In the world of geisha, the word onesan (pronounced oh-neh-sahn) means 'older sister'. Every maiko (apprentice geisha) has an onesan. When a maiko has her misedashi (formal debut) she goes through san san kudo. San san kudo is a binding ceremony, where a maiko and geiko (geisha) are legally bound as sisters. A maiko's onesan gives her advice and helps her in the complicated world of geisha. A maiko's onesan is always in the same hanamachi (geisha district).
Right now I am only a minarai, but when I have my misedashi, I will be formally bound with my onesan.
A lodging house specifically for geisha. The inhabitants may include: Okasan (Mother, owner, proprietress), Geiko, Maiko, Shikomi, and Maids and/or Cook. Contrary to popular belief, men (except priests and dressers) are not allowed inside the okiya. Sexual relations in an okiya is frowned upon and rare.
When the two maiko finished class, they returned home to the okiya.
Maiko literally means 'dancer'. A maiko is an apprentice geiko (geisha). Maiko exist in Kyoto only. Maiko have an older sister, bound to them. They call their older sisters onesan. The word maiko is pronounced: (my-koh)
I am a geiko of Gion Kobu, but last year I was still a maiko.