Geisha girls history-Geisha History And Photos That Separate Fact From Fiction

A geisha is a traditional Japanese entertainer. Often confused with a courtesan, or a prostitute , geisha instead are known for their distinct make-up and attire, their elegant and graceful dance, and their demure conversation. Evolving in the mid-eighteenth century, from the pleasure houses of Japan where courtesans would entertain the samurai , the first geisha were actually men, who entertained the guests with drums and music. The term geiko is still used to refer to senior geisha who have passed all their exams; junior geisha still in training are called maiko. The geisha saw their peak numbers in the s, with over 80, practicing women.

Geisha girls history

When a geisha marries, she retires from the Geisha girls history. You may think you know what a geisha is or you may have no idea. Of course, Geisha girls history American servicemen had no idea what an actual geisha really was. Kyoto Travel Guide. They are wonderful entertainers and remarkable women who strive to promote the rich beauty of old Japan.

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Geisha did not disappear when the shogunate fell, despite the dissolution of the samurai Geisha girls history. Share it: Share Tweet Email. Onsen geisha have been given a bad reputation due to the prevalence of prostitutes in such towns who market themselves as "geisha". For example, a tiny hand gesture represents reading a love letter, holding the corner of a handkerchief in the mouth represents coquetry and the long sleeves of the elaborate kimono are often used to symbolize dabbing tears. London: PRC. She will help her pick a Geisha girls history professional name. Archived Chick kickboxing topless the original on 4 March This is far from the truth. Traditional Japanese female entertainer and hostess. The Independent.

August 4, by TOKI.

  • Three Maiko girls wear ornate Kanzashi hair decorations and elaborately designed Kimono.
  • Great post Eliza!
  • Edo Pleasure Districts Tokugawa Ieyasu rides into battle at Sekigahara Prior to the start of the 17th century Japan had been in a period of great turmoil and constant war — the Sengoku Period.
  • She takes us back to the very beginning to understand the fascinating history and myths that surround the performers.

She takes us back to the very beginning to understand the fascinating history and myths that surround the performers. We can trace the roots of the geisha back to the s with a group called the shirabyoshi. Although they were not geisha by any means, they were similarly trained and educated in the arts. But they were prostitutes. They evolved into oiran from the s who continued through the Edo period. Looking back on art and other visual references, the easiest way to differentiate them from geisha is the obi sash ; an oiran wore her obi to the front so she could re-tie it multiple times by herself throughout an evening.

Oiran culture brings us to geisha. Top 10 things to do in Japan. The answer flat out is NO. While geisha arose from the courtesan world, during the Edo period they established themselves as part of the entertainment class and were never prostitutes themselves. Note that prostitution was legal with proper licenses during the Edo period. These were held by oiran and lesser prostitutes, but geisha were strictly forbidden from holding such a license.

So did this occur? The answer is probably yes in some instances, but it was never acceptable or legal, even during the Edo period. Have a private audience with a maiko trainee geisha. So how did we come to consider geisha prostitutes? The answer is simple. Allied forces engaged in prostitution with girls dressed as geisha roaming the streets during the occupation after WWII. Not every girl that wears a red dress is a prostitute and not every girl with a white painted face is a geisha.

They are wonderful entertainers and remarkable women who strive to promote the rich beauty of old Japan. Spend time with them or see one of their shows to support the preservation of this traditional way of life for future generations. Geisha history and the prostitution myth. Like this post? Help us by sharing it! Shirabyoshi We can trace the roots of the geisha back to the s with a group called the shirabyoshi.

The very first geisha Oiran culture brings us to geisha. Top 10 things to do in Japan Are geisha prostitutes, or have they ever been?

Geisha also buy top-of-the-line traditional products such as kimono, umbrellas, fans, shoes, and the sort, keeping craftsmen in work and preserving their knowledge and history for years to come. Oda … Rise of the Geisha Three geisha play the tsuzumi, taiko and shamisen in this Meiji era postcard The Pleasure Quarters and the Tayu within were no doubt popular but over time Geisha came to be a formidable rival and would eventually overtake the Yujo courtesans in popularity. Maiko are considered one of the great sights of Japanese tourism, and look very different from fully qualified geisha. This is because, for many of the men visiting houses of prostitution, the geisha were as big a part of the appeal as the sex workers themselves. The shamisen was introduced to the geisha culture in and has been mastered by female Japanese artists for years. Though regional hanamachi usually are not large enough to be seen as having a hierarchy, in Kyoto, the differing hanamachi - known as the Gokagai lit. Thanks for sharing!

