About Us

Henshin ~ this is the Japanese word for those outside the hanamachi – or flower and willow world – who appreciate and seek to emulate the beauty of Maiko and Geisha. Henshin translates into English as "transformation," and refers to the short period where an otherwise normal westerner gets to play the role of a Geisha or Maiko from Japan. You will find this word appearing in many places on our site – to reinforce the fact that we are performers reenacting a traditional art form, rather than real Maiko and Geiko.

Our group and names: Founded in January of 2010, Three Rivers Okiya is based out of University City, Missouri near where the original "Japanese Tea Gardens" were erected for the 1904 World's Fair Exhibition in Forest Park. Named after the Missouri, the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers that come together at St. Louis; Mitsugawa Okiya is symbolic of the talents of its members blending together in harmony for the pursuit of art.
Hasume-san performs as a Geiko-Henshin and is Okaa-san for Three Rivers. This means she oversees the day-to-day booking and finances as manager as well as performing with the troupe as a dancer. She is learning traditional Kyo-Mai, Tozan-Ryu Nihon Buyo, Ikenobo Ikebana, Urasenke Tea Ceremony and will be taking Taiko drumming lessons this coming spring. 
Umeka-san is in her fifth and final year as a Maiko-Henshin. She is continuing her studies in traditional Kyo-Mai, Tozan-Ryu Nihon Buyo, Ikenobo Ikebana, Urasenke Tea ceremony and Shamisen. She will have her Erikae in late spring of 2015, and begin performing as a Geiko-Henshin alongside Hasume. An accomplished entertainer, she loves working with children and giving teaching demonstrations of the traditional arts.
Tsutsujime-san is entering her third year as a Maiko-Henshin.  She continues to bring the effervescent joy of life, incredible energy and dedication to her arts to every gathering.  She takes particular pleasure in Kyo-Mai dance and ozashiki games, and is a classically trained singer. She is studying Urasenke Tea ceremony, Ikenobo Ikebana, and Japanese conversation as she furthers all her skills.  Tsutsujime-san is Imouto-san to Hasume-san.
Sumika-san is our newest apprentice, just beginning her training as a Maiko-Henshin. She will have her formal Misedashi in spring 2015 and has begun studying the traditional arts alongside her sisters. A talented artist already, she has experience in sumi-e, moku hanga, and raku-yaki.  Sumika-san hopes to use her training in the graphic and visual arts and experience in improvised theater and comedy to aid her in becoming a living work of art for all to enjoy. Sumika-san will debut as Imouto-san to Umeka-san.

Kaminosuke-san is our unsung hero behind the scenes and our Otokoshi-san. In this capacity he works as an extremely accomplished kagai-kitsuke pro. He is responsible for dressing and protecting our dancers while we are out at our performances. His strength and attention to detail are essential and we would not be where we are today without his expert assistance.

Temple bells die out. 
The fragrant blossoms remain. 
A perfect evening! 
- Bashō Matsuo (1644 - 1694)

Contact us:

The Okiya can be reached through the following:
By US telephone: (314)630-0457

Or email our office: ThreeRiversOkiya@gmail.com