What Is A Danna In Japanese Culture


12 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Geisha

I’m willing to wager that if you’re familiar with Japanese culture, you’ve heard the phrase “geisha.” But do you truly understand what that means in practice? You probably didn’t know any of these 12 fascinating facts about geishas. sakowako.yum 14th of April, 2015 (Dec 24 2021)

1. Geisha (芸者) is the same term for geiko (芸子) and geigi (芸妓).

Every one of them is formed from the same character -gei(), which denotes amusement or anything requiring a specific level of expertise, esprit, and concept. Sha() is a Chinese word that signifies person or object. Ko() is a Japanese word that signifies “child.” Gi() is a Japanese term that refers to a lady who serves at a banquet when traditional Japanese music or singing is playing. All of the words refer to a lady who performs during a banquet and entertains guests with dancing, Japanese traditional music, and singing.

2. Male geisha existed.

A geisha was a guy who performed geisha dances in Kyoto and Osaka during the Edo era. A geiko was a woman who performed geisha dances. Houkan () was a position that required people to amuse guests by demonstrating their abilities and assisting the geiko and maiko (). By the Meiji era, the term “geisha” had become exclusively a female term.

3. There are names for ones who are still in training for to become geisha.

They are referred to as maiko (). Maiko are female entertainers who perform traditional Japanese dances such as ohayashi () at banquets and are in the process of training to become geishas. Ohayashi is a type of Japanese music that is performed during festivals and has a wide range of styles in different parts of the country.

4. You can tell a geisha and a maiko apart by their hairstyle.

Geisha are accompanied by a shimada mage (). Maiko is well-versed in momoware ().

5. You can tell a geisha and a maiko apart by their kimono.

Tsumesode () kimonos are worn by geisha. Tsumesode kimonos are kimonos that do not have an opening on the side beneath the armpits, as opposed to other kimonos. The hikizuri () kimono is worn by Maiko. Long sleeves distinguish hikizuri from the furisode, or formal kimono, that ladies wear on Seijinno-hi (Coming of Age Day), and they are both worn on this occasion. Hikizuri, on the other hand, have extremely long, padded hems that trail over the floor, whereas furisode are of a more standard length.

6. Both geisha and maiko wear oshiroi (白粉).

Oshiroi () is a powder that is white in color. They cover their faces as well as the front and rear of their necks with this item of clothing. This used to contain lead, which might have caused major health concerns in the long run if consumed. They finish off the look with black eyeliner, a touch of red eye makeup at the end of their eyelids, and bright red lips to complete it. When a geiko reaches a certain age, she will often discontinue wearing oshiroi.

7. In the old times, geisha had black teeth.

This practice was referred to as ohaguro (). Women in general were affected by this, not only geishas, as well. The significance of it varied according on the era, but it was used for aesthetic purposes. Nowadays, when maiko reach the sakkou level, or when they graduate from the ranks of maiko, they will blacken their teeth to signify their achievement.

8. You need to contact an Okiya (置屋) to get to a geisha.

Okiya () is the location where geisha may be found.

Okiya was the conduit through which guests may contact or name a geisha. You will not be able to see or pick a geisha in person. It is necessary to know someone who has ties to the Okiya in order to be able to visit a geisha.

9. Having a geisha at your banquet requires connections.

In order to invite a geisha to your banquet, you must first inform the Ryotei () of the location of your event. A Ryotei is a high-end Japanese restaurant with huge private rooms that can accommodate big groups of people. The Ryotei will then choose the number of geishas to be hired based on the budget and the preferences of the guests. If you have a recognizable face, you may call a geisha without having to go through the intermediary. It is not always possible to summon a geisha to every Ryotei.

10. Geisha’s pay grades have certain styles.

They are referred to as ohanadai (), gyokudai (), or senkoudai () in Japanese. Dai () is a Chinese word that implies price. Ohana is Hawaiian for flower. Gyoku is a Japanese word that signifies spherical or diamond. Senkou is a Japanese word that meaning incense. In the Japanese language, as well as in many other cultures, naming something indirectly by using other words is considered to be a sort of beauty.

11. Geisha had patrons, called danna (旦那).

A danna () is a strong and affluent guy who provides all of the financial support for the geisha. To train as a geisha takes a significant amount of time and money. The danna would continue to pay and look after the geisha for the rest of her life. As a result, being a danna was a prestigious social position. It demonstrated that they had the financial means to be a patron of a geisha. Their connection did not have a sexual undertone to it.