Geisha girls history

Geisha girls history

Geisha girls history

Geisha girls history. Shirabyoshi

Young Maiko girl playing the traditional Japanese Shamisen. Apprentice Geisha girls have to catch up on current affairs by reading newspapers as modern technology is forbidden. Geisha do not use their real name, they have a special Geisha name that is used to bring good luck and prosperity to the business.

She is a role model to her younger sister and expected to maintain high standards of etiquette in all aspects of her life and lead by setting example every day. You can only hire a Geisha through a Okaasan Geisha mother. Therefore the relationship between the customer and the Ochaya relies heavily on trust. Geisha are not allowed to eat whilst entertaining. They entertain women as well as men. It takes up to 2 hours for a Geisha to get ready every day. Maiko style their natural hair but Geisha wear a wig.

Young Maiko girls applying their ruby red lipstick. To prevent their elaborate and time consuming hair styles from falling out, Maiko and Geisha have to sleep on a wooden pillow a few inches from the ground called Takamakura. Geisha often get bald spots on the top of their scalp where their hair was rigorously pulled into a central bun. In Geisha culture this is seen as a symbol of perseverance and endurance. Traditionally their faces were painted white to illuminate their beauty in the candle light.

The second element is the entertainment training which the maiko learns at various tea houses and parties by observing her onee-san. The third is the social skill of navigating the complex social web of the hanamachi. This is done on the streets. Formal greetings, gifts, and visits are key parts of any social structure in Japan and for a maiko, they are crucial for her to build the support network she needs to survive as a geisha.

Maiko are considered one of the great sights of Japanese tourism, and look very different from fully qualified geisha. They are at the peak of traditional Japanese femininity. The scarlet-fringed collar of a maiko's kimono hangs very loosely in the back to accentuate the nape of the neck, which is considered a primary erotic area in Japanese sexuality. She wears the same white makeup for her face on her nape, leaving two or sometimes three stripes of bare skin exposed.

Her kimono is bright and colourful with an elaborately tied obi hanging down to her ankles. She takes very small steps and wears traditional wooden shoes called okobo which stand nearly ten centimeters high. Around the age of 20—21, the maiko is promoted to a full-fledged geisha in a ceremony called erikae turning of the collar. Geisha remain as such until they retire. The biggest industry in Japan is not shipbuilding, producing cultured pearls, or manufacturing transistor radios or cameras.

It is entertainment. The term geisha roughly translates to "entertainer". Some prostitutes refer to themselves as "geisha", but they are not. A geisha's sex and love life is usually distinct from her professional life. A successful geisha can entertain her male customers with music, dance, and conversation.

Geisha learn the traditional skills of dance and instruments and hold high social status. Geisha are single women, though they may have lovers or boyfriends whom they have personally picked, who support them financially. The appeal of a high-ranking geisha to her typical male guest has historically been very different from that of his wife. The ideal geisha showed her skill, while the ideal wife was modest. The ideal geisha seemed carefree, the ideal wife somber and responsible.

Historically, geisha did sometimes marry their clients, but marriage necessitated retirement, as there were never married geisha. Geisha may gracefully flirt with their guests, but they will always remain in control of the hospitality. Over their years of apprenticeship they learn to adapt to different situations and personalities, mastering the art of the hostess.

In the geisha society, women run everything, for example they teach and train the new Geisha, they arrange the business to the Geisha as the role of okasan mother in the Geisha house. The tea house owners are entrepreneurs, whose service to the geisha is highly necessary for the society to run smoothly.

Infrequently, men take contingent positions such as hair stylists, [40] dressers dressing a maiko requires considerable strength and accountants, [16] but men have a limited role in geisha society. The geisha system was founded, actually, to promote the independence and economic self-sufficiency of women. And that was its stated purpose, and it actually accomplished that quite admirably in Japanese society, where there were very few routes for women to achieve that sort of independence.

