Horikiri Shuji has worked for 17 years as an otokoshi, a person who helps dress geisha by hoisting heavy kimonos (they can weigh up to 40 pounds) and perfectly positioning obi into place before their performances and engagements. Somewhat similar to a Western fashion stylist, Horikiri works with as many as 10 geisha a day and has come to know dozens quite well over the course of his career. As the man behind the women we admire, we were eager to hear what he has learned from his countless encounters with them.

When asked what makes a woman beautiful, he replied, "her strength."
When asked what makes a women stylish, he replied, " the desire to be stylish."
When asked what advice he had for women,  geisha and non-geisha alike, he replied, "never forget you are a woman."

I love that. 

Always, 

Vicky

Victoria Tsai
Chief Treasure Hunter

published September 2013

Geisha, Interviews, Kyoto
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Photo 1: Photo by Miki Chishaki

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