19/20th of June in the Year of the Rabbit

Yuri-san walked with me to the school. She told me that the new maid is coming. She hoped that I would make her feel welcome and adjust. I wondered if she was taken away from her family or coming to here from another okiya.

I knew the other girl would have to earn the opportunity to go to school. I hoped the other girl is nice. I have hopes that we will be friends.

After school, I hurried home to get busy with my chores until the girl got here. instead, Obasan had me get water for the girl to take a bath. As soon as I got the water, I saw the girl. She appeared to be shy. Obasan motioned for me to follow her and brought her to the courtyard of the okiya.

Obasan then told me to bring her a kimono for her to wear. As I went to the storage, I passed by Kimiko-san. She smiled at me. I told her that I met the new girl. She nodded, before she went up the steps leading to her room. I then went to fetch the kimono.

When the girl was dressed, I came to her and asked her for her name. "My name is Aoi. I come from Tokyo, originally."

"Do you know the geisha Ichimitsu?"

"No, I was just born there. I lived in Sendai right up to the tsunami and quake. Then, I travelled to Kobe."

"Did your parents sell you?"
"Nope. I decided to come to here (Gion)." Once i got to know her, I found out that she isn't timid at all. I began to explain her life here in the okiya.

"You don't go to school until Okaasan lets you go. I've been going to school for a couple of weeks. You must not run away, otherwise you'll never be a geisha. You'll also acquire debt that you'll pay back when you become a geisha."

"What kind of debt?"
"Lessons, meals, doctor's fees, ruined kimonos, etc."

"But we'll aways be in debt."

"No, not after a time."

"Eventually our meals will become free?"

"I guess so. I didn't ask."

"How many geisha do you have?"

"3. bound to have 4"


"Yeah." After that, I had to finish my chores and practice my shamisen, while Aoi started on her chores.

When eveing approched, I changed into a different kimono and waited for Komaki-san to come down. She took me to a teahouse, where there is a large party, because someone got a promotion in their work. 7 geisha were present; among them is Hatsune-san and Okichi-san. I also spotted Natsune-san. I stayed by my geisha the entire time. When Komaki-san and I left, I noticed Hatsune-san drunk and playing a drinking game. Okichi-san is talking to Natsune-san.

Aoi is up when Komaki-san and I returned. She gave a little shock of surprise and helped me out of my kimono. "I didn't know you are a maiko."

"I'm not. If you do well, you may be able to come along withe the geisha."

"I bet you went to every party when you are with them."

"Actually no. Sometimes, there has been a guy in one of the teahouses."

"Someone who just wants female company."