In Japan, many people confuse geisha with oiran, who were high-class sex prostitutes, as seen in the image above. While it is true that some geisha performed sex services, they were considered entertainers rather than prostitutes. If you have any questions or comments about any of our articles, or if you have an idea that you’d like to see come to fruition, please contact us via our social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram). Image used in the title: Patrick Foto / Shutterstock.com Unless otherwise stated, the information in this article is correct at the time of publishing.

How Geisha Work

The best-selling novel “Memoirs of a Geisha” describes the life of a geisha in Japan during World War II, and has been translated into other languages. The protagonist begins her life as a slave in a geisha house and eventually rises to become one of the most powerful ladies in Gion. She is a dancer, a musician, and a lady who does not have many options available to her. When her virginity is sold for a record-breaking fee to the highest bidder, she is etched into the annals of geisha history.

The geisha who gave first-hand information for the book went on to file a lawsuit against the author, claiming that he distorted her tales and completely missed the point of the book.

So, what exactly is the truth about the geisha’s past? Throughout this essay, we’ll look at what a geisha is and who she is, as well as how the “flower and willow world” fits into Japanese society.

What is a Geisha?

A geisha is a lady who has had extensive training in the arts of music, dance, and entertainment. Geisha is a Japanese term that means “person of art.” She spends several years learning to play a variety of musical instruments, sing, and dance, as well as becoming the ideal hostess at a gathering of male friends. In the course of her labor, a geisha is nothing more than the appearance of female perfection. The makeup, hair, dress, and demeanor of a geisha are all designed to satisfy a man’s fantasies of the ideal lady, and men will spend large sums of money to have geishas pander to their every desire.

  1. Many Westerners confuse geisha with prostitutes, which is understandable.
  2. A real geisha is effective because she exudes a feeling of unachievable perfection, which makes her appear flawless.
  3. A geisha entertains through singing, playing music, dancing, telling stories, being attentive, and flirting with the audience.
  4. A time when Japanese spouses were often barred from participating in public life, geisha were the only women who could perform the role of attentive female at business events during the Meiji period.
  5. These gentlemen entertained guests at parties hosted by noblemen and other members of the upper class by keeping the conversation flowing, putting on artistic acts, and flattering them.
  6. The origins of the female geisha are a subject of debate among historians.
  7. Another story is a failed prostitute who takes a job as a geisha to supplement her income, and she becomes rather successful as a geisha.
  8. Geisha were not associated with brothels, and as a result, the persons in charge of the brothels did not earn any money from the geisha’s salary.
  9. Geisha were not permitted to be hired individually in order to ensure that sex was not a part of the celebration.
  10. Because of the geisha’s popularity over time, particularly during Japan’s worst periods, many destitute parents sold their young daughters to a geisha house in order to provide for their families (okiya).
  11. Young ladies are choosing to become geishas nowadays in the same way that they are choosing to become physicians.

They normally begin their training after completing junior high school, and the program is extremely demanding and demanding. Only the most devoted ladies are able to achieve complete geisha recognition.

Training to be a Geisha

Getting accepted into anokiya, a geisha house owned by the lady who would pay for her instruction, is the first step for any young woman interested in becoming a geisha. Theokamiorokasan is the name of this lady. Okasani is a Japanese word that means “mother.” Training to be a geisha takes approximately the same amount of time as training to be a doctor. An average young lady studies the arts of music, dancing, tea ceremony, language, and hostessing for around six years. Her home during this period, and occasionally for the rest of her geisha career, is a theokiya, which is similar to a boarding house for working or aspiring geisha and geisha-in-training.

  • Those who do not work as geisha, such as apprentice geisha, retired geisha, and house maids, are required to provide a percentage of their wages to the upkeep of the home and support of the individuals who live there.
  • This school may also be home to a theater where geisha perform in front of an audience for the first time.
  • She will perform with the shamisen during parties and shows, and she will generally be accompanied by another geisha who will be singing.
  • Musical instruments are merely one component of a geisha’s creative repertoire, which includes a variety of other things as well.
  • Since she is the ultimate cultured lady, she studies flower arranging (ikebana) and calligraphy (shodoh), which she plans to incorporate into her life.
  • Years are spent by a young lady learning not just how to be an artist, but also how to conduct herself with dignity.
  • After being introduced to a group of men and geisha, she learns who to meet first and how low to bow while greeting each individual.
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These less formal components of her training take occur when she is an amaiko, or an apprentice geisha, in the traditional sense.

A geisha and a herdanna’s “marriage” is celebrated in the same way, as described in Sex in the Flower and Willow World: Each person takes three sips of sake from three glasses.

In order to master the techniques of the geisha that cannot be taught in the classroom, an apprentice geisha spends several years watching the behavior of complete geisha.

