Beginning in the Meiji Period, as Japan began undergoing modernization, the government established an integrated educational system. Among those newly constituted schools in one of Japan’s oldest cities, namely Kyoto, several schools were peculiarly established for geisha. Some of these geisha schools are still in existence and one in Gion, Kyoto’s famous geisha quarter is legally accredited as an educational organization. I have conducted research on this school and theatrical community of Gion. I will discuss how the school education and the system of geisha quarter have operated on conservation of arts, taking Kyomai, Kyoto style traditional dance for an example.
About the Speaker:
Mariko Okada, 2012-2013 Toyota Professor in residence at the University of Michigan, received her Ph.D. in 2011 from Waseda University with a dissertation on Kyoto-style traditional dance. Some of her other written works include the contribution of the chapter “Before Making Heritage: Internationalisation of Geisha in the Meiji Period” to the book Making Japanese Heritage, edited by Christoph Brumann and Rupert Cox, in 2009.