Kyoto A-Go-Go 11.21.10

Today my parents and I left for Kyoto to go see shrines, temples, castles, and maiko. For those of you who don’t know, maiko is the proper term for what people in the west refer to as geisha. While geisha is technically correct, there’s a lot of stigma surrounding the word so now they’re commonly referred to as maiko.
Unfortunately this is a concept that my parents couldn’t quite grasp -_-;

Mom: Oh look a geisha!
Me: Maiko, they’re called maiko.
Dad: Let’s go take a picture with the geisha!
Me: They’re called…
[Parents running off]

I also realized that my parents had become children upon arriving in Japan. I had to turn around every five minutes to make sure they weren’t spacing out in front of a store window or running off to buy snacks. The fact that this was one of the busier weekends in Kyoto didn’t really help the matter either.

Parental antics aside, dad’s friend who lives in Kyoto was kind enough to point out the major sites to see while there. With a map, my inadequate Japanese skills, and horrible sense of direction; we promptly got lost. Fortunately there were swarms of people everywhere so we could more or less follow the stream of Japanese people to the various shrines.

After visiting some temples and a castle we headed over to the Kyoto International Manga Museum. Mom opted to sit outside while dad and I wondered around the building. While inside dad noticed some people drawing caricatures and dragged me over to get our portrait drawn. The pictures took a while to draw so the artist started making some small talk.

Artist: So where are you guys from?
Dad: Seattle!
Artist: Oh! Ichiro!
Dad: Yeah!
Note: All Japanese people know that Ichiro is in Seattle, but none of them know where Seattle is.

After exchanging some pleasantries in English I switched over to Japanese to answer some questions in more detail. Unfortunately this also gave dad the opportunity to ask more unrestrained questions.

Dad: Hey, ask her if she has seen Twilight!
Me: Wha… why?
Dad: Just ask her!
Me: […Have you seen a movie called Twilight?]
Artist: [Hmm? Twilight? No I haven’t, what is it about?]
I feel dirty
Me: [It’s a love story about a girl and a vampire.]
Artist: [I’ll check it out later!]
Me: [You really don’t have to…] She hasn’t seen it.
Dad: That’s not possible! Did you ask her right?
Me: I did…she says she hasn’t seen it.
Dad: Everyone has seen Twilight! Ask her again and explain it properly this time.

Correction, my parents have become teenage girls.

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3 Responses to Kyoto A-Go-Go 11.21.10

  1. agnes says:

    quite enjoy the reversed role myself! thank you for taking us around and making sure I was not lost :>

  2. Ina says:

    BAHAHA! I want to meet your parents sometime!!
    Also, I thought ‘maiko’ was just apprentice geisha?

    • Cchan says:

      Maiko is an apprentice to a geisha, which from what I understand also means they abstained from prostituting themselves. Hence this has become the more PC way of referring to the people that still do the performing acts that geisha did.

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