Shikomi 3: Meet & Greet
"If you want a friend, first you have to be a friend." ~ k.mcneese
Becoming a shikomi can be lonely because you do not know anyone and likely you are in completely foreign surroundings. You are here because you want to try something new, grow, learn, have an appreciation for the culture, want involvement in a group. I can imagine that the young girls who are bound to okiya as shikomi must have felt the same way. They had to earn trust from those in the house whom they served. Over time, perhaps they made friends with other shikomi or maid-servants. Possibly even those in training who had achieved levels of status.
First of all you are to be congratulated for it takes a brave person to "branch out" into a new environment such as this. You must be flexible and realize that things change - including you - and as you grow you will become more comfortable with your sisters and your okiya.
That said, please refer to the first line in this section. Take the initiative to arrange a time to meet with your sisters - get to know them, ask questions and do not expect perfection from yourself or others. Do your best.
Finally, understand that this is all a process - it is growing and changing. Be flexible, patient and if you have suggestions or want to take something on that you feel could be improved upon, please speak with someone about this, form your plan and present it to Okaasan as something you would like to do. Our goals are to learn, be happy and have fun.
Taking the Social Initiative
As Amatsu Okiya students and Geisha, we are like the hostesses of the island. Be gracious, polite and truly interested in our visitors and residents of Amatsu Shima.
- Keep a notecard on new people you meet, or in your profile there is a tab called "My Notes". It is a good place for jotting down things you might want to remember
- Don't worry about sayings and etiquette right now. You will learn it by watching and practicing and reading. Give yourself time to learn.
- Focus on the moment and have fun.
Your assignment is to
1. Create a friend's list of people on the island. They might be residents of Amatsu Shima - you could invite them to see the tea house (not the Okiya). Or they might be your fellow students or older sisters. They may be a patron or Hogosha (one of our okiya guardians). There are different groups here who study other things. This gives you a wonderful opportunity to expand and grow as you share with them.
2. Make a notecard that has all the places one might visit on Amatsu Shima. Add pictures of the places if you wish and a statement that you might use to describe the place to someone if you were giving them a tour. If the area has a manager, add their name to the notation on the card and try to meet with them to learn more about what motivates them and why they like to be involved in that particular area.
3. Give a tour - this can be for a friend or a stranger. Share your note card with Okaasan or your Oneesan.
This concludes the reading for the Shikomi stage. Prior to proceeding to the Minarai level, meet with your Oneesan or Okaasan
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