The road to becoming a geisha is a long and hard one that to this day is looked at upon with far less respect than deserved. Most people tie in the art of geisha with prostitution when in the days where geisha flourished in all parts of Japan, few slept with the men they entertained and when they did so, it was usually with only very special businessmen. The process of becoming a full fledged geisha takes years and consists of 3 stages: Shikomi, Minarai, and Maiko. The art of geisha has been practiced in Japan for thousands of years while today the number of them has plummeted to a mere few thousand in Tokyo and Kyoto. They entertain business men through music, singing, dancing and light conversation. The true art of the geisha has been long misunderstood in the west. In this essay I hope to make the real definition of geisha a clear one. (Wikipedia-geisha)
Geisha have a long and colorful history. They originated from Kaboki, the traditional theatre in Japan. Originally, geisha were actually men but as the role of women changed over time, the role was passed on to women. Geisha entertain men in teahouses more often than any other place. Kimono is what geisha always wear. The apprentice geisha wear kimono with lots of colors and an extravagant obi that ties in the back, not to be confused with the one tied in the front which is how the prostitutes wear theirs. (Wikipedia-geisha)
Geisha were molded from young girls who were sold to “okiya” or geisha houses where their training would practically begin immediately. Shikomi was a process that was created to break the girls down and mostly consisted of manual tasks and maiden labor. The girls would clean the geisha house as well as do tasks for the senior geisha and the owner of the geisha house. She would wait at night until the senior geisha was home and sometimes the geisha would not arrive until early morning hours. Girls attended classes at this age where they began to learn the arts they would use later on....
Please join StudyMode to read the full document