AKITA -- A theatrical group commenced the first of its weekly sessions whereby individual customers can spend time with maiko (apprentice geisha), at an events complex here on April 7.
The gatherings, which are known as "Akita Maiko Theater Performances," enable customers to spend time with "Akita beauties," or "attractive women from Akita Prefecture."
The first session involving individual customers took place at the Matsushita complex in the city of Akita, with subsequent sessions set to occur every Saturday at noon and 3 p.m.
Before World War II, the Kawabata entertainment district in the city was booming, with approximately 200 geishas in the area. The district later experienced a slump, but in 2014, the "Akita Maiko" made their debut, in an attempt to revive the area. However, until April 7, the sessions were aimed toward groups and session places could only be reserved in advance.
At the opening session for individuals, two maiko wearing kimonos danced to a traditional Akita folk song. They spoke to visitors as they enjoyed their meals, and also handed out "hana meishi" business cards, saying things such as, "Please come again."
(Japanese original by Shun Kawaguchi, Akita Bureau)