Once again, I’m heading off to Japan in just a few short days. As I embark upon each journey East, I look forward with eager anticipation to new discoveries ahead, but am also reminded of voyages past. At the moment, my friend Marikiku is on my mind.

Marikiku, who was a Geiko-san (Geisha) for many years in Gion, is one of my most valuable Geisha teachers.  I met her shortly after introducing TATCHA's Aburatorigami Blotting Papers. When I showed her these golf-flecked leaflets, she remarked that she hadn't seen the original gold leaf blotting papers since she was a young trainee Geisha and asked me if I knew what the gold was for.  “Of course,” I said, “It’s the by product of the gold leaf making process.” Marikiku conveyed a knowing smile, as if buoyed by the wisdom of her years.  She then told me how the Geisha used to scratch the gold off of the papers and gently crush it into their lips to impart a subtle, sensuous glimmer. 

In that moment, our Camellia Nourishing Lip Balm was born.  With it’s launch, we pay homage to Marikiku and the Geisha before her.  And I am reminded that it is who as much as what one discovers while travelling that makes the journey worthwhile.



Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published June 2013

Beauty Secrets, Geisha, Interviews
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Photo 1: Photo taken in 1958. At the time Marikiku was a maiko photo courtesy of Marikiku. www.marikiku.com

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