Kikyou Knot Mon Part 4

It just keeps on popping up! Thanks to Jaki-san on IG, I now have even more photos of the “Musubi Kikyou” kamon in use!

I actually lost this 1985 “Kyo Maiko” book to Jaki in a bidding war on YJA….thankfully, she won it and was awesome enough to post the scans for me!

You can view the complete set of scans from the book here.

From this book, we have several sightings. The first is another shot of the Kanikakuni-san ceremony outfit seen in the 1975 book shown in the entry Darari Mystery Mon 3.0.

The next sighting is on a black obi:

Then, most excitingly, this next photo provides the first confirmed name of a maiko from this okiya….Mamekazu! (豆賀寿)

She also appears wearing the kikyo mon again in this book. She is the middle maiko in the picture below. It appears from her rice and dove kanzashi that this is a New year’s celebration, probably held at the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo:

This discovery opened the door to finding more pictures of her wearing this mon in the Miyako Odori programs.

According to the programs and other photos, Mamekazu became a maiko sometime between 1982-1983, turned geiko between 1987-1990, and retired between the 1993 and 1994 odori. This means that she was still working after her okiya closed, and Tama okiya took over the mon. Tamakazu, the founder of Tama okiya, opened her yakata in 1987, only two years after this book was published. In fact, there is a photo below of Mamekazu as a senior maiko in 1987, so one wonders how the fact that her okiya closed that year affected her career.

I wonder if her erikae ceremony to become geiko was pushed up because of her okiya closing, or if perhaps they were waiting for her to graduate before closing their doors. She may very well have been the last maiko and/or geiko from the okiya which owned this mon! Looking at the odori programs, I have not been able to find any other maiko during those years with this mon, although I shall certainly keep trying. I suppose we will have to wait until the rest of the 1980s odori programs are scanned to find out!

Another interesting theory, proposed by Vatemia on flickr, is that there is also a connection between Tama’s and this mystery okiya’s naming tradition for their girls. Both the unknown okiya and Tama use the “Mame-” prefix as a naming tradition, it would seem, with Tama using both the kana and kanji, while we have only seen the kanji for the unknown okiya so far. This is only speculation, but it is true that Tama’s founder, Tamakazu 玉一 named her okiya Tama 多麻 although it has a different meaning and kanji. So perhaps, she adopted the previous okiya’s naming system for her own? (By the way, in case you were wondering, Tamakazu was originally from an entirely separate okiya, as we have photos of her as a maiko wearing a three–oak-leaf mon. You can see it clearly on the shoulder of her hikizuri here.)

Here she is in the 1983 Miyako Odori, with junior collar and unpainted top lip, meaning she is in her first year (all odori program images uploaded by kofuji on flickr):


In the 1986 Miyako Odori:

You can see her as a geiko in the 1990 program:

In the 1992 program:

As well as the 1993 program:

Mamekazu does no appear in the 1994 program however, so we know that she retired between the 1993 and 1994 odori seasons.

What’s interesting is that Mamekazu was a contemporary of another lady I’ve been researching…Katsuyoshi. In fact, Katsuyoshi also appears in this book:


Here is a picture of Mamekazu in the same 1987 Bacchus magazine that shows Katsuyoshi wearing my maiko hikizuri. I’m slowly but surely attempting to translate the text below her. If anyone can help out with that, it would be most appreciated!

So, to summarize, we have more sightings, and finally the name and picture of a maiko who belonged to this mysterious okiya! Hopefully, this will open new doors to finally figuring out the name of her okiya, as well as the circumstances surrounding its closing and Tama’s use of its mon. The mystery continues!

Previous Entries in this series:
Dude, It’s A Darari!
Mystery Mon…Kind of Solved?
Darari Mystery Mon 3.0


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