Yes, there are male geishas who perform in male kimonos, and play the drums or sing with the female geishas. But Eitaro holds the distinction of being the only male geisha who performs as a female, a role that he has carried over from his mother who passed away three years ago.
He is now the geisha house master of an “okiya” (geisha house) in Tokyo’s Omori port district, and he oversees six other geisha performers, together with his sister Maika. Unsurprisingly, his unique role has made him an in-demand performer in private geisha parties, public stage performances and events.
His mother, who passed away from cancer, was, up to her death, very much devoted to reviving the local geisha culture. Eitaro started learning traditional female dance roles when he was just eight and then danced with his mother starting at ten. He was only eleven when he first performed at Japan’s national theater.
The Omori port was a flourishing geisha culture area in the early 20th century, especially during the rise of Japan’s industrial economy. However, in the 80s, the real estate bubble forced the local geisha houses to close and most properties were turned over to land developers. Eitaro is making it his life mission as well to make geisha culture popular once again in this modern age.
[ via New Kerala ]