In Japan, the beautiful and enigmatic Geisha represents one of the most iconic cultural images in the country. They have been around since as early as A. Trained in fine arts such as dance, singing, playing the shamisen, dining manners, and friendly conversation, the Geisha has become an icon of Japanese culture. Extremely popular among foreign visitors who hope to catch a glimpse of them on their travels, Geishas can still be seen on the winding streets of Kyoto and in other parts of Japan, and do seem to continue many of the traditions of Geisha training and performance which have continued for hundreds of years in this fascinating country. Read on to find out why they wear this makeup, and what it means in Japanese culture. A Geisha is a female entertainer and performer with origins dating back thousands of years in Japan.
Unravel the mystery and explore the history of Japanese Geisha
Contrary to popular belief, geisha are not the Eastern equivalent of a prostitute; a misconception originating in the West due to interactions with Japanese oiran courtesans, whose traditional attire is similar to that of geisha. The most literal translation of geisha into English would be "artist", "performing artist", or "artisan". This term is used to refer to geisha from Western Japan, which includes Kyoto and Kanazawa. The white make-up and elaborate kimono and hair of a maiko is the popular image held of geisha. A woman entering the geisha community does not have to begin as a maiko, having the opportunity to begin her career as a full geisha. Either way, however, usually a year's training is involved before debuting either as a maiko or as a geisha.
Everything you’ve wanted to know about Japanese Geisha and Maiko
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.
You may have seen or read Memoirs of a Geisha. You may have seen the girls with painted-white faces in Kyoto. You may think you know what a Japanese geisha is or you may have no idea. The term geisha is often used in Eastern Japan, whereas the term geiko is more prevalent in Western Japan, including Kyoto and Kanazawa.