So let’s talk about Shibuya. As we all know the karyukai in Tokyo is made up of 6 hanamachi: Shinbashi, Akasaka, Asakusa, Kagurazaka, Yoshicho and Mukojima. Shinagawa is desperately wanting to be a part of the kagai of Tokyo but they don’t have a kenban essentially making them invisible... and so is Shibuya?
There are some Geisha active in Shibuya these days and they are also very vocal in the social media. In fact they have found a way to partner up with a ryotei that specializes in performing arts for first timers. So, are these real Geisha?
Until now consensus was Shibuya is defunct. This insanely popular Tokyo district where millions of Tourists visit for the modern shopping experience, where youth culture has impacted fashion worldwide, where the population swells from 9000 inhabitants to a commuter population of 80′000 people daily, how could there NOT be Geisha here?
Questions over questions... So in our search for the elusive Shibuya Geisha i would like to suggest these pictures as evidence:
These are Hatsuki in green and Suzuko in orange. As far as i have dug up they make up 2/3 of the Geisha of Shibuya. There is a more senior Jikata seen in this picture from January 2019 here:
The young lady in the middle is apparently no longer active and the Jikata is called Koito, treasure of Shibuya.
What makes research a little tedious is the fact that they are both described as Shibuya-Geisha and Maruyama-cho-Geisha. The latter is the name of the specific quarter encompassed in Shibuya making them an absolutely exclusive club of 3 Geisha in total but fact that Nagasaki’s Geisha are also organized as Maruyama-cho-Geisha doesn’t exactly simplify matters. Also: Eitaro and other Shinagawa Geisha are called upon to entertain in Maruyama-cho and as we explained shortly before in a post about Shinbashi Geisha, they are the more prominent and sought after entertainers for clients in the area. Why opt for some independent Geisha from Maruyama-cho if you can afford to patronize the elusive Shinbashi Geisha? Right now it seems as if Maruyama-cho Geisha Hazuki and Suzuko are fighting to survive while the ladies of Shinbashi have the whole area claimed.
Why do Hatsuki and Suzuko not join the Shinbashi kenban? Another great question, dear reader, i see you’re paying attention.
Through my research i found an extensive interview with Suzuko, she has been active for a long time. She states that she is very dedicated in keeping the unique flair of Shibuya alive. Making a point to buy from family owned businesses in the district is of utter importance to her and whenever she goes out for dinner or invites friends, she opts for a restaurant in Shibuya. It is hard not to draw a line from there to Gion Higashi and the age old question as to why girls even debut in this minor kagai instead of going for Gion Kobu, the elite district for Geimaiko.
Dear reader, i will leave this topic out in the open. Specially for the Geishablr community to add to it. I’m very interested in hearing your input. Is Shibuya/Maruyama-cho a legit hanamachi? If you are interested i can post a spotlight on Suzuko, there is a lot of information out there for a great post. Please let me know.
Sources: Aikoyamyam on Instagram / Littlemarmot on Instagram
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