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The Wonderful "Seigakai" Experience: Enjoying Geisha Performances in Kagurazaka, Asakusa, Kyoto, and Fukuoka for 8 Hours

Updated: 5 days ago

On Saturday, April 20, 2024, I had the pleasure of attending the "Seigakai" held at the Meiji Theater. The event is organized by the dance master Hanayagi Suketaro, Who teaches dance to geisha from Kagurazaka, Asakusa, Kyoto's Kami-Shichiken, and Hakata.

Seigakai: A Showcase of Geisha Training Results

I was at the venue from the opening at 10:50 AM until just after 7:00 PM. Due to prior commitments, I had to leave then, but the event likely continued until around 9:00 PM as four more programs were scheduled after my departure. Witnessing the results of the geisha's regular training was extremely satisfying up close.

At "Seigakai," instead of the short dances usually performed during regular Ozashiki, geisha and male dancers performed longer programs, lasting about 30 minutes each.

The Wonderful "Seigakai" Experience: Enjoying Geisha Performances in Kagurazaka

Kiyono's Dojoji: A Masterpiece to Be Remembered for Generations

A standout performance was by "Kiyono" from Kagurazaka, who performed "Kyoganoko Musume Dojoji," a famous Gidayu and Nagauta piece based on the Noh play "Dojoji." This is considered one of the great Kabuki dances. A single dancer portrays various emotions of a young woman in love, requiring not only artistic skill and advanced technique but also considerable physical stamina.

Kiyono captivated the audience with her beauty and skilled dancing. After the curtain fell, many people praised her performance, saying, "Today's 'Kyoganoko Musume Dojoji' was truly spectacular." Some geisha from Kagurazaka were moved to tears by the performance. I was also deeply touched and felt that seeing "Kyoganoko Musume Dojoji" alone was worth the visit.

Seigakai: A Great Value with Many Geishas Participating

Geisha such as Haruna, Koharu, Shiho, Fukuko, Manri, Maiko, Kiyono, and Konatsu from Kagurazaka attended. All of them showcased exceptional dancing.

This "Seigakai" allowed for nearly 10 hours of enjoying the geisha' dances for an admission fee of only ¥10,000. The venue was packed, which is no surprise considering that a typical geisha entertainment(Ozashiki Asobi) with a meal usually costs at least ¥50,000 per person. To enjoy dances from geisha of four regions for nearly 10 hours at such a modest price is incredibly rare for an event involving geisha. I want to attend the next "Seigakai."

The Wonderful "Seigakai" Experience: Enjoying Geisha Performances in Kagurazaka

Best Experience for Enjoying Kagurazaka Geisha Performances

This event appeals not only to Japanese audiences but also to foreign tourists who have never seen Geisha performances. The experience is comparable to enjoying hours of high-quality opera at a bargain price in Europe. I aim to promote the next 'Seigakai' before it takes place to attract international visitors. This unique cultural experience is rare during a trip to Japan and offers the best opportunity for beginners to enjoy Kagurazaka geisha performances in Tokyo.

The Wonderful "Seigakai" Experience: Enjoying Geisha Performances in Kagurazaka

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