)
Masuyo grumbled a little bit at Ryuuki, something about "why the heck doesn't he come over and say hello to me like he SHOULD," but Ryuuki just ignored the grumbling. Sure, Masuyo had a point, but Ryuuki wasn't in the mood to play referee for him today. He did, however, take a few steps away from Masuyo and over to Shido, then said (loudly enough for other people nearby to hear), "Glad you could join us, Shido. It's a nice day for a misedashi, don't you think?"
28th-Feb-2012 02:38 am (UTC)
"Ryuuki!" Shido greeted his friend warmly, with no hint of rancor. After all, this was not the place to be rude. He sketched a quick but polite bow to Masuyo, who merely grunted in return. "Yes, it's a beautiful day," he agreed, readjusting his grip on his parasol. "I hope it doesn't get any warmer though. You know how much I don't like the humidity." He flashed an impossibly white grin and pushed his sunglasses back to their proper position on the bridge of his nose.

There was a bit of jostling to his right, and he bit back his indignation at being elbowed in the ribs by a particularly enthusiastic man with an expensive-looking camera. "Do you think Kimi-chan is nervous?', he asked sincerely.
1st-Mar-2012 07:08 am (UTC)
Ryuuki nodded a bit. It WAS humid for the time of year. "I know, I didn't expect it to get like this until the summer."

He glanced up towards the door, then to the crowd, then back to the door again. "I bet she is. I mean, wouldn't you be, if you saw all these people the first time out? And to know they're going to be hounding you for the rest of your life, until you quit the profession...it's gotta be tough."

He had barely finished talking when the door to the little house opened. The crowd tensed, ready to leap into action. "Here she comes!" Masuyo murmured behind him...

(I'm posting her actual appearance in a new comment below, so I don't have to write the same comment in three different threads :p)
26th-Feb-2012 02:35 am (UTC) - Enter Masaki
[OOC: I hope this is okay. I've left the details of Masaki's previous visit to the hanamachi with Fujiwara (mentioned in his profile) up for grabs :) ]

The world jolted into life as the taxi pulled up. Masaki wiped the sleep from his eyes and looked out the window, there was a stream of tourists in the distance, but the driver had chosen a relatively quiet spot to drop them off.

"Akatsuka-kun, let's go!"

Masaki turned to his older friend, nodded and crawled along the seat to exit out of the curbside door.

"It's just up the road," Fujiwara told him, fixing his hair. Kenji Fujiwara had been Masaki's sempai when he first broke into the host business. A good six years older than Masaki, he had long since exited the water trade and had opened a couple of live-houses in and around the region, along with several trendy dining bars. A success story if ever there was one, a success that Masaki wished for himself.

Masaki, dressed in a rather plain suit compared his typical work-night outfits, with his hair toned down too, looked much more like young businessman than one of the top hosts in the city, but that suited him fine.

Fujiwara pushed through the crowds around the door and Masaki followed him inside. Fujiwara had asked him to accompany him today, presumably because he wanted to show him what life was like outside the club district where so much of Masaki's life was spent these days. However, Masaki couldn't shake the feeling that Fujiwara was perhaps more interested in making Masaki more cultured.

He didn't know anyone inside, some of the city and regional elite were here, celebrities, and foreigners too... He was outclassed and feeling more than a little self-conscious.
28th-Feb-2012 03:34 am (UTC) - Re: Enter Masaki
The Ishida twins were hanging back a bit, watching the crowd from a few steps away. They knew which direction Kimitoshi would be going first, and had decided that standing a little ways off in that direction was a good idea because it might let them get into a good position to take pictures. As a result, they were in a good position to move around the crowd and greet people who were arriving.

Ichishou glanced over at Masaki and his friend as they arrived, and frowned a little. They both looks so familiar, but she couldn't quite place....oh WAIT. The older-looking one had been at a party at the Murasaki no Tsuki ochaya recently. She couldn't remember if he had been the host or if it had been someone else, since she had arrived late after being called in to substitute for another maiko. Anyway, she recognized both of the men. The younger one was a host...what was his name?

