Freddie and I visited a school for geisha girls in Kyoto (Japan). There we learned that they are part of a deep-seated tradition in Japan; to be a geisha is a proper profession, demanding about seven years of training. Freddie was engrossed, wanting to know everything. The girls’ make-up fascinated him. He asked how the effects were created and how long the whole process took. Freddie also adored the colorful kimonos they were wearing, made of fine silks and designed with large square sleeves.
We were introduced to the teacher, or madam, a little old lady who had one tooth in her wizard head and played a one-string banjo, singing along as the girls danced around for our entertainment and delight. We sat cross-legged at their feet and took part in a traditional tea ceremony.
Freddie’s final trip to his beloved Japan
End September / October 1986