Some people don’t know what a Geisha is, who they are, or what their profession is? At first glance, some people mistakenly believe that they are “Japanese prostitutes” but do not understand the nature of the work. To avoid misinterpreting them, here are some facts that can help you understand what a Geisha is.

The Birth of a Geisha

That “man of art” is the geisha. Born from the Bushido culture. The Samurai have a perfect moral system, this is a code that the Samurai must follow: uprightness, transparency, righteousness, nobility, chivalry.

Watching: What is a Geisha?

They take poetry, music, and calligraphy as entertainment and prefer the service from women in a healthy cultural form suitable for the warrior’s soul, not in the form of sexual service. That need for elegant entertainment led to the birth of the Geisha, not purely for sexual gratification.

What is Geisha?

Strictly speaking Geisha are talented artists, they mostly use traditional Japanese art skills, including dance music and storytelling, in addition they are a person with good conversational skills. Professionally trained in subjects such as musical instruments, singing, dancing, etc. for a long time.

For most people who know Geisha for the first time, they think they are a form of prostitution. But what you don’t know is that their mission is to perform healthy, high-class cultural talent, not that Geisha and prostitution are the same.

Secrets of Japanese Geisha

1.Geisha were originally male

Initially, Geisha were mostly male, working freely in parties outside the entertainment districts. Gradually the skills of both male and female Geisha became more demanding. It was not until later that the male geisha decreased and the number of females increased, so the name geisha began to be understood as “a woman who works in the entertainment industry with a high level”.

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The old male geisha

2.Have a wide relationship

Their work is mainly in gatherings, traditionally in tea houses and restaurants, and their job is to serve culture as well as conversation. These places have quite a large number of visitors every day, most of which are people of high status in society.

3. Geisha can’t get married

Geisha can’t get married or get married only when they retire (no longer being a Geisha). If they want to get married, force them to give up their job so they can get married and live like normal women.

4.Grow up from Maiko

Before becoming a Geisha, women have to go to the center to be trained from a young age, when they grow up, when they wear Kimono, they will become Maiko. Geisha and Maiko can be identified by looking at their clothes.

Differences in dress

5.Not a prostitute

Although their duties included flirting and provocative banter, they never had sex with clients and were not paid for it.

In short, they only entertain, not sell themselves, not prostitutes who are just people who pour alcohol at parties.

6. Age regulations

To become a Geisha they have to go through a professional training process, after a while they will become apprentices, until the age of 21 they can become a real Geisha.

7. Costumes

Their regular attire is Kimono. Apprentice geisha wear colorful kimonos with large bows. Older geisha wear clothes with softer designs and patterns.


Hairstyles are elaborately decorated with combs and brooches and most Geisha today use wigs in their daily lives and such wigs must be maintained periodically by skilled artisans. high.

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9.Sleeping without a pillow

Before becoming a real Geisha, they are all trained to sleep without using pillows but only on a small prop, to keep their hairstyle from getting tangled after waking up. To practice this habit, the teachers sprinkle rice around the millet so that if the head rolls off the millet when sleeping, the rice will stick to the hair.

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Thick white powder face, black eyeliner, red lips are the makeup of most intern Geisha. After becoming Geisha for 3 years, they started to change their makeup towards a lighter trend.

Today, people look at their appearance and misunderstand them, although it is increasingly declining over time, but Japan has always kept the good Geisha communication, not according to the way the majority of society thinks.

Modern Geisha

Modern geisha still live in traditional houses called okiya in areas called hanamachi (flower quarters), especially during their apprenticeship. However, many experienced people choose to live in their apartments. The elegant and cultural world of which the geisha are a part is called karyukai (the world of flowers and willows).


Nowadays, many young women who want to become geisha usually start their training after completing middle school or even high school or college, many also start their careers in adulthood.

They also learn traditional musical instruments such as the shamisen, shakuhachi (bamboo flute), and drums, as well as traditional songs, Japanese classical dance, tea ceremony, ikebana (Japanese flower arrangement), poetry, and literature. From observing others with the help of the host, the apprentices also become more adept at the intricate traditional arts surrounding kimono selection and wearing, as well as how to deal with guests row.

The art of flower arrangement Ikebana

Today, Kyoto is home to the largest remaining geisha tradition. Two of the most famous and traditional geisha neighborhoods, Gion and Pontocho, are both located in Kyoto. Geisha in these neighborhoods are called geiko. The “flower districts” of Kagurazaka, Asakusa and Shimbashi in Tokyo are equally famous.

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In today’s Japan, geisha and maiko are rarely seen. In 1920, there were over 80,000 geisha in Japan, but today it is estimated that there are less than 1,000. However, it’s easy for visitors to the Gion area of ​​Kyoto to see a maiko on her way to or from an appointment.

The decline of this culture was caused by a stagnant economy. The decline of interest in traditional art forms, the elusive nature of the venereal world, and the high cost of being entertained by geishas.

Geisha are often hired to attend parties and gatherings, traditionally at teahouses (chaya) or traditional Japanese restaurants (ryotei). Their working time was measured in terms of the time it took for a single incense stick to burn out, and it was called senkodai or gyokudai.

Another word used to describe expense is “ohana,” or flower fee. Customers will negotiate and arrange through the geisha association office (kenban). This is the place to manage each geisha’s schedule and schedule their appointments for both training and reception.

Geisha in global culture

The growing interest in geisha and their distinctive appearance has given rise to many popular cultural phenomena in Japan and the West as well. Most recently, the “geisha-style” makeup style has been promoted following the success and popularity of the novel “Memoirs of a Geisha” and the movie of the same name.

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The novel Memoirs of a Geisha

In 1999, American singer Madonna appeared in the music video titled Nothing Really Matters in a geisha-style outfit with a kimono-like outfit and heavily made-up face with white foundation.