Amazing facts about Geisha
When learning about the country and people of Japan, I came upon some interesting facts about the real work of a Geisha
Geisha (芸者) is an ancient and unique cultural trait of Japan. This word comprises two characters "gei" - 芸, which means entertainment, and "sha" - 者 , which means people.
Therefore, Geisha are considered artists with the ability to sing, dance, and lead conversations in wine parties of the Japanese upper class.
1. Geisha's job does not include prostitution
Many people, including me, probably misunderstand the work of a geisha after reading the famous book "Memoirs of a Geisha" by the author Arthur Golden. For a long time, I had always assumed that Geisha are just prostitutes in disguise because their work includes singing and dancing.
The truth is, a geisha's work often includes flirting, laughing, and joking - but never includes sexual activity with clients.
2. Geisha can be a... male?
When talking about Geisha, people often misunderstand that Geisha are women and relate to the image of white-face girls wearing traditional kimonos.
However, in fact, at first, Geisha were male and were known as Hokan Geisha. Later, the demand for female Geisha increased, making the number of Hokan decrease.
3. Geisha do not serve in tea parties
A geisha's work is to sing and lead conversations in wine parties of the Japanese upper class. They do not serve in tea parties, instead, they let Maiko - apprentices who are training to become Geisha - take care of this job.
4. Geisha are not allowed to get married
One special thing is that Geisha are not allowed to get married as long as they still do this job. The moment they decide to follow this path and receive the training is also when they give up the thought of getting married to become true artists.
5. Geisha live in a separate district
Geisha usually live in separate districts to facilitate their studies and activities.
Geisha is not an easy job. They have to strictly follow rules about their costumes, makeup as well as how to satisfy their clients. These districts are often called Hanamachi - flower towns.
Japan is becoming more and more modern, with skyscrapers and bright neon lights everywhere. Still, it seems that nowadays, only a few people find joy by meeting and talking to Geisha, and revelling in their elegance like in the Edo period.
After all, similar to other traditional arts and crafts, Geisha needs preservation and development to remain a cultural beauty of the land of the rising sun.
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