Her participation at a party, on the other hand, is more than just a learning experience.

Amaiko will already have established contacts with the clients and teahouses that will provide her with a source of income when she makes her debut as an ageisha.

She is now formally launching her career as an entertainer.

Working as a Geisha

The fundamental function of a geisha is that of hostess. All of her abilities are put to use in order to ensure that a party is a huge success and that everyone has a nice time. A significant portion of a geisha’s employment historically consists of gatherings attended by businesspeople who are attempting to reach an agreement. As a result, he organizes a geisha party for the purpose of showing his possible companions a good time – as well as to wow them with his riches, culture, and social standing, as geisha parties are exclusive as well as expensive.

  1. What happens during a geisha party is strictly confidential; a geisha does not divulge anything about her clients.
  2. The most well-known geisha districts in Japan (hanamachi, or “flower villages”) are located in the cities of Kyoto and Tokyo.
  3. Geisha are considered to be exclusive hostesses.
  4. Those who wish to have geisha entertain at their event can do so in two ways: either by contacting theokasanof a geisha house, or by contacting an establishment where geisha entertain regularly at tea.
  5. For any geisha to be able to operate in her area, she must first register with the central office.
  6. At all times, she must be alert and on her toes, making every visitor feel welcome and pleased, having the ideal tale to tell when the discussion begins to stall, and keeping an eye on every sake cup to ensure that none is ever empty.
  7. If two guys appear to be in disagreement, she will diffuse the situation, preferably without the other males realizing she is involved.
  8. It is her place of employment.
  9. The majority of the money a geisha makes is spent on upkeep of theokiya and on keeping herself dressed in the appropriate make-up, costly kimono, and priceless hairpieces for which she is renowned in the community.

Dressing as a Geisha

Preparing for work takes hours for a geisha, who spends hours each day in her dressing room. Despite the fact that she is known for her unusual look, geishas are sought after for other reasons as well as for their beauty and exclusivity. It’s also a good method to distinguish between an amaiko and a geisha, as well as between a kid geisha and an adult geisha, among other things. By simply gazing at a geisha, you may learn a great deal about her. In contrast to a traditional kimono, a geishakimono exposes the woman’s neckline, which is regarded to be the most seductive area of her body in Japanese culture.

  1. Amaiko dresses in a kimono with extra-length sleeves (which reach the ground when she drops her arms) and a kimono that is exceedingly long, bright, and beautifully embellished with embroidered or hand-painted motifs, among other things.
  2. okoboto, which are large, wooden clogs, which she uses to protect her kimono from dragging on the ground It is part of her training to learn how to walk in this clothing without tripping over herself.
  3. It is now completely harmless.
  4. In addition to making the skin absolutely smooth, it also serves as a foundation for the white powder to cling to.
  5. This is a clear indication that she is a trainee.
  6. It is estimated that she wears at least five distinct styles, each of which represents a different period of her apprenticeship.
  7. A style known asofuku is worn by an adult maiko.

The transition normally occurs when the apprentice reaches the age of 18 or after three years of employment.

It is necessary for them to sleep on specific pillows with a hole in the centre so that they do not spoil their hair while sleeping.

A geisha kimono is more straightforward in look and easier to manage.

A geisha dresses in zori, which are similar to flip-flops, and a shorter obi that is wrapped in a simple knot around the waist.

In addition to wearing a succession of wigs rather than grooming her own hair, geishas have their own unique hairstyles that are based on the shimada.

When prostitution was permitted in Japan, they were also used as a distinguishing feature between geisha and prostitutes.

A geisha’s look, demeanor, and job are all geared on impressing males at the end of the day. The geisha’s daily routine, on the other hand, concentrates around ladies.

Living as a Geisha

Geisha live in a matriarchal culture, despite the fact that they devote their time and attention to men when at work. Geisha are mostly operated by women; women also educate young girls the skills they will need to become geisha, and women welcome new geisha into the teahouses that will be their source of income. The leader of the okiya is referred to asokasan, which means “mother,” while the mentor is referred to asonesan, which means “older sister.” Women are in charge of the teahouses, and their decisions may make or destroy a geisha’s career.

Among the geisha’s relatives in the realm of flowers and willow are herokasan, the othermaiko, geisha, and retired geisha who dwell in her okiya (house of flowers and willow).

If she decides to be married, she will be forced to leave her job as a lawyer.

