Photo/Illutration“Maiko” and “geiko” from the Gion Kobu entertainment district in Kyoto arrive at the Minamiza theater in the city's Higashiyama Ward on Dec. 3. (Yoshiko Sato)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

KYOTO--Dozens of "geiko" (geisha) and "maiko" apprentices lent an air of added elegance to a Kabuki performance at the newly renovated Minamiza theater here on Dec. 3.

The kimono-clad geisha and trainee geisha from the city’s five major “kagai” traditional entertainment districts were attending an event called “Kaomise Soken,” or face-showing ceremony to celebrate the opening of a new season.

The theater in Higashiyama Ward underwent a three-year renovation. It reopened on Nov. 1.

For the first day, about 60 geiko and maiko from Gion Kobu, one of the five “kagai” districts, attended.

They lined up outside the theater before taking their seats in a balcony, adding more color to the proceedings.

Their attendance at Kabuki performances is an annual tradition as the end of the year approaches. It also allows them an opportunity to perfect their own graceful movements, whether it be for dance or simple expressions.

Geiko and maiko from the Ponto-cho entertainment district will visit the theater on Dec. 4, followed by those from Gion-Higashi on Dec. 5, and from Miyagawa-cho and Kamishichiken on Dec. 6 and Dec. 7, respectively.