She worked her way over to greet them as she though, and fortunately remembered both of their names by the time she got there. "Fujiwara-san, Akatsuka-san, it's so nice of you to come out for Kimitoshi-san's misedashi."
28th-Feb-2012 04:51 am (UTC) - Re: Enter Masaki
Fujiwara had spotted the maiko making a bee-line towards them as soon as she had started moving, but Masaki was caught unaware, glancing at the apparent celebrity making waves on the other side of the room. He didn't know a thing about Kabuki aside from the more famous actors who had crossed over into TV and movie celebrity. It was only the elbow in his ribs that brought Ichishou to Masaki's attention.

"Oh, it's Ichishou-chan," Fujiwara explained with a bright smile. The best parts of his old life as a host was that he always remembered a lady's face, and he always knew to pay a compliment: "You are looking fantastic today!"

Masaki smiled and bowed his head slightly with Fujiwara's reply, but kept silent. His slight sheepishness was too difficult to hide, as was the fact that besides Fujiwara, he didn't know anyone there, besides the faces and talents of a couple of the maiko.

Fujiwara turned to Masaki, "You remember Ichishou, right? She attended Nomura's 40th birthday party..."

Masaki nodded again, this time with much more confidence and energy, his work habits springing into life. "Of course, hello again! I had a fantastic time at Murasaki no Tsuki, but I was terribly drunk by the third party. What was it, Fujiwara, karaoke to finish?"

The older man grunted with a nod, "That's right..."

"Anyway, I'm really happy that Fujiwara brought me along today, but he hasn't explained a thing to me." Masaki was fishing for a conversation, flirting as came natural, and capitalising on a chance to see more of life on the other, more traditional side.
29th-Feb-2012 07:00 am (UTC) - Re: Enter Masaki
Ichishou bowed as well. "Thank you, oniisan," she said to Fujiwara. "You look well also. It feels like I haven't seen you in so long, but it really hasn't been that long, has it? How is Nomura-san?"

She turned her attention to Masaki, giving him another small bow. "Well, this is Kimitoshi-chan's misedashi. She has spent the past year learning how to be a maiko, and today she makes her debut. After today she can entertain at parties just like the rest of us." Ichishou glanced towards the door, where a bit of commotion was finally taking place just inside the door. "The actual ceremony of misedashi takes place inside, with just her real family, the other members of her okiya, and anyone else who was invited to participate. The only part the public gets to see is when she steps out for the first time as a real maiko. And then she has to go around to all of the businesses and ochaya, and to all of our teachers, to thank them for their support during her training and ask them for their continued support in the future as she develops her career." He lips twitches into a little smile, and she added, "You're a host, right? Is there anything like this among hosts?"
29th-Feb-2012 07:58 am (UTC) - Re: Enter Masaki
Fujiwara chuckled as he considered Nomura's situation - the last time they had seen each other, Nomura's was vomiting outside his own front door under a red dawn sun. Fujiwara had to have the taxi driver stick around while dragged Nomura over to a sofa in his large 4LDK house in the mountainous suburb.

"He's okay," Fujiwara replied vaguely before adding, "he said he had a fantastic birthday." of course, that was long after Nomura had woken up - at the end of the night of his birthday party, te only thing he could say was that he loved everyone - Fujiwara included.

Someone in the crowd caught Fujiwara's eye, another Murasaki no Tsuki regular, so he excused himself, making small chopping motions with his hands as he cut his way through the crowd, leaving Ichishou and Masaki alone.

Masaki felt a little more exposed with Fujiwara gone. Out of place socially, abandoned to fate by his friend and left talking to a girl hiding behind a mask of make-up - at least as much as he understood from his own career and the careers of his clients - but Ichishou kept his attention well, settling him. Or perhaps that was just a result of his own steadfast desire to hide his own insecurities.

Regardless of his social predicament, he was certain that his own line of work had nothing similar to the misedashi he had come to see.

"Well..." he hesitated, gathering his thoughts and considering how much of his career's allure he'd dare risk dispell to this kindred spirit of sorts. "Once my probation period finished, I mean, once my boss told me I'd be staying on as a player, we had a pretty big party as a means of introducing me to our clients, but nothing quite so formal as this."

He considered the girl in front of him for a moment, her chubby, healthy features exemplified in her make-up. She was young, he guessed, probably high school age. She didn't speak with the same high-pitched motormouth of abbreviated expressions and gratingly excessive use of "ne", but there was no hiding her youth.

