Co-ordination for Stripe Geisha Hikizuri

Well…no more buying so I have been playing with co-ordination with my hiki and current collection. The obi is just folded and secured with a makura:

Obi options for my stripe hikizuri....

Big bold flowers are the motif I have seen with stripe hiki in the Taisho era…however I just don’t really have an obi to match…

Obi options for my stripe hikizuri....

Earthier combination that seems popular with my pals…

Obi options for my stripe hikizuri....

Purple is my favourite colourway so far. I shall make a purple han eri to go with this kimono. Not a high class obi but it is what I have…

Obi options for my stripe hikizuri....

Yellow, looks better in real light but purple still does it for me! It is more my style.

Make your own Oshiroi or Geisha/Maiko white Shiro-nuri/make up

Well, I have the real thing but don’t like using it because of the cost and as an evil chemist I thought I would make my own, fragrance and talc free version for clubbing and other events!

The tools:

Ingredients for the white kabuki foundation:

1. Titanium Dioxide (Zinc Oxide and Magnesium stearate could be suitable replacements if you have an allergy etc)

2. Sericite Mica (Provides the ‘silkiness’ and there are many versions to choose from but all should be OK)

3. Glyerol (Or Glycerine, check the ‘coughs and colds’ section of your local pharmacy or cake section of your supermarket – mine is 100% w/w)

4. Water

5. Rice powder (I get mine for a few quid off rakuten, however, Aloe vera powder or ‘mineral make up’ setting powder will also do the trick)


So the method for 1 face:

1. Mix 3.5g of Titanium dioxide with 1.5g of Sericite in one pot

2. Mix 1g Glycerol with 4g of water in another

3. Add the two mixes together

This is basically it for the kabuki make up. Then you can either use this this for a REALLY thick coverage (I find hard to use) or thin it out with a bit more water (like about 2g) and layer. You need to use the same techniques with a foundation brush and sponge to achieve the effect.

Once your face is complete and dry you need to dust with the rice powder to set the foundation.

I tested this on my arm to compare it to the real thing:


and in daylight:

This is close to the real thing but not 100% accurate, the reason is I have not used any talc or funny ingredients including the perfume that is added which to be honest, smells like your grandma.

I use rice powder or white mineral setting powder to dust – the one I make myself has white mica and aloe vera powder, but you can just re-dust with Sericite to make this solution even cheaper.

On the cost side of things:

1. Titanium dioxide 250g = £5

2. Sericite 25g = £6

3. Glycerol 100ml = £1.20

4. Water – Free out of the tap if someone else is paying…

5. Rice Powder – £8 for a box with 3 packets

That’s a lot of faces for the money.

The real stuff costs $72 for the kabuki make up and wax then the powder is $46.

The arm pictures are WITHOUT the wax base. The wax base is required for a more authentic look, it makes it long lasting and smoother. It is also a bugger to get off without real soap. You can try making the wax with beeswax,oil and petroleum jelly but I don’t have a method for that 🙂 It’s like a stiff, dry lip balm you smooth over your face.




Japanorama in Nottingham – Geisha Tea Party

On Saturday we joined in Japanorama which was a ‘teahouse party fundraiser’ experience in Nottingham.

It was a light affair, with tea, snacks, Japanese games like Tora Tora and dancing.

I took my wedding kakeshita hikizuri for one of the ‘Geisha’ and there were 2 ‘Maiko’, 1 ‘Geiko’ and an okiya mother.

The geisha had contructed their own dance based on the distinctive but easier moves assosciated with traditional dances performed by Geisha, as they knew with two months till the show they would not be able to master a full dance. Plus they were very aware of their own limitations and this was for fun.

April took a video so hopefully I will be able to add it to this post at a later date!

We strapped the girls into their kimono so they could provide a decent experience for the guests.

Here are a few photos from the day:






The dance was good. I think it resonated a lot better as they were not directly immitating a traditional dance, which we have seen that this is hard to master and can fail when preformed by dancers not traditionally trained.

On another note, there were MAIKO in London recently and it doesn’t matter how much we troll websites for events such as this, they never bother to publicise them or intentionality keep stuff like this secret. SUPER mad.

I will see Geisha dance…oh yes I WILL.


Kimono Challenge 5 – Favourite co-ordination so far…

The challenge questions are:

1. How did you discover and get into kimono?
2. Your dearest kimono item(s).
3. Your most used kimono item(s) (not counting jubans, datejimes etc.).
4. Your least used kimono item(s).
5. Your favourite coordination(s) so far.
6. What do you like and don’t like about kimono.
7. Kimono confessions. Did you know that…
8. Your dream kitsuke items (or at least items you really really want but can’t get for whatever reason).
9. Your biggest kimono fears.
10. Your biggest kimono inspiration.
11. Your kimono collection.
12. The evolution of your kitsuke.
13. Your special kimono memory.


I have old faithfuls in everything, kimono is no exection. However my favourite ‘posh’ co-ordination in my purple furisode. I have used this many times for myself and shows:

Baka Hime Furisode (2)

and for ‘shopping and kimono de jack’ my failthful black and red co-ordinations..again overused at shows and photoshoots by me!

Bit messy, but experimenting for KDJ

Red and Black Kitsuke

Purple Paper Crane Geisha Hikizuri Kimono

Well I am here again, Geisha hikizuri number 3 with paper cranes for good luck and hope.

