カテゴリー: Maiko Blog English version
title]Giving oneself a taller appearance. The magic "okobo" sandals.
A tatami mat above a paulownia stage, and red sandal straps. The supporting role here is played by the "okobo," the tall shoes that help a kimono-clad maiko's performance appear all the more beautiful. The shoes are about 15 centimeters tall, and with only those, a 158 cm tall Ichitomo rises to 173 cm tall. Moreover, with the addition of the tied up hairstyle, the height appears even taller. In the past, they were used with very young maiko to change their appearance of height, however after a maiko with recent growth spurts wears them, "Well, I feel bad because I think I'm a little too tall now (ha-ha).
"As you might guess from a glance, the toe-end part with its slanted front side, can make balancing quite difficult. "At first, I often tripped and thought I was going to fall," says Ichitomo, laughing. That is the nature of "okobo." Nevertheless "Okobo" are not always necessary to wear, and on days when the road is wet from rain, or in places like hotels where sound or cleanliness need to be considered, she says she goes out with "zori" (grass sandals) instead. However, if on a sunny day you hear the distinct click clacking or jingling sound of a maiko's footsteps, be sure not to miss the lovely view of their cute okobo.
"Wareshinobu" stage Ichitomo here is wearing "okobo" with red straps.
"okobo" shoes for "Ofuku" stage maiko.
During the "Wareshinobu" phase, a bell is placed on the "okobo" that makes a cute chiming sound while the maiko is walking. After reaching the "Ofuku" stage, the sandal strap changes to a light crimson color and the bell is removed.