"Perhaps when you grow up, you can come and see life on the wild side!" His words were injected with energy and spirit. The trained tones of a man who had spent many hours trying to bring girls into the club off the street, come rain or shine.
1st-Mar-2012 07:04 am (UTC) - Re: Enter Masaki
She grinned and laughed. "When I grow up? What if I wait until I'm old and gray? The wild side might be too much for me then, onii-san."

If she had been planning on saying anything else she didn't get a chance. The door at the front of the small okiya slid open, and the crowd tensed for just a split second...

(I'm posting Kimitoshi's actual appearance in a new comment below, so I don't have to type it in three different ocmment threads :p )
1st-Mar-2012 07:28 am (UTC)
The door slid open and bounced into the door frame, giving a slightly better view of what was going on inside. A small group of people stepped out of the entryway and took up positions around the door. The first, the kimono-clad photographer who had been brought in with Kimitoshi's family, took up a spot at the front of the group of photographers and prepared to continue snapping pictures on her impressive camera. She was closely followed by Hanatoshi, dressed in a pretty yellow casual kimono. Hanatoshi stayed by the door to hold the curtain out of the way for the next person, the geiko Kanotoshi, who was dressed in her formal black kimono with an elegant sho-chiku-bai pattern along the hem. She paused beside Hanatoshi to wait, ignoring the tourists as they raced to see who could get the most good pictures first. One member of Kimitoshi's family stepped outside, but turned to look back inside and take some pictures. The rest of the family, the Kobayashi okaasan, and Kimitoshi herself were still inside, mostly obscured by the shadows in the entryway.

There was a short delay while the new young maiko slipped into her okobo, then the sharp sound of okaasan striking the flint at her back echoed in the street around them, and finally Kimitoshi made her appearance. Her black kimono was covered in a series of clouds, each cloud filled with some kind of pattern -- cherries, plum blossoms, pine, bamboo, chrysanthemums, turning maple leaves, and various abstract patterns in all the colors of the rainbow. The obi had a pattern of crashing waves in various shades of gold on a creamy white background, with the family crest (a diamond of stylized pine boughs) at the very bottom of the obi. The family's prized antique tortoise shell kanzashi featured delicately carved pine and cranes. She paused in front of the door to pose for the photographers and to greet the maiko, geiko, and customers who had come to see her misedashi.
1st-Mar-2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Hotaru raised her camera (the new mobile phone her mother had given her when she'd been accepted into the Ishida okiya) and waited breathlessly for her friend to emerge from the black curtain. She felt a stab of envy as Kimitoshi stepped gracefully through the door, resplendent in her family's regalia. She looked so beautiful!

Youthful exuberance overcame Hotaru, and she stage whipsered Kimitoshi's name to get her friend's attention.
3rd-Mar-2012 07:13 pm (UTC)
It wasn't clear if Kimitoshi heard Hotaru's whisper, or if she just wanted to look towards her friends anyway and make sure they got good pictures too, but she flashed Hotaru a smile as she posed in the door. After several minutes of letting people take pictures of just her, Kanotoshi joined her and the two posed together. Okaasan and Hanatoshi posed for a couple of family portraits, and then it was time to go. Their first stops would be Kurokami, the hair salon a couple of streets over, and then Tsubakiya, which was a lovely kanzashi shop on Sakuragawa's main street. It was going to be a busy day -- Kimitoshi had to visit ALL of the shops that catered to the district's maiko and geiko (even the ones the Kobayashi okiya didn't patronize that often), ALL of the ochaya, ALL of the non-ochaya places they regularly entertained, and ALL of the teachers (who had kindly gathered at the kenban so she didn't have to find and visit all of their houses). Kanotoshi lead her down the road, the tourists wisely parting to let them pass -- some didn't move as far away from the two women as they really should have, but since nobody made to touch either of them, nobody else protested and the Kobayashi women passed unscathed. Kimitoshi flashed the maiko and geiko from other houses a quick smile as she passed.

The woman who was apparently acting as the okiya's photographer than day went scurrying along after them. She paused just long enough to grin at Hotaru and Sami and said, in oddly-accented Japanese, "That's going to be the two of you soon, isn't it?" before continuing on in Kimitoshi's wake.