The majority of women were wives who did not work outside of their familial duties. The young geiko Geisha could repay her investment, become independent and move out on her own once she makes her debut, so becoming a geisha was a way for women to support themselves without becoming a wife. Historically, Japanese feminists have seen geisha as exploited women, but some modern geisha see themselves as liberated feminists: [44] "We find our own way, without doing family responsibilities.

Isn't that what feminists are? Many experienced geisha are successful enough to choose to live independently. Before the twentieth century, geisha training began when a girl was around the age of six.

Now, girls must go to school until they are 15 years old and have graduated from middle school and then make the personal decision to train to become a geisha.

By watching other geisha, and with the assistance of the owner of the geisha house, apprentices also become skilled dealing with clients and in the complex traditions surrounding selecting and wearing kimono , a floor length silk robe embroidered with intricate designs which is held together by a sash at the waist which is called an obi. In the s, there were over 80, geisha in Japan, [52] [53] but today, there are far fewer.

A sluggish economy, declining interest in the traditional arts, the exclusive nature of the flower and willow world, and the expense of being entertained by geisha have all contributed to the tradition's decline. Now they are flat fees charged by the hour. Since the s, non-Japanese have also become geisha.

Liza Dalby , an American national, worked briefly with geisha in the Pontocho district of Kyoto as part of her doctorate research, although she did not formally debut as a geisha herself. Other foreign nationals who have completed training and worked as geisha in Japan include the following:.

Other hanamachi also hold public dances, including some in Tokyo, but have fewer performances. In the past, geisha began their formal study of music and dance very young, having typically joined an okiya aged roughly years old. In the present day, geisha still typically start learning music and dance when they are young, however, modern labour laws mean that they do not start learning and working in an okiya until they are at least Geisha can work into their eighties and nineties, [73] and are expected to train every day, even after seventy years of experience, [75] though lessons may only take place a couple of times a month.

It is extremely disciplined, similar to t'ai chi. Every dance uses gestures to tell a story and only a connoisseur can understand the subdued symbolism. For example, a tiny hand gesture represents reading a love letter, holding the corner of a handkerchief in the mouth represents coquetry and the long sleeves of the elaborate kimono are often used to symbolize dabbing tears.

The dances are accompanied by traditional Japanese music. The primary instrument is the shamisen. The shamisen was introduced to the geisha culture in and has been mastered by female Japanese artists for years. It has a very distinct, melancholy sound that is often accompanied by flute. The instrument is described as "melancholy" because traditional shamisen music uses only minor thirds and sixths. Along with the shamisen and the flute, geisha also learned to play a ko-tsuzumi , a small, hourglass-shaped shoulder drum, and a large floor taiko drum.

Some geisha would not only dance and play music, but would write beautiful, melancholy poems. Others painted pictures or composed music. Sheridan Prasso wrote that Americans had "an incorrect impression of the real geisha world Henshall wrote that the geisha's purpose was "to entertain their customer, be it by dancing, reciting verse, playing musical instruments, or engaging in light conversation.

In a social style that is common in Japan, men are amused by the illusion of that which is never to be. These terms were a subject of controversy because the difference between geisha and prostitutes remained ambiguous.

Also, geisha working in onsen towns such as Atami are dubbed onsen geisha. Onsen geisha have been given a bad reputation due to the prevalence of prostitutes in such towns who market themselves as "geisha". In contrast to these "one-night geisha", the true onsen geisha are competent dancers and musicians. However, the autobiography of Sayo Masuda , an onsen geisha who worked in Nagano Prefecture in the s, reveals that in the past, such women were often under intense pressure to sell sex. Geisha are portrayed as unattached.

Formerly those who chose to marry had to retire from the profession, though today, some geisha are allowed to marry. It was traditional in the past for established geisha to take a danna , or patron.

A danna was typically a wealthy man, sometimes married, who had the means to support the very large expenses related to a geisha's traditional training and other costs. This sometimes occurs today as well, but very rarely. A geisha and her danna may or may not be in love, but intimacy is never viewed as a reward for the danna's financial support.

While it is true that a geisha is free to pursue personal relationships with men she meets through her work, such relationships are carefully chosen and unlikely to be casual.