  • In order to earn her keep as a shikomi, a young lady assists themaikoandgeisha in herokiya and performs household tasks
  • Before becoming an apprentice geisha. Misedashi: When ashikomi reaches the age of 15, he or she selects a mentor and goes through the ritual of misedashi. After this ritual, they are united as sisters, and the newmaikobegins her training to become a geisha. Having changed her name to something that is derived from the name of her mentor, she is now known as Maiko: Amyiko spends around five years in the geisha training program studying the skills of song, dancing, and hospitality. She goes to gatherings in order to watch and be noticed
  • A ceremonial rite known as theerikae (also known as “turning of the collar”) commemorates the transition from maikoto geisha to ninja. A geisha is a woman who stays in the district where she works for the whole of her professional life. She spends her free time entertaining, learning the arts, and acting on stage and screen. If she agrees to be bound to adanna(patron), she will be able to move out of theokiya and into her own apartment. In Japan, a geisha’s retirement ceremony is known as thehiki-iwai ritual. She is no longer a party hostess, and she may choose to abandon her academic pursuits. At this time, a former geisha may choose to become the manager of the anokiyaor teahouse, or she may choose to abandon the geisha profession altogether.

When a young lady is training to be an apprentice geisha, she aids the geishans in herokiya and performs housework to earn her stay; this is known as shikomi (). Misedashi: When ashikomi reaches the age of 15, he or she selects a mentor and goes through the themisedashiceremony. After this ritual, they are united as sisters, and the newmaikobegins her training to become a geisha. Having changed her name, which is taken from the name of her mentor, she is now known as Maiko: Amyiko spends around five years in the geisha training program studying the skills of singing, dancing, and hostessing, among other things.

  • A ceremonial rite known as theerikae (also known as “turning of the collar”) symbolizes the shift from maikoto geisha to a new career.
  • While she is not performing, she is entertaining, studying the arts, and studying the arts.
  • In Japan, a geisha’s retirement ritual is known as thehiki-iwai.
  • It is at this moment that a former geisha may decide to take over as manager of the anokiyaor teahouse, or she may decide to abandon the geisha profession altogether.

Lots More Information

  • Cobb, Jodi, et al. “Geisha,” National Geographic, October 1995, Vol. 188, Issue 4
  • Dalby, Liza. “Geisha.” National Geographic, October 1995, Vol. 188, Issue 4. “Geisha,” University of California Press, 1983
  • “Geisha,” University of California Press, 1983
  • “Geisha.” Culture of Japan
  • The Immortal Geisha
  • Karyukai
  • The Shizuka Online Teahouse
  • Suzuki, Akihiko. “The Kyoto Group has established a geisha pension plan.” The Japan Times
  • Carolyne Zinko, Carolyne Zinko. SFGate.com has a story on a “true Geisha.”

Is Memoirs of a Geisha based on true story?

No, the narrative is not based on an actual incident. However, a genuine geisha, Mineko Iwasaki, filed a defamation suit against the author of the book on the grounds of defamation. Interestingly, it was not the narrative that drew comparisons, but rather certain characters in the novel that mirrored some of the real personalities in Mineko Iwasaki’s life, which she discussed with the author in a private chat. Mineko Iwasaki was also dissatisfied with the way Arthur Golden (the author) depicted geisha as if they were Japanese courtesans, which she felt was inaccurate.

Then, while doing some research, he came across someone who might connect him with Mineko Iwasaki, who happened to be the most renowned geisha of the twentieth century.

Golden had spoken with her and given her the promise that his book would be a realistic portrayal of the geisha profession.

Nevertheless, in order to sell more copies and to make it more exciting, Mr.

As a result, the book did badly in Japan and was mostly disregarded until Mineko Iwasaki filed a defamation suit against Mr. Golden, claiming that many of the events in his novel were drawn from her own life and twisted into a prostitution storyline.

Some of the items from the novel that are said to have happened to Ms. Iwasaki and her family are:

Mineko’s real-life sister Yaeko is the inspiration for Hatsumomo, the book’s senior geisha in Sayuri’s okiya. While Hatsumomo appears in the novel as a senior geisha in Sayuri’s okiya, she is really Mineko’s real-life sister Yaeko. Mineko’s sister resented her because she had been taken away to an okiya to train to be a maiko at such a young age, but Mineko voluntarily chose to leave her family and train to be a maiko. – Adoption: In the novel, Sayuri is adopted by the Nitta Okiya family after she sells her virginity for the biggest sum of money ever paid for a virginity sale.

