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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

Vintage Japanese Geisha Doll Kimono Dress With Glass & Mirror Display Case. 7" t
Posted on Sunday March 26, 2017

$8.95
End Date: Tuesday Apr-25-2017 16:37:30 PDT
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Vintage Japanese Geisha Kimono Doll
Posted on Sunday March 19, 2017

$15.00
End Date: Tuesday Apr-18-2017 14:16:55 PDT
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Japanese Seated Geisha Court Doll with Head wear
Posted on Saturday March 18, 2017

$7.00
End Date: Monday Apr-17-2017 10:46:16 PDT
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Vintage 15" Nishi ND Doll~Japanese~Geisha Girl~Nishi & Co. LTD
Posted on Friday March 24, 2017

$19.00
End Date: Sunday Apr-23-2017 15:45:41 PDT
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Vintage Bradley Stockinette Doll Japanese Geisha Girl Kimono 1960's
Posted on Wednesday March 15, 2017

$13.49
End Date: Thursday Apr-13-2017 23:01:43 PDT
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Vintage-Nishi & Company LTD- Rotating Musical Japanese Geisha Beautiful
Posted on Monday March 20, 2017

$88.00
End Date: Wednesday Apr-19-2017 8:00:42 PDT
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Vtg Japanese Geisha Doll Kimono Dress With Glass & Mirror Display Case. 7" t (b)
Posted on Sunday March 26, 2017

$8.95
End Date: Tuesday Apr-25-2017 16:42:32 PDT
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VINTAGE JAPANESE GOFUN GEISHA DOLL IN SILK KIMONO, 8 INCHES HIGH
Posted on Monday March 20, 2017

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End Date: Wednesday Apr-19-2017 13:09:16 PDT
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Japanese Geisha Girl Doll On Stand Kimono w/ Glass Case-16" Tall
Posted on Saturday March 25, 2017

$160.00
End Date: Tuesday Apr-4-2017 16:41:27 PDT
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VINTAGE NISHI JAPANESE GEISHA DOLL 24 INCHES TALL LOGO UNDER STAND
Posted on Sunday March 26, 2017

$125.00
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Vintage 1940's Japanese GEISHA DOLL with Six Wigs ! In Original Box Hanako
Posted on Thursday March 09, 2017

$42.25
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Japanese geisha doll
Posted on Friday March 17, 2017

$40.00
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VTG 1960s Japanese Princess Geisha NISHI Doll Stamp, Samurai Helmet Lacquer Base
Posted on Thursday March 16, 2017

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VINTAGE JAPANESE Oriental 15" GEISHA DOLL WITH STAND
Posted on Thursday March 02, 2017

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VINTAGE NISHI JAPANESE DOLL (16 INCH DOLL) GEISHA GIRL IN KIMONO MAFE IN JAPAN
Posted on Sunday March 19, 2017

$20.00 (0 Bids)
End Date: Sunday Mar-26-2017 20:55:49 PDT
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Vintage NISHI Geisha Doll Fujimusume Japanese Kabuki Drama 24" Tall
Posted on Saturday February 27, 2016

$250.00
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News About the Geisha

An Inside Peek at Kyoto's Secretive Geisha Culture - Vogue.com
Posted on Tuesday March 21, 2017


Vogue.com

An Inside Peek at Kyoto's Secretive Geisha Culture
Vogue.com
In Kyoto dialect, geisha are referred to as geiko (gei means “art” while sha translates to “person” and ko to “child”) or maiko. The former must be older than 20 while the latter is between the ages of 15 and 20. Some even go through the stage of ...

Sapporo geisha get shot in the arm to revive dying tradition - Asahi Shimbun
Posted on Saturday March 25, 2017


Asahi Shimbun

Sapporo geisha get shot in the arm to revive dying tradition
Asahi Shimbun
The Sapporo Geigi Ikusei Shinkokai (Sapporo geisha development promotion association) has been organized by the Sapporo Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other organizations to nurture young geisha and promote the traditional entertainment ...

