Kiyo in Kyoto
Photo: Netflix

Netflix is making a series about Kyoto geisha directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda

The 'Shoplifters' director is adapting the beloved manga series ‘Kiyo in Kyoto’ by Aiko Koyama

Emma Steen
Written by
Emma Steen
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Rumours of a collaboration between Netflix and 'Shoplifters' director Hirokazu Kore-eda kept us guessing for some time, but now we finally know what’s in store. The streaming platform has just unveiled one of two upcoming titles made by the award-winning director and we couldn’t be more thrilled about the new series. 

The show – set to be released sometime this year – is an eight-part series adapted from a popular manga called ‘Maiko in Kyoto: From the Maiko House’ (aka ‘Kiyo in Kyoto’) by Aiko Koyama. The name might ring a bell if you’ve been following the animated mini-series available for free on NHK

舞妓さんちのまかないさん
Photo: Netflix

The story follows a teenager called Kiyo who moves into a Kyoto maiko (apprentice geisha) house to work as a live-in cook. A slice-of-life manga that revolves around food, the series is a cheerful and upbeat story with surprisingly insightful tidbits about life in a maiko house, as well as some mouthwatering visuals of Kiyo’s homemade cooking. The show will star Nana Mori (pictured top left) as Kiyo and Natsuki Deguchi (top centre) as Kiyo’s childhood friend Sumire, who also happens to be a maiko in training. Other cast members include Aju Makita, Keiko Matsuzaka, Ai Hashimoto and Takako Tokiwa.

Hirokazu Kore-eda
Photo: NetflixHirokazu Kore-eda

Kore-eda – who's on our list of Japan’s coolest directors – says that the project is unlike anything he’s ever done before. Still, the director has included memorable scenes in past films like ‘Shoplifters’ featuring delicious-looking meals that left audiences salivating, so we’d say it makes sense that he’s spearheading this upcoming series.

There’s one more original feature directed by Kore-eda that Netflix has yet to announce, so watch this space for updates. 

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