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About the Japanese Geisha

Cultural icons of Japan, the life and practice of a geisha is considered one of most admirable of trades.

What is a Geisha? One way to think of the cultural role of the geisha is as the western equivalent of a movie star sex symbol - such as Marilyn Monroe - for she is the female ideal, the fantasy, the ultimate sex tease... The famous geisha, Mineko Iwasaki, said that the "geisha is like a flower, beautiful in her own way, and like a willow tree, gracious, flexible, and strong." But simply put, a geisha is a traditional Japanese entertainer/companion.

Geisha are skilled artists, trained in being gracious ritual hostesses whose evening actions usually include enacting a tea ceremony, witty conversation, and the performing of music and dance. The trainees for these artistic roles, who are all single women, must learn the old customs that go with these arts and to some extent give up the trappings of modern life. While some elements may sound frivolous, the training and life of a Geisha is far from easy and it is considered a great honor and achievement to become a Geiko (geisha). Beyond the arts, one of most important quality of a geisha is her trustworthiness.

As already mentioned, Geisha are expected to be single women; those who choose to marry must retire from the profession. Although a geisha is free to pursue personal relationships with any of the men she meets through her work, generally, such relationships are carefully chosen and unlikely to be casual. So individual Geisha girls may have lovers or boyfriends whom they have personally picked, who support them financially.

Geisha girls are speculated by outside observers to be largely responsible for the continuing confusion in the West that all geisha are engaged in prostitution. Instead, their performances are not about sex, per se, but represent an ideal or a fantasy of pleasure. Geisha are professionals who are essentially performing, keeping up an illusion of personal hospitality, providing song, food and stimulating conversation. Geisha often spend part of their day reading up on current events and researching guests they plan to entertain. Such clients maybe high-profile politicians or businessmen seeking the relaxation from evening of unfettered companionship.


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Historically, geisha often began the earliest stages of their training at a very early age, sometimes as young as 3 or 5 years old. Today, the training does not start so young - Japanese women begin their training after middle school, high school, even college. But it does take time and entails much more than wearing decorative kimonos, donning a wig and thick white make-up. This traditional make-up of the apprentice geisha is one of their most recognizable characteristics, though established geisha generally only wear full white face makeup characteristic of maiko during special performances. Ironically, modern geisha often learn computer skills or English conversation to be more at ease with English speaking customers who visit Japan.

While traditionally geisha may have led a cloistered existence, in recent years they have become more publicly visible. And their entertainment services are now available without requiring the traditional introduction and connections.

Geisha have always played a key role in preserving the arts of Japan. A great geisha will have an uncanny ability to light up a party and to understand and prize the art of conversation. Geisha have sometimes been confused with the traditional high-class courtesans called oiran, but that is not the case. Geisha may gracefully flirt with their guests, but they will always remain in control of the hospitality.

Renowned throughout the world as purveyors of beauty, mystery, and allure, geisha have come to represent the epitome of Japanese elegance and chic. Geisha can be found in several cities across Japan, including Tokyo and Kanazawa, but the former capital of Kyoto remains the best and most prestigious place to experience geisha, who are known there in the local dialect as geiko.

Geisha Related Items For Sale

Japanese Geisha Doll with Stand and beautiful Kimono
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2017

$40.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-16-2017 20:02:04 PDT
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VINTAGE JAPANESE GEISHA DOLL on STAND SILK KIMONO & OBI HAND PAINTED FACE
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2017

$12.32 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-16-2017 9:16:27 PDT
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VINTAGE JAPANESE 16" HANDPAINTED PORCELAIN GEISHA DOLL WITH STAND
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2017

$25.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-16-2017 7:36:41 PDT
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Vtg NISHI Geisha Doll Fujimusume Japanese Kabuki Drama 18" Tall Made in Japan #3
Posted on Sunday August 06, 2017

$9.99
End Date: Tuesday Sep-5-2017 8:34:16 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Kimono Petite Geisha Doll in glass / Wood case Made in Japan
Posted on Sunday August 13, 2017

$14.99
End Date: Sunday Aug-20-2017 10:36:29 PDT
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Japanese Geisha Gofun Doll Young Girl
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2017

$9.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-16-2017 13:58:14 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Geisha Doll Kokeshi Kimono on Wood Stand 6" Tall
Posted on Saturday August 12, 2017

$9.99
End Date: Monday Sep-11-2017 13:38:21 PDT
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37 Geisha Girl Japanese Lantern Christmas Ornaments
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2017

$19.95 (1 Bid)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-16-2017 15:38:43 PDT
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Japanese GEISHA Paddle Japanese traditional paddle ~ 17"
Posted on Tuesday August 08, 2017

$10.00
End Date: Thursday Sep-7-2017 10:08:57 PDT
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VINTAGE JAPANESE GEISHA KIMONO CLOTH DOLL ON WOOD BASE
Posted on Sunday August 13, 2017

$29.95 (0 Bids)
End Date: Friday Aug-18-2017 17:31:57 PDT
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9" Japanese GEISHA Oriental Doll DOL9002-9
Posted on Saturday February 27, 2016

$13.19
End Date: Sunday Aug-20-2017 1:09:53 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Geisha Girl Saranoki Paper Doll Asian Japan Washi Handmade
Posted on Saturday August 05, 2017

$29.95
End Date: Monday Sep-4-2017 8:20:57 PDT
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Super Vintage Doll Japanese Geisha kimono cloth fabric textile hand paint gofun
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2017

$24.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Wednesday Aug-16-2017 12:16:19 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Geisha Dolls Set of 2
Posted on Monday August 14, 2017