San Jose: Teenage “Geisha Dolls” serial robbery crew arrested - The Mercury News
Posted on Friday March 03, 2017


The Mercury News

San Jose: Teenage “Geisha Dolls” serial robbery crew arrested
The Mercury News
SAN JOSE — A teenage trio that terrorized more than a dozen minimarts and gas stations in the South Bay over several months while wearing Geisha masks is now behind bars, according to San Jose police.
SJPD Arrest 'Geisha Dolls' Crew For Series of Armed Robberies ...NBC Bay Area
Police arrest three minors in connection to the “Geisha Dolls” armed robberies in San JoseKRON4.com
Alleged 'Geisha Dolls' Bandits Arrested In San JoseCBS San Francisco Bay Area
U.S. News & World Report -CBS Sacramento
all 8 news articles »

Five Films About Geishas, Courtesans At Atheneum - Hartford Courant
Posted on Monday March 06, 2017


Hartford Courant

Five Films About Geishas, Courtesans At Atheneum
Hartford Courant
The three huge artworks that are the centerpieces of the Wadsworth Atheneum's new exhibit, "Utamaro and the Lure of Japan," depict the world of 19th-century geishas and courtesans. Five upcoming films at the Atheneum dive into that world, where geishas ...

Watch the Full Robot Geisha Scene From 'Ghost in the Shell' - Inverse
Posted on Wednesday March 22, 2017


Inverse

Watch the Full Robot Geisha Scene From 'Ghost in the Shell'
Inverse
Ghost in the Shell comes out in a little more than a week, but the studio behind the big-screen adaptation of the iconic manga has shared the first five minutes of the movie. In the action-packed scene, Scarlett Johansson's Major attempts to foil a ...
'Ghost in the Shell': Watch Scarlett Johansson Battle Geisha Robots in a New 5-Minute ClipCollider.com
Miramar-made robotic 'Ghost in the Shell' costume on show at Weta CaveScoop.co.nz (press release)
Ghost In The Shell (2017) - Building Jump ExtendedYouTube

all 124 news articles »

Teen 'Geisha Dolls' Gang Busted for Armed Robberies - Breitbart News
Posted on Sunday March 05, 2017


Breitbart News

Teen 'Geisha Dolls' Gang Busted for Armed Robberies
Breitbart News
Police in San Jose arrested a teenage trio that had terrorized and robbed over a dozen minimarts and gas stations at gunpoint or knifepoint over three months while wearing Geisha masks. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the group known as the ...

Adam Savage Geeks Out Over Ghost in the Shell's Robot Geishas - Gizmodo
Posted on Monday February 27, 2017


Gizmodo

Adam Savage Geeks Out Over Ghost in the Shell's Robot Geishas
Gizmodo
A visually-rich film like Ghost in the Shell that's filled with futuristic sets and cyborg characters could have easily relied on green screens and digital effects to bring its entire world to life. But as Adam Savage discovered at a recent visit to ...
Adam Savage's Checks Out GHOST IN THE SHELL Wonderfully Practical Robo-GeishasNerdist
Ex-Mythbuster Adam Savage meets Ghost In The Shell's Weta-built Geisha robotsStuff.co.nz
Adam Savage gets a behind-the-scenes look at Ghost In The Shell's geisha robotsA.V. Club
3D Printing Industry -3ders.org (blog) -YouTube
all 102 news articles »

Le Clos unveils Geisha range of Karuizawa - The Drinks Report - The Drinks Report
Posted on Tuesday March 14, 2017


The Drinks Report

Le Clos unveils Geisha range of Karuizawa - The Drinks Report
The Drinks Report
A US$300,000 world-exclusive collection of vintage Karuizawa Japanese whisky has been launched by Le Clos. The complete Karuizana Geisha Series, the ...

and more »

Explore Weta Workshop's Intricate, Functional 'Ghost in the Shell' Geisha Masks - /FILM
Posted on Thursday March 02, 2017


/FILM

Explore Weta Workshop's Intricate, Functional 'Ghost in the Shell' Geisha Masks
/FILM
Later this month brings the live-action adaptation of the iconic manga Ghost in the Shell. It remains to be seen if this new take on the material will be something that can resonate with both general audiences who may not be familiar with the title or ...

Terrifying 'Geisha dolls' gang are arrested for at least a dozen armed robberies of gas stations and and mini-marts - Daily Mail
Posted on Friday March 03, 2017


Daily Mail

Terrifying 'Geisha dolls' gang are arrested for at least a dozen armed robberies of gas stations and and mini-marts
Daily Mail
Police in California have arrested three suspects they believe carried out a series of robberies at gas stations, liquor stores, and markets in San Jose and Milpitas. Most of the crimes took place towards the end of last year when the suspects would ...




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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