Welcome to the entrancing world of Geishas, a culture steeped in art, tradition, and a sense of mystery. These custodians of Japanese tradition encapsulate a world where every word, gesture, and even silence is significant.
But have you ever wondered what does Geisha do? And who are these extraordinary women?
- 1 What is a Geisha?
- 2 What Does Geisha Do?
- 3 Types of Geishas
- 4 What is the Workplace of a Geisha Like?
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Conclusion
What is a Geisha?
A Geisha, translating to ‘person of the arts,’ is a cherished professional entertainer from Japan. They embody grace, beauty, and the essence of Japanese aesthetics. These individuals are admired and respected, symbolizing a rich culture that appreciates refinement and understated elegance.
What Does Geisha Do?
A woman dressed in a beautiful kimono. Her face is white, her lips are red, and her hair is dressed in a fancy style. This is a Geisha. They are the picture of elegance and charm.
So, what do Geishas do? They are entertainers. They go to social events, like parties in tea houses, and make these events fun and exciting. They do this through their skills in music, dance, games, and good conversation.
When a Geisha performs, it’s a special treat. They play traditional Japanese music with instruments, such as the shamisen. They also dance with a grace that has been refined over centuries. But they don’t just perform. They also chat with guests, making everyone feel comfortable and welcome. In short, a Geisha’s job is to ensure everyone has a good time.
Types of Geishas
There are two primary types of Geishas – Maikos and Geikos.
Maikos are apprentice Geishas, usually aged between 15 and 20 years old. You can recognize them by their extravagant outfits and intricate hairstyles. They undergo rigorous training to master arts like traditional dance and tea ceremonies. Maikos aim to become skilled Geishas by dedicating themselves to learning and perfecting their craft.
But Geikos are fully qualified Geishas who have completed their training. The term “Geiko” refers to experienced Geishas in Kyoto, the heartland of Geisha culture. Geikos have refined skills and exude elegance and grace. They captivate audiences with their mesmerizing performances, showcasing their expertise in dance, musical instruments, and engaging conversation.
What is the Workplace of a Geisha Like?
Geishas operate within specific districts known as ‘Hanamachi’ (flower towns). Where they live in traditional Japanese houses, or ‘Okiya’. The ‘Ochaya’ (tea houses) within these districts serve as their primary workplaces.
Contrary to common misconceptions, these are not places of debauchery. But rather sophisticated venues where patrons appreciate the fine arts that Geishas present.
How to Become a Geisha
Becoming a Geisha isn’t an easy road. It’s a journey that begins as early as 15. This path is called ‘Maiko.’ A girl who wishes to become a Geisha moves into an Okiya, a Geisha house, where she’ll live and train for several years.
Her training is strict, covering a range of arts like music, dance, and tea ceremony. A Maiko also learns social skills and how to hold exciting chats with people. She is also taught to present herself with grace and subtlety, the trademarks of a Geisha. After a few years, she graduates to become a full-fledged Geisha, also known as Geiko.
1. Can Geisha marry?
Yes, but if a Geisha decides to get married, she must retire from her profession. Her life then shifts from the arts and social engagements to a domestic setting.
2. Are Geisha respected?
Absolutely. Geishas are highly respected in Japan. They are considered skilled artists and keepers of traditional Japanese culture.
3. Why do Geisha hide their face?
Geishas don’t exactly hide their face. They wear white makeup, a tradition that started when they performed in dimly lit places. The makeup would make them visible to the audience.
4. How do Geisha sleep?
Geishas sleep just like everyone else, but they do use special pillows to prevent their hairstyles from getting spoiled.
5. Do Geisha still exist?
Yes, Geishas still exist, especially in places like Kyoto. They continue to perform at banquets, festivals, and special events.
6. What is the age limit for Geisha?
There isn’t a specific age limit to be a Geisha, but the training usually starts from the young age of 15.
So, there you have it, the world of Geishas unfolded. They are not just entertainers but artists committed to protecting and promoting the traditional arts of Japan. Their world is one of grace, subtlety, and intrigue, built on centuries of tradition.