  1. – Pumpkin: The character Pumpkin (whose real name is Hatsumiyo) is given this nickname because she has a rounded face that resembles a pumpkin.
  2. – A romantic relationship with an older man: In the novel, Sayuri is continuously attempting to attract the attention of The Chairman, who is reported to be 20 years her senior.
  3. The danna (patron) of Mameha in the story is a baron, which is a reference to the novel’s main character.
  4. – Needle holes in kimonos: When Sayuri becomes well-known, she notices one day that the hem of one of her favorite kimonos has needle holes in it, which she believes were made by envious geisha.
  5. When a high-paying customer pays her the highest mizuage, Sayuri considers it a ceremony in which she is deflowered by the customer.
  6. When it comes to working as a geisha, mizuage refers to how much money one may earn by working at an ochaya in a calendar year.
  7. Eventually, Mr.
  8. Iwasaki for an unknown sum of money.
  9. Geisha from all across the country were outraged by the way they were portrayed by an American man who had no idea what their vocation entailed in the first place.

The majority of the criticism stemmed from the depiction of geisha as prostitutes and the portrayal of the area of Gion Kobu, which is specifically referenced in the film, as a center for promiscuity rather than the pursuit of the noble arts.

Did youknow?

The majority of Japanese people are unaware of this film, which is referred to as the narrative of Sayuri in Japanese. The majority of the film was shot in an artificially constructed hamlet in the United States, when the city of Kyoto refused to allow the film crew to temporarily remove the electrical poles from the street during production. There are two sequences that were filmed in Gion, one of which was filmed on theGion Tatsumi Bridge, which can be found right here: RETURN TO THE RESERVATION PAGE FOR THE Geisha Experience

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A danna is often a wealthy man who serves as a geisha’s patron, providing financial assistance for the geisha’s training as well as other expenditures.

What happened to Hatsumomo?

Hatsumomo is thrown out of the Nitta Okiya and onto the streets in both the novel and the film, and he is never again featured in the story from that point forward. Some speculate that after World War II, Hatsumomo earned a career as a prostitute in the Pleasure District of Miyagawa-Cho, where she lived until her death. Others argue that the novel implies that Hatsumomo has succumbed to alcoholism and is suffering as a result of his addiction, as Sayuri hypothesized earlier in the novel.

How old is the chairman? / What is the age gap between the chairman and Chiyo “Sayuri”?

Sayuri and the chairman first met when he was 45 years old and she was nine years old. The age difference is 36 years.

How accurate is “Memoirs of a Geisha”?

Despite the fact that the book is supposed to be fiction, Mineko Iwasaki was questioned in order to ensure that the elements in the book were accurate. Ms. Iwasaki’s personal life and relationships are described in the novel without her permission, prompting her to file a defamation lawsuit against the author.

Why are Chiyo Sayuri’s eyes blue?

She has a lot of water in her personality, according to the fortunetellers in the book, which indicates that she has an adaptable and fluid nature that allows her to adjust to many situations. A reference to the statement “the eyes are windows to the soul” is also made in this passage.

Why did Arthur Golden write Memoirs of a Geisha?

When Arthur Golden met someone whose mother was a geisha during his stay in Japan, according to a CNN interview, he was immediately captivated. Page was last updated on:

Confessions of a geisha

She is all you would expect of a woman preparing to take her position among the greatest of Japan’s geisha when she emerges from her lodgings into the afternoon sunlight. Despite the fact that her skin is as white as chalk, her finely painted lips are a deep scarlet. Despite the fact that she is perched on okobo wooden shoes with massive platform soles and that she is draped in a thick, yellow silk kimono worth thousands of pounds, she walks with the calculated grace of a supermodel on the street.

  1. When in the presence of strangers, Umechika is never off the clock.
  2. However, when the small talk comes to an end and the subject goes to the form of Japanese femininity she is alleged to embody, the 22-year-old begins to deconstruct nearly every geisha cliché known to man.
  3. Collectively, they have piqued the public’s curiosity in the semi-secretive existence of the geisha to unprecedented levels and, according to the ladies themselves, have reinforced a number of stereotypes.
  4. Golden’s book is available in English and Chinese translations.

From the hair (scraped back), to the makeup (not white enough, apparently to avoid offending US audiences), to the street scenes (which are far too gaudy for 1930s Kyoto), to a dance sequence in which the women perform in a way that one Japanese blogger described as looking more at home in a LA strip club, the film contains its fair share of inaccuracies.

  1. As shown in the film, she is tormented hard by her competitor Hatsumomo (Gong Li), and she falls in love with a client who goes only by the name of the Chairman (Ken Watanabe).
  2. “It’s a drama, and it’s entirely different now,” adds Umechika, whose given name means wise plum.
  3. However, there are many aspects of our lives that may be considered commonplace, which could make the film more intriguing.
  4. Umechika’s existence is everything from ordinary.
  5. As a substitute, she spends her days learning the skills that she is expected to have mastered by the time she completes her apprenticeship, including calligraphy, flower arranging, tea ceremony, a variety of traditional musical instruments, as well as singing and dance.
  6. Umechika acknowledges that mizuage may not have been completely eradicated from society, but maintains that it is virtually unheard of today.
  7. Despite the fact that she does not have a patron, she says she has a large number of regular clients and does not require a particular one.