Edited at 2012-03-03 07:14 pm (UTC)
6th-Mar-2012 01:19 am (UTC)
The woman was right, it would be her misedashi soon enough! Too soon, how would she learn everything she needed to before her entrance exam? What if she forgot a dance position, or tripped, or performed a flat note? What if she failed? Hotaru felt suddenly overwhelmed.
7th-Mar-2012 12:52 am (UTC)
Once Kimitoshi was out of sight, Ichigokoro rounded up the members of her house, and they also began making their way home. The whole was she was quiet and quite pensive. Clearly her mind was on something...though whatever was causing her concern, it didn't seem to have anything in particular to do with the women under her care. Perhaps something else was bothering her. Only time would tell.
1st-Mar-2012 10:39 pm (UTC)
Shido was prevented from replying to Ryuuki as Kimitoshi swept gracefully through the door of her okiya. The sound of dozens of cameras clicking filled the air, sounding like a flight of doves taking off.

Kimitoshi was flawless in her formal kuromontsuki; her hair shiny and pulled into its complicated but sleek wareshinobu. Shido recognized her kanzashi from pictures of Hanatoshi's misedashi. He personally thought Kimitoshi wore it better.
3rd-Mar-2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
Shido, Ryuuki, and Masuyo were lucky to be the customers most "in the way" -- they were standing right in the direction Kimitoshi would be going, but weren't actually blocking her path.

Since they were customers, and customers the Kobayashi women in general knew very well, there was no way Kanotoshi or Kimitoshi could (or would) just walk by and ignore them. Instead, they both paused and bowed to each of the men in turn. The tourists had an absolute field day snapping pictures. A few in the know whispered about the three star onnagata at the local theater coming out to greet Kimitoshi, and what a rare treat it was to see the kabuki and geiko worlds collide like this. Kimitoshi and her older sister did ignore the tourists and instead focused on politely acknowledging Shido, Ryuuki, and Masuyo. Each man was greeted with an elegant chorus of, "Ookini oniisan," from both women, then Kanotoshi added, "This is my younger sister Kimitoshi, please be kind to her." Kimitoshi herself added, "Thank you for your support, oniisan." And then they were off, Kimitoshi's long obi swaying behind her as they went.
6th-Mar-2012 01:22 am (UTC)
Returning the bows of the two maiko, Shido then watched the retreating forms of the newly-debuted maiko and her oneesan, feeling oddly proud, as though he had some personal investment in Kimitomi's particular debut that had paid off handsomely.

"Well, gentlemen," he said genially, "what are your plans for the rest of the afternoon?"
7th-Mar-2012 12:54 am (UTC)
Ryuu shifted uncomfortably and made a great production of putting his camera away. "well...I have to pack," he finally said. He didn't look at Shido when he did.

"Try not to take too much with you. You'll only be gone a couple of months," Masuyo said. He just couldn't help but offer advice, even when it wasn't asked for. To Shido, he added, "What are your plans?"
8th-Mar-2012 03:44 am (UTC)
Shido appeared to take Ryuuki's comment in stride. "Ah, Ryuuki, are you visiting Kobayashi again before you depart? Would you mind giving this to Kimitoshi, with my compliments?" He he proffered the fine paper bag he'd been holding. "I'm afraid I'm going to be rather busy for the next few weeks, and will be unable to offer this to Kimitoshi in person."

He turned to Masuyo. "For the rest of the day? I have a previous engagement." He pulled an envelope from his inside breast pocket. "I've got an invitation to that exclusive new restaurant in the southern district, the French one; It's their soft opening." He flashed a smile with gleaming white teeth.

Edited at 2012-03-08 03:50 am (UTC)
13th-Mar-2012 06:40 am (UTC)
(OOC: oh snap, I knew I missed something!)

Masuyo game him a tight smile. "Well, I do hope you enjoy yourself. Now if you'll excuse me...I have some shopping to do today." He bowed to Ryuuki and Shido both before heading off towards the main road. Apparently, his shopping involved things in the district.

Ryuuki watched him go, then sighed and turned to Shido. "Look, I know you're upset, but I hope you'll come see me in Tokyo. I'll save a front-row seat for you..."
14th-Mar-2012 04:29 am (UTC)
Shido blinked with what he hoped was sincere confusion. "Upset? Why on earth would I be upset?" He hoped his laugh didn't sound too forced. "Now, let's get ourselves a beer."
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