A hanamachi tends to be a very tight-knit community and a geisha's good reputation is not taken lightly. During the period of the Allied occupation of Japan , local women called "Geisha girls" worked as prostitutes. Many Americans unfamiliar with the Japanese culture could not tell the difference between legitimate geisha and these costumed performers.

Geisha girls are speculated by researchers to be largely responsible for the continuing misconception in the West that all geisha are engaged in prostitution. Prostitutes posing as geisha often used this term to refer to their acts with customers, which lead to great confusion when such prostitutes often called themselves "geisha" in the company of foreign soldiers and even Japanese customers.

Mizuage literally means "raising the waters" and originally meant unloading a ship's cargo of fish. The traditional makeup of a maiko features a base of white foundation with red lipstick and red and black accents around the eyes and eyebrows. First-year maiko will only paint their lower lip with lipstick, and wear less black on the eyebrows and eyes than senior maiko. A junior maiko will paint her eyebrows shorter than a senior maiko will.

The makeup of geisha does not vary much from this, though geisha will wear less tonoko than maiko. The lipstick used comes in a small stick, which is melted in water. This practice used to be common among married women in Japan and in earlier times at the imperial court; however, it survives only in some districts.

It is done partly because uncoloured teeth can appear very yellow in contrast to the oshiroi worn by maiko; from a distance, the teeth seem to disappear. Geisha always wear kimono. Apprentice geisha wear highly colourful kimono with extravagant obi. The obi is brighter than the kimono she is wearing to give a certain exotic balance.

Maiko of Kyoto wear the obi tied in a style called "darari" dangling obi , while Tokyo "hangyoku" wear it tied in various ways, including taiko musubi. The colour, pattern, and style of kimono is dependent on the season and the event the geisha is attending. A kimono can take from two to three years to complete, due to painting and embroidering. Geiko wear red or pink nagajuban , or under-kimono. A maiko wears red with white printed patterns.

The junior maiko's collar is predominantly red with white, silver, or gold embroidery. Two to three years into her apprenticeship, the red collar will be entirely embroidered in white when viewed from the front to show her seniority. When she becomes a fully fledged geisha her collar will turn from red to solid white.

Geisha wear raised wooden sandals, called geta while maiko wear a special wooden sandal known as okobo and wear only tabi white split-toed socks indoors. The hairstyles of geisha have varied through history.

In the past, it has been common for women to wear their hair down in some periods and up in others. These hairstyles are decorated with elaborate hair-combs and hairpins kanzashi. Maiko sleep with their necks on small supports takamakura , instead of pillows, so they keep their hairstyle perfect.

Many modern geisha use wigs in their professional lives, while maiko use their natural hair. Traditional hairstyling is a slowly dying art. Over time, the hairstyle can cause balding on the top of the head. It is worn by maiko today, but was worn in the Edo period by wives to show their dedication to their husbands. Maiko wear it during a ceremony called Erikae , which marks their graduation from maiko to geiko.

Maiko use black wax to stain their teeth as well. Crane and tortoiseshell ornaments are added as kanzashi. The style is twisted in many knots, and is quite striking and elaborate. A growing number of geisha have complained to the authorities about being pursued down the street and tugged on the sleeves of their kimono by groups of tourists keen to take their photograph. As a result, residents and local businesses have joined forces to protect the geisha by launching patrols of the streets of Kyoto's Gion entertainment district in order to prevent tourists from pestering them.

Many stories are told about geisha. This includes Arthur Golden's popular English-language novel Memoirs of a Geisha which was adapted into a film in Total War: Shogun 2 Used as agent to assassinate or seduce enemy clans. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Traditional Japanese female entertainer and hostess. For other uses, see Geisha disambiguation.

Main article: Mizuage. Further information: Oshiroi. Geisha Dalby states that "Under this system, all her wages and tips would be taken directly by the okiya until she had This process usually took about three years Retrieved 22 September EZ Glot. Autobiography of a Geisha. Translated by Rowley, G. New York: Columbia University Press. February []. London: PRC. Retrieved 6 November Japan Zone.

Retrieved 18 June In Feldman, Martha; Gordon, Bonnie eds. The Story of the Geisha Girl. March []. Yoshiwara: the glittering world of the Japanese courtesan illustrated ed. University of Hawaii Press. Geiko was the pronunciation used in the Kamigata region.