” “I’d have to give it some consideration.” In addition to the obvious benefits of having a patron, it is expected that they will not only pay to be entertained regularly (a couple of hours in a teahouse can cost several hundred pounds), but also to act as financial benefactors, which is useful for the necessary collection of several dozen kimonos, which can cost tens of thousands of pounds.

  • In the 1920s, there were an estimated 800 geisha working in the ochaya teahouses of Gion, Kyoto’s most famous geisha district, according to historical records.
  • In the years following World War II, the profession experienced a decline as more women realized that being adopted by a teahouse and thereby abandoning their family was a commitment that went too far for them.
  • According to him, there were roughly 50 maiko apprentices in Gion ten years ago, and now there are approximately 80 of them.
  • Shinaka, a fifteen-year-old from Fukuoka, a city on Japan’s major island of Kyushu, has only recently begun her martial arts training.
  • “I haven’t given it a second’s thought,” she adds.
  • He maneuvers deftly around his claustrophobic salon, waxing and pressing Shinaka’s hair while tying, creating, and eventually teasing it into the perfect form.

As he explains, “the most challenging element is finding the appropriate balance on either side so that it complements the contour of the girl’s face.” For the time being, Shinaka, who graduated from high school earlier this year, will not be returning for at least another week: Geisha and maiko sleep on their sides, with their heads balanced on a takamakura, a specifically formed hard, high cushion that supports their neck while leaving their hair unaffected by the pillow’s shape.

  • Years of having their hair plucked and scraped into shape might result in a little bald patch that many women refer to as their “badge of honour.” When questioned about the buzz surrounding Memoirs, Ishihara reacts with a light-hearted chuckle in a light-hearted tone.
  • “The hair is completely different from what it should be,” he remarked.
  • “I’ve had a desire to be a geiko since I was in elementary school,” she explains.
  • “I’m also interested in traditional arts,” says the artist.
  • “Planning and executing nighttime gatherings is both the most pleasant and the most nerve-wracking aspect of my work.” Those who come here to forget their problems and have a good time, rather than men who come here to conduct serious chats, are preferred by me.
  • Women are just as entitled to an evening’s entertainment as males, as long as they have the proper connections and financial resources.
  • “I feel more comfortable talking to males,” Umechika explains.
  • She insists that the stereotype is incorrect, but she also states that she does not consider herself to be a feminist: “I don’t believe I am, at least not in the sense that I believe women must be strong at all times.
  • When men come to Umechika’s place of business, they can expect to be subjected to some harmless flirtation.
  • The fact that the tatami-mat rooms are not sexually charged does not imply that the atmosphere there is not.
  • “It’s only natural for us to talk about that sort of thing,” she says.

“However, when men express an interest in having sexual relations with me, I begin to feel uncomfortable. The problem with being asked by a customer to sleep with him is that I have no choice but to decline the request without hesitation. In addition, if I say no, he is going to be disappointed.”

6 facts about the Geishas

Geisha are traditional and professional Japanese performers who serve as hostesses at formal dinners, banquets, and other social gatherings around the country. As well as traditional Japanese arts like dancing and song, they have honed their comic timing and repartee skills. Outsiders have long found the geisha to be a fascinating and intriguing world, a society that appears to be secretive. With these six facts, we hope to shed some insight on the geisha tradition.

1. MaikoGeiko

Maiko are students pursuing a career as geiko (geiko apprentices). A maiko is a Japanese term that literally translates as “dancing kid.” Maiko are often less than 21 years old, and they become geiko at the age of 21. In contrast to the geiko, the maiko have their hair groomed organically, generally with more decorations in their hair, and they are more formal. It is also important to note that their make-up is different; the maiko would wear more pink blush, but the easiest way to tell is by their lips; junior maiko only paint the bottom lip red, senior maiko would paint a thin line on both lips, and a geiko would paint a thick line on all of their lips, among other differences.

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2. Mizuage

The practice of mizuage came to an end in the 1950s. Their significance is sometimes misconstrued by individuals who are not of Japanese origin. Even though Geisha are not considered prostitutes, their virginity (mizuage) has historically been sold by the Geisha house to anyone who wished to take advantage of their good fortune. Rather than a donation, it was a sponsorship for the Maiko’s training, which was extremely costly. Only the really affluent could afford to pay for this privilege. Following the mizuage, geisha were no longer required to have sexual relations with any of their customers, including the men who had paid for their virginity.

