This terrific documentary by the “original Beeb” (BBC…or in this case, BBC4) brings all the books I’ve ever read to life. It’s wonderful to see Yukina the shikomi turn into Kikuyu the minarai!
Minarai: the first month or so of the “trainee” stage before becoming a full-fledged geisha.
Shikomi: a girl who would like to become a geisha (a postulant, if you will). The shikomi helps around the house and assists her maiko/geiko sisters while she’s studying the geisha arts.