TAZI Sanaâ, 1ESG, classe5
Année scolaire : 2006/2007
The word is divided into two words: 芸 (gei) meaning "art" and 者 (sha) meaning "person". The most direct translation of geisha into english would be "artist" or "arts person."
Another term used in Japan is geiko (芸妓). Geiko is used to distinguish geisha practiced in traditional arts from onsen geisha, who are prostitutes that have co-opted the term geisha.
In tea houses (called Okiya), geisha are professional hostesses who entertain guests through various performing arts and traditional skills such as: Japanese ancient dance, singing, playing instruments (Shamisen), flower arrangement, wearing kimono, tea ceremony, calligraphy, conversation, alcohol serving manners and more…
Geisha continue to study and perfect these skills throughout their careers.
A successful geisha must demonstrate beauty, grace, artistic talent, charm, impeccable etiquette, and refinement and culture.
II. Origin and History
Between the 7th and the 13th centuries, geisha would perform for the nobility and some even became concubines to the emperor.
It was in the late 16th century that the first Okiya was built in Japan and was considered as a place of refinement and culture.
The situation deteriorated in the mid-18th century to the extent that a new form of entertainer emerged in Kyoto and Osaka.
The earliest geiko were men, while the first females, who appeared shortly after, were odoriko (dancers). Female geisha soon became popular and so successful that she quickly became a norm of the Japanese culture.
It is probably the only profession in Japan which the women are ranked above the men in the profession.
Besides, because of the high cultural value on this preservation of traditional art and culture gives the woman an inherent value and respect that she might otherwise be... [continues]
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