OMAJINAI (Mantra for Good Luck)
I guess that was a custom unique to Hanamachi (花街, districts where Maiko and Geiko reside and work)…
When we Maiko wore a new Kimono (着物) or an Obi (帯, belts for Kimono), we always made a wish: “Please let me keep this Kimono from any stain or smear”, holding the Kimono high with both hands and bowing deeply.
Regarding Kimono, there was one thing in particular that I was told by my mother and grandmother. When I accidently made a rip or a loose end on my Kimono, they always told me, “Say the Omajinai (おまじない). Say that you already took your kimono off!” As soon as I said it, they repaired the Kimono as if nothing happened.
I still don’t know how the Omajinai works. However, I strongly remember that I was forced to say that I took the ripped Kimono off. Maybe they thought that ripped Kimono was ominous. Funny, but I say the same thing to my children. In Kyoto, various kinds of Omajinai still remain.
Click here to see a Blog by a Former Maiko, “Do You Know?”.