Published 2018-05-23
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The intriguing world of "geishas", the most complacent women in the world...

Often, especially in the West, the term "geisha" is confused with that of "prostitute", however, those who understand the complexities of Japanese culture will explain that they have nothing to do with it. A geisha is a woman highly trained in the arts of music, dance, and entertainment; In fact, it means "art person". They spend many years learning to play various musical instruments, sing, dance and be the perfect hostesses for a certain group of men. When they are working, they are like the illusion of "feminine perfection".

A true geisha is successful because it projects a sense of unattainable perfection. When men hire one of them to entertain at a party, intimate relationships have nothing to do with it. These women harmonize the evening with their singing, music, dance, storytelling, attention and "flirting". They can talk about politics in the same way that they can explain the rules of a game related to alcohol. At a time when Japanese wives were excluded from public life in general, geisha were the ones who could play the role of "attentive women" at business meetings.

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The first geishas were men

As expected, they worked throughout Japan. Social restrictions dictated that women could not have fun at a party, therefore, it was men who held conversations, performed artistic performances and flattered guests at events organized by nobles and other upper-class members. Around the 1700s, the first geisha women appeared in the "pleasure districts" of Japan, becoming a threat to the typical brothels in the area.

In order to reduce their popularity and focus on previously registered women companions, the government established a series of strict rules for geisha in terms of dress, how and where they could attend, and at what times. To make sure intimate relationships were not part of the game, no one woman was allowed to be hired, but instead of reducing success, they only made them more desirable.

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Today, young women choose to become a geisha just as they could choose a career in medicine. They begin their training after high school, and it is very rigorous; only the most dedicated ones reach that status.
Can geishas maintain intimate relationships?
This is a complicated issue.

The first geishas were men

A geisha, in general, can decide to start having intimate relationships with a client with whom she has developed a special attraction, but this will not be part of her work as a geisha, and it cannot be in a single night. In fact, the relationship of a geisha with a "Danna" (patron) must be long-term: The ceremony that unites a woman with her client is similar to the Japanese celebration of marriage, and when a geisha and her Danna decide to end the relationship, they experience another new event as a final "divorce".

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Work as a geisha

The main job of a geisha is hosting. All her skills are focused on a party being a complete success and that all present have a good time. A nice service for a geisha, traditionally, involves parties attended by businessmen who are trying to reach some kind of agreement. For example, one of them organizes an event to impress its potential associates and demonstrate how rich, cultured and well-placed it is since these parties are exclusive and expensive.

Work as a geisha

Nowadays, this type of events can cost from 200 to 300 dollars per guest, and the geishas are present for several hours. What happens is that being private, these women do not talk about their clients; in a culture known for its social reserve and work addiction, These occasions are for men to speak loudly, drink and flirt without social repercussions. The most famous districts where these services are offered are Hanamachi, in Tokyo, and numerous teahouses, inns, and restaurants.

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Work as a geisha 1

Hire a service

Geishas are very exclusive, you cannot call them by phone and hire them. When someone wants a service, they can do it in several ways: by calling the "Okasan" of a geisha house, or by contacting a tea house, where they usually are. Then, Mrs. "Okasan" calls the central office to organize all the issues, manages the reservations and charges the client for the services; Each geisha must register at the office to work in her district.

Hire a service

On the other hand, these women never eat with their guests when they are working. They should be tiptoeing at all times, ensuring that the guest feels happy, and telling the perfect stories when the talk becomes boring, in addition to making sure that the cups are never empty; You could say that it is not something relaxing for the geisha, but her place of work.

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The dressing

Being ready for work involves hours of preparation. The distinctive appearance of a geisha is part of its charm, but it is not only about beauty and exclusivity. It is also a way to distinguish between a maiko and a geisha, and a child and an adult; You can say a lot just by looking at it. Unlike a regular kimono, these women wear cleavage, as it is considered the most sensual part of women.

The dressing

The characteristic white makeup was once made of lead and poisonous substances, but now it is harmless. If you follow the traditional way, first apply oil and a layer of wax on the face, so that the white powder can adhere. You can then use red lipstick on your lower lip, indicating that you are an apprentice. The kimono is very difficult to place correctly, and it is almost impossible for a woman to do it for herself.

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The dressing 1

There are layers and layers of expensive fabric that fold a hundred times. A "maiko obi" is so long that they can barely make it not drag on the floor without help.

Live like a geisha
The geisha live in a matriarchal society: Women run the okiya, teach the girls the skills they need to know and introduce new geishas in the teahouses. The head of the okiya is called "Okasan" or "mother", and the mentor is the "Onesan" or "elder sister". If a woman offends the "boss" lady where she does business, she can completely lose her livelihood.

The life of a geisha has different stages: Shikomi, Misedashi, Maiko, Erikae, Geisha, and Hiki-iwai. Nowadays, many women choose the geisha profession due to their romantic, artistic nature, or because it is a family business. Even those who achieve geisha status can only stay for a few years until they decide to go to college or get married. Today they are modern women whose career involves recreating the past.

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