Baka Hime in Purple Paper Crane Hikizuri

She is a superb deep purple and I couldn’t have wished for a more superb kimono and very wearable too. She is awase with a slightly padded hem and meant for dancin’

Baka Hime in Purple Paper Crane Hikizuri (2)

Otaiko variation again using my double sided maru obi, which also happens to be a twin! I have actually straightened up the top now as I didn’t realise it was so wrinkly, but you get the jist 🙂 I personally think this is the perfect obi for her as we are not constrained by season.

The kimono itself was quite expensive (for me that is, probably no so in hiki terms as the condition is excellent) but it was cheaper than my black susohiki and much more ‘fabulous’ in my terms. I would not have brought it if I didn’t think I already had a matching obi in my collection. However I am watching a similar obi with more detail as this might be nice. I like this obi too and I wear it quite a bit.

Surprisingly enough I am now skint and will be on a buying hiatus until July.

Kyoto Geiko Hikizuri in Dusty Pink

Well I got her quite cheap (£60) but she is quite stained also even though the condition of the silk/kimono is almost perfect.

No rips or pulled threads noticed just it met with a sticky end with something dropped down it and slight red colouring where the obi goes.

Guess she wore it with a red obi!

Baka Hime In Kyoto Geiko Hikizuri

However photographed with flash and even in the flesh you don’t notice the stains over her majesty and beauty, and the obi covered the obi wear mark.

Baka Hime In Kyoto Geiko Hikizuri (2)

This is an otaiko variation, one which I hope to practise and be able to tie on myself successfully. I am currently only focusing on otaiko, a variation of, plump sparrow and bunko in my obi tying repertoire until I can do them blind folded! This is a soft maru obi.

There is no crest on this kimono so we can assume this was a casual kimono for less formal events and it is houmongi style. It might have even been reserved for meeting with other Geisha. It it hitoe so it is a spring/end of summer kimono but each square seems to have a different motif.

We have Chrysanthemums for the onset of autumn, maybe for an ‘indian summer’ feel? We have maple leaves and grasses which is also very autumn. However, we have pine also which is normally new year, bamboo leaves (autumn again) and what looks like sunflower (late summer)

However the pine is purple and fresh green so that could indicate late summer/onset of autumn. I am going for a September kimono classification 🙂

Ok she deserves more than my primark accessories but as I am just back from holiday and washing and putting stuff away I just used something at hand rather than getting out my stuff.

This is my second Geisha kimono, here is my first

I am currently focussing on Odori kimono and geisha kimono for my collection. I am not going down the maiko route even though I would love a darari obi and maiko hikizuri they would only be for love and display. I am too old to play at maiko but I do feel that Geisha kimono (especially this one) can be worn normally.

However, I need to replenish my yukata collection first with two new ones as two have now died the death. I have spotted 3 I like in my price range so will get one a month from June.

Film Review: The Geisha House – goodbye money, goodbye love

First of all, I would like to say I like this film as a film but not as a representation of Geisha.  Am I being far to sensitive and protectorate about my impression of Geisha life and culture?

Blunt Synopsis:

The Geisha House (Omocha) is a 1999 film directed by Kinji Fukasaku, and it is set just as the anti-prostitution laws were coming into effect in Japan (1958) and demonstrated the changing attitudes towards Geisha at that time. Now, the story and the Geisha had very strong sexual plotlines.

The mother, had a sexual relationship with a patron for 10 years (scene with them drinking and a morning after scene suggesting sex) but his wife who was ‘the money’ wanted to put an end to it. So his son decided to use sexual manipulation to make this happen by seducing one of the house’s Geisha (they had sex). The father was furious and abandoned the mother. The son then wanted to see the Geisha again, raped her and then she sued. Serves him right….

Due to the lack of patronage, to fund the debut of a maiko for the house, the mother sold her body to a money lender. This was portrayed as an unpleasant sacrifice.

The other main Geisha of the story was first introduced playing sex games with a customer, going to ‘play golf’ (but then agreeing to sex, after swigging sake from the bottle) with another. The mothers friend (ex-Geisha) was also shown harbouring prostitutes at her bar to make money.

So that’s 4 of the women with very strong sexual story lines, but then we come to the maiko to be. This is the more endearing part of the story about her life as a maid, walking through the sexual lives of these women then (which was a curious point for me) – to become a maiko she has to loose her virginity (become a woman) at the time of her debut. The film ends with her re-signing herself to accept the highly sexual life she is about to live as money is very important to her.

So, if I didn’t know that there was a lot more art involved to Geisha. I would just think they were expensive and exclusive whores who like to party. But it is OK, they are all friends and happy.

The kimono and attention to detail in this film was perfect though, the settings, backdrops, atmosphere at the okiya…shame the Geisha were a bunch of tarts!

Disclaimer: My impressions of Geisha life and culture are mostly driven by Liza Dalby books, where Geisha are portrayed as discreet artists perfectly trained to entertain and engage men. Sex is sometimes involved, but at every engagement?

Geishaface Kitsuke, Kimono, Life

I started this blog because I have a terrible need to talk about kimono. I don’t care if you are listening or not, its my obsession. A friend of mine recently described me as a 30 year old that thinks she’s Geisha (and she was a 30 year old who thinks she is a sailor, but that’s another story) so this is my outlet.

I started my love of kimonos at the age of 18, but it didn’t really manifest itself into an obsession until 2 years ago.

Now I have over 70 kimono.

I know most of the kimono rules, but for me kimono is fashion so you will see me mixing formalities, flouting the rules and adding a gothic/loli/cyber twist to ensembles.

Enjoy, and comment if you have the urge