Some geiko operated as illegal prostitutes. By the nineteenth century the term became synonymous with geisha. October Geisha: a unique world of tradition, elegance, and art. PRC Publishing.

Archived from the original on 13 June Berkeley: University of California. University Of Chicago Press. Retrieved 12 January The question always comes up There is no simple answer. The Ogden Standard-Examiner. Ogden, Utah. Retrieved 16 October The New York Times. Retrieved March 16,

History Undressed: The History and Culture of Japanese Geisha

Great post Eliza! I had been curious about the lives of a Geisha before and this was a wonderful learning post. Thanks for sharing! Fantastic info!! Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the recent Geisha movie. I found it both heartbreaking and beautiful. Nice overview, but the picture that you posted at the beginning of the article is not of two real maiko- From their dress it can be discerned that they are tourists dressed up to look like geisha.

There are a couple signs to look for- their kanzashi are very long, yet their upper lips are painted. Real Maiko with such long kanzashi would be first year maiko and have only their bottom lip painted. Also, the collar under the main kimono would be red. As a maiko progresses, her collar goes from red to white. The kimono are a bit bright to ne maiko kimono- genuine maiko kimono generally reflect a season- so the pattern is not quite as busy as the kimono that the two women are wearing.

Just thought you might like to know :. Fascinating post Eliza. I've always been curious about Geishas. Thank you Shannon! I liked it too Nicole : Thank you for sharing that Sara! It's always hard when finding pictures online.

Great eye! Thanks Elizabeth! I will have to check that book out, fascinating! There is a wonderful book called Geisha by Liza Dalby that you might be interested in - she was the only non-Japanese ever to be a practising geisha, in the mids.

What a cool post, Liza. I did however, think that Geisha met prostitute probably because of the movie so thanks for clearing that up. I'm so far behind and I love your blog!

Awesome post! There is such a richness to be explored here. Helen www. They normally cater to far less exclusive patrons, usually office workers or others of the sort, and are much less expensive.

Post a Comment. Pages Home Reviews Guest Posts. A long standing stigma has been placed on Japanese Geisha girls. When someone thinks of a Geisha, they think of a glorified prostitute or call girl. This is far from the truth. If you translate Geisha into English, you get artist. If a girl begins her training to be a geisha before she is 21, she is called a maiko, meaning child dancer. Both girls where a kimono, and over their kimono is an obi or sash. The danna pays for all of their expenses, sort of like a mistress, but relationship is a very intricate one that is not well understood.

A geisha, even after completing her training, will continue to take classes. So how does one become a geisha? This could be as late as two or three in the morning. Also during this time the girls would be attending the hanamachi geisha school.

A minarai teams up with an onee-san, or older sister. She follows her to her events and mainly observes or pours tea. A minarai could also work closely with a okaa-san, who is the proprietor of her geisha house. The onee-san teaches the maiko how to be a true geisha, tea ceremony, flower arrangement, calligraphy, playing the shamisan a three string instrument , dancing, conversation.

She will help her pick a new professional name. She will perfect her way of doing her hair and makeup. Hair is washed about once a week, and the design of the sytle so intricate it has to be done by a professional.

A thick white foundation is applied to the face, neck and chest. And a 'W' like shape is left at the back of the neck. Black is then traced around the eyes and eyebrows, a maiko also traditionally wears red around the eyes too. The lips are then colored, red, but not the entire lip, only parts of them.

A lot of established geisha only wear their makeup when doing a special performance. After her onee-san feels she is ready, the maiko will become a full-fledged geisha and charge full price. There are two types of geisha, a tachikata, who mainly dances and a jikata who mainly sings and plays instruments. But what are they charging what? You may have gotten some sort of idea, but let me explain further. They attend parties and tea houses, where they are the entertainment and hostesses.

They pour tea, sing, dance, play instruments, and chat with the guests. In other words they are the life of the party and companions. The training to become a geisha is extremely rigorous, and because of this the number of women today who are becoming geisha is diminishing. Labels: Geisha. Newer Post Older Post Home. Subscribe to: Post Comments Atom.

Geisha girls history

Geisha girls history

Geisha girls history