3. Arts

Some geishas were poets and artists, and they created poetry and paintings. Geisha begin their study of music and dance when they are very young (traditionally at the age of four or six, but most commonly around the age of fifteen) and continue it throughout their life; they are required to train on a daily basis. Geisha is a Japanese term that literally translates as “artist.” The shamisen (a three string instrument), the flute, the ko-tsuzumi (a tiny drum), and a huge floor taiko drum are among the instruments they are required to learn (drum).

4. The Dance

Traditionally Japanese music is used to accompany the dances, which arose from the dances that were performed on the kabuki stage. A more sublime, delicate, and controlled kind of dance, it is comparable to t’ai chi in that it uses very regulated movements to achieve the desired effect.

There are many hidden meanings in every gesture, since every motion tells a narrative. To illustrate this, try keeping the corner of a handkerchief in your mouth as you talk flirtatiously.

5. Repartee

They are great conversationalists who spend a significant portion of their day reading up on current events and even studying the guests that they would be entertaining – generally high-profile persons, politicians, or businessmen – in order to keep the conversation flowing.

6. Outfits

In addition to the kimono, a geisha’s outfit will typically include figured satin, silk damask, brocades, gold leaf, gold thread, silver, silver thread, jade, coral, tortoiseshell, diamond, amethyst, agate, paulownia wood (for the shoes), and fabrics such as pongee, ro, and sha. In addition to the kimono and other accessories, a geish Their accessories are constructed of handcrafted paper, boxwood, silk, and bamboo, amongst other materials. The entire ensemble might weigh up to 20 kilograms (44 pounds).

Know any more facts about geishas? Tell us in the comments section below.

There are two maiko. Geisha (also known as geiko) are professional entertainers who provide entertainment for guests during meals, banquets, and other events. They get training in a variety of traditional Japanese arts, including as dance and song, as well as in the art of communication and presentation. With discussion, drinking games, and dancing performances, they are responsible for making guests feel comfortable.

Gion Geisha ShowExperience MaikoyaDistinguished teahouse in GION that holds geisha shows,geisha tea ceremony and geisha dinner show everyday. The venue also has genuine geisha artifacts and organizes Gion walking tours. Service hours: 10:30 ~ 19:00.

Where does the geisha culture survive?

In addition to the major cities of Tokyo and Kanazawa, geisha may be found in various smaller towns and villages around Japan, but the old capital of Kyoto remains the greatest and most renowned location to see geisha, who are referred to as geiko in Japan. Kyoto still has five significant geiko districts (hanamachi) that are worth seeing. They are Gion Kobu, Gion Higashi, Miyagawacho, and Pontocho, which are all in or around theGion district in central Kyoto, and Kamishichiken, which is nearKitano Tenmangu Shrine, which is in the Gion district in central Kyoto.

Kyoto is a destination for young females who migrate there at the age of 15 to learn communication and hospitality skills, as well as numerous traditional Japanese arts.

Gion’s Hanami Koji is a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

Where do geiko dinners take place and who can attend?

The ochaya (tea houses), which are another key aspect of geiko districts, are the customary setting for a geiko supper. The ochaya just furnishes the tatamiroom in which the supper is held; the food and the geiko itself are ordered from outside the compound. Because of their traditional style of doing business, Ochaya are extremely exclusive establishments, and they will only allow loyal clients to enter their premises. In contrast to a traditional restaurant, an ochaya does not charge its customers until the conclusion of the evening.

Given that this approach is clearly founded on the establishment of trust, new customers are only admitted if a current client agrees to act as guarantor for them.

The museum is open to the public on weekends and holidays. The facade of the Shima Ochaya (on the left) in Kanazawa’s Higashi Chaya neighborhood is a good example of traditional Japanese architecture.

What happens at the ochaya?

Guests at a geiko supper dine and drink while being entertained by the maiko and geiko throughout the evening. While keeping their guests’ glasses full, the maiko and geiko are expected to engage in clever conversation with them and keep them entertained. Another component of a geiko meal is a variety of games in which the loser is generally required to consume an additional glass of beer as punishment. During the evening’s cultural highlight, a geiko performs a seasonal dance to traditional music, which is often played on the shamisen by another geiko.

The overall number of geiko and maiko present is determined by the size of the party and the budget of the client.

How can regular tourists participate in a geiko dinner?

