~Mountain Maiko Hikizuri~

So…those maiko hikizuri and darari obi sales that ryujapan99 had over the weekend? Well, when it was just the darari up on eBay, I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy anything. (Since I already have a darari, and I knew they’d go for a lot of money.) Then the maiko hikizuri were put up for auction. I knew these would go for significantly less, and was oh-so-tempted. To deter myself from purchasing though, I promised myself that I wouldn’t buy one unless I found a picture of a maiko wearing it. I thought that this would be a good way to keep me busy and away from the bidding. Since there are so many hikizuri that are worn without being photographed (and since the hiki for sale were vintage and therefore from a time when not so many photographs were taken of maiko as there are today), I figured that the chances of finding a picture were slim enough to be a deterrent. That worked fairly well…until I found the picture hehe. :p

So, please allow me to introduce to you my second maiko hiki ever….this time, it’s blue with multi-colored mountains and golden squares. I seem to have a thing for the bold graphic hiki. (Then again, I have a thing for any boldy patterned kimono haha)

I found a picture of a maiko wearing it in IG member Jaki-san’s Flickr scans of the 1987 edition of Bacchus magazine. (Of which, she has kindly allowed me to reproduce here.) In it, there are several portraits of the maiko of Gion. Here is my “new” hiki being worn by maiko Katsuyoshi:

The contrast in the magazine is terrible, as well as being in black-and-white, so some of the mountains have been washed out. However, if you look closely, you can see that the patterns match up. (If you have trouble spotting the mountains, look for the gold squares that are on the bottom of each mountain instead.)

I have not been able to find anything else about Katsuyoshi. There aren’t any scans of 1980s Odori programs out with her in them, so that I can’t identify how long she was a maiko. Perhaps the words under her picture may tell what okiya or district she belonged to. I’m currently looking for someone who could possibly translate them for me, as I’m very interested in knowing more about her! At the very least, I now know that this hiki is at least 24 years old.

It seems that there was an explosion of maiko items last week….Ichiroya also listed 4 maiko hikizuri! That brings the total count up to 7 maiko hikizuri and 4 darari obi being for sale in the same month. (Which is truly unheard of. Hikizuri generally come up for sale only a few times a year. Darari maybe once or twice a year.)

For those of you interested, here is a list of the items that were for sale. I’ve included the final sale prices for those of you who are interested in buying one of their own one day, and would like a price comparison.

(Please note that I have not included the shipping costs in the final price. However, you should be aware that these can be expensive in their own right, and therefore make it more costly in the end than you might think. Shipping averages $50-$150 dollars in some cases.)


Green Darari
Sale Price: $612.99
Seller: ryujapan99 on ebay


Reversible Brick Ro Darari
Sale Price: $407.00
Seller: ryujapan99 on ebay


Ume Darari
Sale Price: $800.00
Seller: etsy.com


Golden Darari
Sale Price: $690.00
Seller: ryujapan99 on ebay


Ro Hiki
Sale Price: $202.50
Seller: ryujapan99 on ebay


Pastel Fan Hiki
Sale Price:$162.50
Seller: ryujapan99 on ebay


Mountain Hiki
Sale Price: $352.62
Seller: ryujapan99 on ebay


Maple Hiki
Sale Price: $150.00
Seller: Ichiroya.com


Komon Hiki
Sale Price:$150.00
Seller: Ichiroya.com


Butterfly Hiki
Sale Price: $150.00
Seller: Ichiroya.com


Bamboo Hiki
Sale Price: $280.00 (This one is still up for grabs!)
Seller: Ichiroya.com

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Bebe says:

    You can look up kanji by radical here: http://jisho.org/

    Then, pretty much drop the words into the dictionary part or into Google Translation a few times until you get something that makes sense. It can take awhile, but unless someone is doing proper translation for you, it could help in the meantime. ^_^ Ganbatte!

    1. Thanks so much for that site, Bebe! I’ll probably try it tomorrow when I have a day off. ^^

  2. tsukimichan says:

    One of the kanji in the quotemarks is part of the kanji to make ‘okiya’, so perhaps the whole word in the quotemarks is the name of the okiya.
    It is not Pontocho or Kamishichiken…those are 先 斗 and 上七軒, respectively.

    1. I actually had someone who speaks Japanese read it for me, and they translated it as”Hamamatsu-ya”, the name of an udon noodle shop. I plan on posting an update about the complete translation soon. 🙂

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