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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

Small Vintage Japanese Traditional Gofun Geisha Doll
Posted on Friday September 22, 2017

$24.99
End Date: Sunday Oct-22-2017 11:16:02 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Kimono Petite Geisha Doll in glass / Wood case Made in Japan
Posted on Saturday September 16, 2017

$12.10
End Date: Monday Oct-16-2017 11:16:31 PDT
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"16"" Japanese GEISHA Oriental Doll DOL6008-16"
Posted on Tuesday November 08, 2016

$19.42
End Date: Wednesday Oct-4-2017 12:26:12 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Oriental 12" Geisha Doll in Glass Dome
Posted on Thursday September 07, 2017

$14.50
End Date: Saturday Oct-7-2017 5:48:43 PDT
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Antique JAPANESE NISHI DOLL-GEISHA HOLDING SAMURAI Kabuto HELMET
Posted on Sunday September 17, 2017

$19.25
End Date: Tuesday Oct-17-2017 10:03:45 PDT
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VINTAGE Gofun Japanese Ichimatsu geisha girl Doll glass box
Posted on Tuesday September 19, 2017

$19.99
End Date: Thursday Oct-19-2017 20:09:43 PDT
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Chinese Japanese Beauty Geisha Girl Doll Statue ON WOODEN BASE
Posted on Tuesday September 19, 2017

$11.99
End Date: Thursday Oct-19-2017 4:29:45 PDT
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Japanese Geisha Doll
Posted on Tuesday July 11, 2017

$11.99
End Date: Monday Oct-9-2017 4:58:52 PDT
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New Solar Powered Japanese Kimono Car Bobble Head Geisha Girl Lady Doll Black
Posted on Monday July 24, 2017

$10.99
End Date: Friday Sep-22-2017 21:44:59 PDT
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Vintage Gofun Japanese Geisha Doll with Drum Music Box
Posted on Friday September 15, 2017

$24.99
End Date: Monday Sep-25-2017 13:20:27 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Nishi Geisha Doll 20" Tall
Posted on Monday September 04, 2017

$34.95
End Date: Wednesday Oct-4-2017 7:52:31 PDT
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Japanese GEISHA Paddle Japanese traditional paddle ~ 17"
Posted on Friday September 08, 2017

$8.00
End Date: Sunday Oct-8-2017 7:59:18 PDT
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9" Japanese GEISHA Oriental Doll in Turquoise dress
Posted on Friday September 01, 2017

$13.90
End Date: Sunday Oct-1-2017 4:55:42 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Geisha Doll in Silk Garment Kimona
Posted on Thursday September 21, 2017

$9.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Tuesday Sep-26-2017 6:27:27 PDT
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OLD ANTIQUE Japanese Silk Fabric Geisha Doll 18" w Oriental Obe RARE
Posted on Wednesday September 13, 2017

$9.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Saturday Sep-23-2017 17:34:43 PDT
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VINTAGE JAPANESE CHINESE ASIAN GEISHA DOLL FIGURE HAND PAINTED PORCELAIN FACE
Posted on Thursday September 21, 2017

$15.99 (1 Bid)
End Date: Sunday Oct-1-2017 19:20:08 PDT
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News About the Geisha

Most Powerful Women: New to Fortune's 2017 List | Fortune.com - Fortune
Posted on Thursday September 21, 2017


Fortune

Most Powerful Women: New to Fortune's 2017 List | Fortune.com
Fortune
While the executives featured on Fortune's annual Most Powerful Women in Business are always a diverse bunch, this year's newcomers to the list have raised ...

and more »

Geisha Williams - Fortune
Posted on Thursday September 21, 2017


Fortune

Geisha Williams
Fortune
Williams made history this year by becoming the first Latina CEO on the Fortune 500. In March the Cuban-born immigrant took the helm of PG&E, California's largest utility, after running its electric unit for nearly a decade. Under Williams, the $17.7 ...

