Set in Gion, Kyoto’s geisha quarters, The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House, depicts the daily life of geisha and maiko. This heartfelt drama by Hirokazu Koreeda is the best, most realistic depiction of the secret world of geisha I’ve ever seen.
The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House Origin
Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House was originally a comic by Aiko Koyama called Maiko-san Chi no Makanai-san that debuted in 2016 in the manga magazine Weekly Shonen Sunday.
In October of 2021, it was made into an animation and has now been transformed into a live-action drama by director Koreeda.
A Peek Into the World of Geisha
The Makanai: Cooking for the Maiko House allows you to take a peek into the closed world of geisha. Cell phones are prohibited, maiko can’t go to convenience stores with their hair made up, and the girls must sleep on an omaku wooden pillow to keep their hair from being unset.
Geisha and Maiko Dinner | Japan and More Tour
Once the girls join the Okiya, or geisha house, they train extensively to learn the customs, instruments, and dances in their effort to become a maiko. A maiko is an aspiring geisha. While they perform under the title of a maiko, their real hair is styled for a week at a time.
If they’re good enough to become a full-fledged geisha, they are then able to move out of the Okiya and cut their hair. When performing, geisha wear an intricate wig along with their elaborate kimono.
Becki Translating for Geisha | Japan and More Tour
A Window Into Japan
One of the things I like the most about this show is the way the characters live their daily lives.
It’s easy to forget that this story takes place in today’s Japan. However, it’s not movie magic. There are extraordinarily modern homes in Japan, but most people live in something that looks somewhat similar to the house in this show.
Thoughtfulness toward friends and rivals, an obsession with food, and the complexity of the relationships between senpai and kouhai are well represented in this show. It’s a bit quirky sometimes, but overall, the acting is realistic and fantastic.
Geisha and Maiko Entertainment
A convoluted history and the release of a less than accurate Hollywood movie, have led to a simple misunderstanding of the role of modern-day geisha and maiko.
Becki Playing Game with Maiko
Maiko Dancing a Mai
Shawn Seated with a Maiko