$18.99 (0 Bids)
End Date: Thursday Aug-17-2017 11:02:51 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Geisha Kabuki Doll with Kimono, Fan 12"
Posted on Thursday August 03, 2017

$11.99
End Date: Saturday Sep-2-2017 12:36:20 PDT
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Japanese GEISHA Oriental 10" Doll Stunning Authentic Detailed Silk Kimono NEW
Posted on Friday July 28, 2017

$17.99
End Date: Sunday Aug-27-2017 12:37:32 PDT
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News About the Geisha

'Secret Moments of Maikos': Intimate shots of Japan's geisha apprentices - CNN
Posted on Wednesday August 09, 2017


CNN

'Secret Moments of Maikos': Intimate shots of Japan's geisha apprentices
CNN
Although he struggled to break ground during his first visit, his persistence in going to Japan paid off over time and he was able to gain the trust of key members of the geisha community. "I'm a man who likes a challenge. I think they saw me in a ...

After 45 Years, Geisha House Expands to the Strip - Eater Vegas
Posted on Friday July 21, 2017


Eater Vegas

After 45 Years, Geisha House Expands to the Strip
Eater Vegas
The restaurant row along the Harmon Avenue side of the Miracle Mile Shops has a confirmed, familiar name joining fellow locals Hot N Juicy Crawfish and Nacho Daddy. Geisha House will take over the shuttered home of Todai Japanese Sushi and Seafood ...

French photographer explores the life of Japan's modern-day geishas,Maikos - Indialivetoday
Posted on Monday August 14, 2017


Indialivetoday

French photographer explores the life of Japan's modern-day geishas,Maikos
Indialivetoday
There are some simple ways to differentiate between maiko and geisha. A maiko will have decorations such as flowers in her hair; a geisha will not. The maiko's obi (kimono belt) will hang nearly to the floor while the geisha's is folded into a square ...

Weatherford horses, riders shine in West Texas - Weatherford Democrat
Posted on Tuesday August 15, 2017


Weatherford Democrat

Weatherford horses, riders shine in West Texas
Weatherford Democrat
In the 3-Year-Old Open finals, also Tuesday, DMAC's Geisha Girl, trained and ridden by Weatherford's Clint Allen for Stacie and David McDavid of Fort Worth, finished a strong second to Buffalo, Texas' Craig Thompson and Sanjo Playn Jacks. Rice grew up ...

Peer into the lives of geisha-in-training in photographer Philippe Marinig's new book - The Peak Singapore
Posted on Thursday July 27, 2017


The Peak Singapore

Peer into the lives of geisha-in-training in photographer Philippe Marinig's new book
The Peak Singapore
With yellow flowers in her coiffed hair, perfectly lined crimson lips and eyebrows drawn in with a tinge of red, a young geisha peeks out shyly from behind a door – and is caught on camera. In another snap, a geisha hoists her kimono as she catches her ...

Recipe: Ginger Geisha cocktail - San Antonio Express-News - San Antonio Express-News (subscription)
Posted on Wednesday August 02, 2017


San Antonio Express-News (subscription)

Recipe: Ginger Geisha cocktail - San Antonio Express-News
San Antonio Express-News (subscription)
½ ounce lemon juice Grate ginger into cocktail shaker, add all ingredients except cherry and sliced ginger into the shaker and add ice. Sugar simple syrup is ...

and more »

Rose Villain - Geisha (Swanky Tunes Remix) - EDM Sauce - EDM Sauce
Posted on Monday July 31, 2017


EDM Sauce

Rose Villain - Geisha (Swanky Tunes Remix) - EDM Sauce
EDM Sauce
The magnetic "Geisha" from singer and songwriter Rose Villain is given an overhaul by Russian group Swanky Tunes. This is out now...

and more »

A Mom Was Called A 'Racist' For Dressing Daughter As Geisha For Japanese-Themed Birthday Party - YourTango
Posted on Saturday August 05, 2017


YourTango

A Mom Was Called A 'Racist' For Dressing Daughter As Geisha For Japanese-Themed Birthday Party
YourTango
One Utah mom sparked a huge debate when she decided to throw a Japanese-themed birthday party for her daughter, Caitlyn, and post about it on her blog, The Gala Girls. Patty originally found the idea for a Japanese tea party in an article in Parents ...

Japanese Tumblr user drops hammer on debate of if Caucasian girl's Japan-themed party was racist - SoraNews24
Posted on Monday August 07, 2017


SoraNews24

Japanese Tumblr user drops hammer on debate of if Caucasian girl's Japan-themed party was racist
SoraNews24
“The makeup is clearly reflective of traditional Geisha makeup which is yellowface and therefore racist. Furthermore, the girl is wearing a kimono, a garment that has for ages carried cultural significance. Assuming that she is white how can you think ...

Rose Villain – Geisha (Swanky Tunes Remix) - Your EDM
Posted on Monday August 07, 2017


Your EDM

Rose Villain – Geisha (Swanky Tunes Remix)
Your EDM
Sounding superb right now as a new release is the Swanky Tunes edit of 'Geisha,' which previously got a release from New York based singer and songwriter Rose Villain. An artist who is thoroughly emerging right now, this talented songstress hands her ...




How To Find A Geisha In Japan

These days, geisha are more a symbol of Japanese tradition than a part of everyday life. Even at the peak of their popularity and prevalence (ending roughly a hundred years ago), they were not accessible to most ordinary Japanese men because of their expense, but in the twenty first century the number of people who use…



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