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Kyoto geishas pledge to improve their dance and music skills

In Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto, traditional female entertainers known as geishas have resolved to improve their dance and music skills in the new year.

About 100 geishas gathered at a hall in the Gion district on Tuesday wearing formal kimonos and ears of rice as hair ornaments.

They recited a pledge to take pride in Gion tradition, train themselves mentally and strive to be better performers.

They watched their dance teacher Yachiyo Inoue perform on stage, then exchanged New Year's greetings while drinking sacred sake.

One participant said she hopes to become more responsible and serve as a model for apprentice geishas.