Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Memories of a Geisha




Tokyo +13 days:


My friend Katsu-san took me to MARIFUKU, a Kyoto-style Japanese restaurant. The owner is Marifuku-san (true name is Ms. Ebina-san). Ms Ebina-san is a former Geisha from Kyoto. During a wonderful evening I watched her flit around her restaurant, engaging guests celebrating a birthday, conferring with two other customers. This lady's self possession was delightful.
Behind the counter she commands the Chef and lightly guides her staff and shares a joke.
Her every movement full of poise, her every gesture full of grace. The discipline and exactitude of her former life and her beauty are so very self evident! Each scene like a Kitagawa Utamaro print. We share books; Ebina-san lets me leaf through her album from Geisha School (two pictures featured her) and in return I pass my Moleskine across the restaurant's counter.

Now happy tears from the recollection of this chance encounter and deep gratitude to Katsu-san for bringing me to MARIFUKU.