Wednesday, August 18, 2004


"In less than 20 minutes, Ishihara whipped her hair into a massive sculpture of double wings, the masterpiece held in place with human hair extensions, stiff wax, silk ribbons, felt and inner bindings of rope made out of absorbent Japanese paper.

'Teacher,' said Hisacho, a Tokyo junior high school graduate who debuted last March as a maiko after one year of intensive training, 'the head of my geisha house said the sides of my hair should be slightly larger today.' Her head mistress now wanted her to look more mature.
'You shouldn't rush to look older; you'll look too old soon enough!' he taunted.
She gasped in mock horror.
'Now, this won't hurt a bit,' he said wryly, raising his handmade, $300 comb designed specifically for geisha hair. He dragged it roughly through the remaining bits of wax in her tumbling locks. She had shampooed the night before in preparation for her session with Ishihara, who once a week sculpts the coiffure she will wear for six nights straight.
'Teacher,' she said, comically over-wincing as he tugged at her hair, 'with you, it never hurts!'"

From: The Geisha Stylist Who Let His Hair Down (subscription)

By Anthony Faiola


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