Geiko dinners have long been private and costly affairs for those of high social standing. However, the ochaya, like other companies, has been harmed by the economic slump that has occurred in recent decades. The consequence has been a relaxation of restrictions, and it is now feasible for practically every traveler with a sufficient means to enjoy a supper with a geiko, due to the efforts of travel companies and hotels that act as middlemen. Several firms, such asVoyagin, cater to international visitors who do not speak Japanese well or have a working knowledge of the language.

Due to the fact that geiko are not taught English conversation skills (they are expected to converse in Kyotodialect), certain agencies can provide for an interpreter at an extra expense.

What are other ways to experience the geiko culture?

There are also a variety of alternative options available for folks on a tighter budget to get a taste of the geiko culture. For the most part, daily performances at theGion Corner, a theater that caters to foreign tourists and offers a wide range ofJapanese arts acts, including a maiko dance, are the most convenient option. When it comes to seeing dance performances by maiko and geiko, the Miyako Odori is an even greater opportunity to do so during the month of April. Every day, a number of one-hour performances are conducted on the stage of the Gion Kobu Kaburenjo theater in the Japanese town of Gion.

There are maiko studios all around Kyoto, which has resulted in a large number of “fake maiko” roaming the streets of Kyoto during the afternoon, particularly in major tourism areas.

The final point to mention is that with a little bit of luck, it is possible to discover a genuine maiko or geiko on the streets of Kyoto, particularly in the nights near GionorPontocho.

In recent years, there has been an upsurge in the number of complaints of visitors acting like cutthroat paparazzi. Two women dressed in traditional maiko attire in the Higashiyama districtQuestions? Please post your question on our forum.

Geisha: The Truth Beyond The Fantasies

The blooms are admired by Maiko or some other compelling guests. courtesy of Kate Nevens/Flickr Geisha are skilled craftspeople. What is their trade? Conversation, entertainment, and performance are all part of the package. They are the guardians of an old culture and tradition. The way geishas speak and converse is frequently compared to spending an evening with a close friend; their manner with language and conversation is well-suited to this comparison. Peek into the mystifying world of the geisha, the traditional Japanese female entertainers.

These ladies were distinguished by their extensive knowledge of a wide range of arts – flower arrangement, music, poetry, dance — as well as their ability to converse fluently in a variety of languages.

Entertaining your business colleagues or VIPs with geishas has been a prestige symbol in recent years, especially in Japan.

A geisha from a long time ago receives assistance with her obi|The Burns Archive/WikiCommons Kyoto has always been and continues to be the epicenter of the geisha world.

Amaiko is a young girl in training to be an ageiko, who is generally between the ages of 15-20 when she begins her training.

Forgeiko, she will have to train for five years before she can call herself such.

As she entertains clients, she will be able to practice the skills of conversation, etiquette, and entertainment on the fly, generally in the presence of a more experiencedgeiko.

She intends to continue taking lessons and practicing to improve her abilities whenever she has the opportunity.

Dancers in the Geisha tradition perform with shamisen players in the background|Source: Joi Ito/WikiCommons As a result of the geisha’s stunning beauty as well as their elusiveness and fascination, it’s only natural that our imaginations go wild when we think about them.

Memoirs of a Geisha, written by Arthur Golden, introduced a large number of individuals in the western world to this enigmatic culture.

Even Amaiko’s traditional makeup was heavily westernized on the big screen; her real-life makeup is not at all subdued in comparison.

A patron would pay a large quantity of money in exchange for amaiko giving up her virginity, and the ritual would go for many hours.

In 1959, the practice of selling a girl’s virginity in order to financially support her was illegal in the United States of America.

Visitors, such as Maiko or some plausible characters, appreciate the blossoms|Kate Nevens/Flickr Many geisha andokiya, like everything else in today’s world, have adapted to the changing times by changing with them.

However, many otherokiya have opened their doors to a whole new class of customers in the recent years.

Many establishments, particularly in Kyoto, can assist guests in dressing up as maiko or geisha and seeing the city in this manner.

The distinctions are quite subtle and difficult to discern.

The distinction between an apprentice and a geisha may be distinguished by the clothing they wear.

These ladies have paid to be dressed up like Maiko and to go on adventures.

Dinner with a geisha is pricey, yet it is not out of reach for most people.

When hosting a large gathering, you may schedule appointments with many geishas as well as a shamisen (a stringed instrument) player to get the entire experience.

A visit from a Kyotomaiko(apprentice geisha) would cost you about 300 USD for two individuals if you book it via Japanese Airlines, which includes supper.

It appears that the Kyoto geisha remain as elusive as they have always been. Photograph by Sonny Abesamis/Flickr of two maiko standing poised as they are pursued by people seeking to get a photograph of them

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