4th of April in the Year of the Rabbit 2011

I live in the okiya. There used to be a time when I didn't live in the okiya, but I feel as if I was born in the okiya. A long time ago (6 years to be exact), my parents gave me away. If my oniisan was at home, he would have brought me up. I was given to the okiya and told that I was an undesirable child by my parents, for being a girl.

I was told to call the head of the okiya Okaasan (Mother) okiya. She is in her 5th decade of being alive. Two other women, who are in their 4th decade and 5 years of being alive, are to be called Obaasan (Grandmother) and Obasan (Auntie). It was hard to follow at first, but after seeing a maid like me get a scolding for not using correct terms and manners, it got a little easier.

This is the second month of my being here at the okiya. I was given a private journal to keep my records of turning geisha. It would not be read aloud. A senior geisha has decided to take me as her apprentice geisha (very informal), even though I have been here for two months. The senior geisha is one of 3 that the okiya has. This senior geisha debuted under the name Hatsune, even though we call her Kimiko. I have no idea what the other geisha are called. I am only known as maid, girl, or my given name Kazunomiya.

As a maid, I had to do my chores such as running errands for the okiya and geisha. I had to deliver packages from the postmaster and bring it back to the okiya. I get food and fabric to make clothes often. I like running errands in the spring or fall, because it's not hot or cold.

I was often allowed to go with the geishas when they went to perform. I watched their feet more than their faces and learned the steps. I never practiced when I was around everyone else in the okiya; it was in a room or out in the courtyard. Dance became my life, but I didn't have a sense of rhythm.