8 FEB, Seminar “Millennial Maiko”

IGS Seminar “Millennial Maiko:The Geisha Apprentice in Japanese Popular Culture”

Date: Friday, 8 February, 2019 14:30-16:00
Venue: Room 125, Main Building, Ochanomizu University 

Speaker: Jan Bardsley (Specially Appointed Professor, IGS /Professor, Department of Asian Studies, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Images of maiko (apprentice geisha) greet tourists at many sites in Kyoto, embodying the ancient Japanese capital in its cutest, most welcoming form. Although only about seventy-five young women work as apprentices today, representations of maiko abound in the city. Perky maiko decorate maps, menus, and city posters, and morph into post-it notes, hand towels, and even cappuccino designs. Avid fans of maiko go to photo studios in Kyoto where they can be costumed as maiko themselves. This cos-play attracts Japanese and international tourists of all ages. Unlike the revered artifacts and heroes of Kyoto’s past, the maiko inspire play. How does the maiko as Cool Japan and Kyoto kawaii (cute) frame “old Japan” itself as an inviting consumable? Why has the teenage maiko displaced the geisha as Kyoto fantasy femme? And what do we learn about girlhood in millennial Japan as we analyze this good-girl image?


☛ Prior registration required(Admission Free) Registration Form
*Closed Seminar, Ochadai students only

Organizer: Institute for Gender Studies