Interview with Marimo Oneesan

Home / Fukagawa and Geisha / Life of a Fukagawa Geisha / Interview with Marimo Oneesan

Interview with Marimo Oneesan

Interview on Dec 16, 2017

  1. When did you start being a trainee?
    1. Went to Tokyo in 1963
  2. Why did you become a geisha?
    1. To pay off family’s debt
  3. Why did you choose the Fukagawa district?
    1. Marimo Oneesan came from 九州, kiushu. After she graduated from high school, she wanted to go a place where she wouldn’t meet her high school classmates. She chose Tokyo, then looked at the different districts. Her choices were Atami, Eto, and Fukagawa, because she wanted to be near the sea. Atami and Eto are onsen districts, so Marimo Oneesan chose Fukagawa.
  4. How many geishas were there in your geisha house when you entered?
    1. Ten geishas were in her geisha house when she entered, but she moved out later and lived by herself.
  5. How did you get your geisha name?
    1. At the time that Marimo Oneesan was about to debut, a popular geisha that just retired was called “Marimo” and in hopes that Marimo Oneesan will be successful like her, she got her geisha name “Marimo.”
  6. What was your daily routine as a trainee?
    1. Go to different lessons everyday: dance and music
  7. What was the most difficult part when being a trainee?
    1. Everything was difficult, but they had to be careful with the maids. If they disappointed the maids by not remembering their names, the maids could mistreat them. Also, it was hard to remember all the locations of the tea houses at first.
  8. How did geishas change over the years?
    1. Geishas used to be drinking partners of men, but now they are a part of Japanese culture that tourists come to see. The geisha experience is very different now. People enjoy a meal and see a geisha perform, answer a few questions and leave. In the past, geishas would accompany the customers and chat with them.
  9. What is your favorite kind of kimono?
    1. Bright Kimonos
  10. What is your favorite part of being a geisha?
    1. When geishas are with customers, it doesn’t matter who the customer is normally, they can talk to the customers on the same level. They have the opportunity to meet people that “normal” people don’t get to meet like movie stars, famous singers, and company presidents.  One of her most memorable customer was Mitsui’s president. Customers often bring the geishas to places like Ginza after banquets.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.