Now, it's the season of Kawayuka or Yuka (川床, a wooden dining floor built over the Kamo river). In the old times when there was no air conditioners, Yuka was invented as a reasonable way to cool off in the evening.
When dining at any Yuka, we often come across Maiko (舞妓) and Geiko (芸妓) hosting their customers. Nakai-san (仲居さん, waitresses in Kimono) bringing dishes and alcohols are just common on Yuka occasions.
Kimono for Nakai-san, usually the separates type, are very comfortable and functional. In addition, Nakai-san often do Tasukigake (たすきがけ, tucking up the sleeves of a kimono with a thin strap called tasuki) for more effective movement. In contrast, Kimono for Maiko and Geiko are very fancy, ornamental, and pleasing to the eyes of viewers.
Though Kimono no longer exists as an everyday outfit, still there are so many people who wear Kimono as their working cloth. They are not only Nakai-san, but also Miko-san (巫女, shrine maidens), Kannushi (神主, Shinto priests), and Oboh-san (お坊さん, monks). With one glance at their unique outfits, you can tell their job, or even their positions. Interesting!
Click here to see the Blog by a Former Maiko, "Do You Know?"