Destinations - Telegraph.co.uk
Posted on Friday August 25, 2017


Telegraph.co.uk

Destinations
Telegraph.co.uk
In the street outside the geisha house, I felt I had stepped into a Japanese painting, a Hiroshige perhaps – an empty cobbled lane, a single lantern casting a triangle of yellow light, a few cherry trees in tattered blossom, a soft slanting rain. I ...

Eat golden ice cream and see real-life geisha in Osaka - Star2.com
Posted on Saturday September 09, 2017


Star2.com

Eat golden ice cream and see real-life geisha in Osaka
Star2.com
Enter the Maikoya Osaka, a cultural centre in Osaka, billed as a space where visitors can meet openly with a geisha apprentice known as a maiko, and learn about traditional Japanese art. It occupies a space in the Shinmachi area that used to house a ...

Where you can meet a geisha in Japan and dive into a gold-covered Kobe beef sandwich - Inquirer.net
Posted on Monday August 28, 2017


Inquirer.net

Where you can meet a geisha in Japan and dive into a gold-covered Kobe beef sandwich
Inquirer.net
A cultural center in Osaka has opened a geisha cafe, where visitors can meet a geisha-in-training and learn what it takes to become a Japanese “art performer.” Like a rare wildlife sighting, real-life geishas can be elusive creatures to capture on camera.

Geisha loan application: Accepted - Nikkei Asian Review
Posted on Tuesday August 29, 2017


Nikkei Asian Review

Geisha loan application: Accepted
Nikkei Asian Review
So what's a small hotel owner who wants to expand or a geisha who needs more kimonos to do when there is not enough data to vouch for them? Today, we provide an answer -- start with a smaller lender. Some new loan-makers are dabbling in tech to help ...

I Am Sushi Burrito brings fresh fish, fresh ideas to restaurant scene - Columbia Daily Tribune
Posted on Friday September 22, 2017


Columbia Daily Tribune

I Am Sushi Burrito brings fresh fish, fresh ideas to restaurant scene
Columbia Daily Tribune
Lee began working for Kory Yoo at Geisha Sushi Bar in 2009 when he was a student at the University of Missouri. Quickly, Yoo began to trust Lee and promoted him to become a server, and soon after a manager. Yoo then offered Lee the chance to learn how ...

From Bond Girl to 'Star Trek' Captain, Michelle Yeoh Wants to Keep Surprising You - NBCNews.com
Posted on Friday September 22, 2017


TIME

From Bond Girl to 'Star Trek' Captain, Michelle Yeoh Wants to Keep Surprising You
NBCNews.com
In the span of her 30-year career, Michelle Yeoh has done everything from jumping off rooftops to predicting the future. She's been a Bond girl, a geisha, and a sorceress — all roles that the Malaysian-born actress says show the "charming, weird roles ...
A 'Star Trek' Fan's Guide to Why Michelle Yeoh Kicks AssInverse

all 220 news articles »

Kobe Beef Sandwiches Covered in Gold and Tea with a Geisha Make Up a Japanese Vacation - News18
Posted on Thursday August 24, 2017


News18

Kobe Beef Sandwiches Covered in Gold and Tea with a Geisha Make Up a Japanese Vacation
News18
Like a rare wildlife sighting, real-life geishas can be elusive creatures to capture on camera. Graceful and discreet, the ladies are not known to stop and pose for a photo, but are more apt to scurry off to their appointment, head bowed. Women who do ...

Café Geisha busca incrementar presencia en mercado asiático ... - Crítica
Posted on Friday September 22, 2017


Crítica

Café Geisha busca incrementar presencia en mercado asiático ...
Crítica
Panamá alcanzó un precio récord, al vender en la subasta internacional “The Best Of Panama”, la libra (454 gramos) de café especial geisha, en US$ 601.00.
Café geisha panameño se exhibe en feria de TokioLa Estrella de Panamá

all 2 news articles »




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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