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 rational way to cool off the hot summer.
In the evening on Yuka, we often come across Maiko (舞妓) and Geiko (芸妓) entertaining their customers. We even witness Nakai-san (仲居さん, waitresses in Kimono) bringing dishes and alcohols.
Kimono for Nakai are usually the separates which are very comfortable and functional. In addition, Nakai ladies often do Tasukigake (たすきがけ, tucking up the sleeves of a kimono with a rope called tasuki) for more effective movement. In contrast, Kimono for Maiko and Geiko are very fancy, ornamental, and pleasing to our eyes.
Now that Kimono no longer exist as everyday outfit, still there are so many people who wear Kimono as their working cloth, such as 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). This is the very unique culture of Japan that you can tell their job with one glance at their outfit. Or even once there was a time, when we could tell positions by their outfits.
Click here to see the Blog by a Former Maiko, "Do You Know?"