November 15, 2015

Gate to Japan : What do you knew about GEISHA ?

  Hello, gamers and otaku people ! i'm the new member of the team Digital Anime you can call me "Aicy" and I am going to post about anime , manga and Japanese culture. I hope my work will be useful for you.
   To start , today I am going to talk about a fascinating profession, and a mysterious one .Most of you have heard about Geisha's but how many of you knew the truth about them ?

What is "Geisha" ?

   Geisha are traditional Japanese women who practice art like classical music , social games and the art of discussion . Which the term means : person of art . They appeared in the 16 century with the opening of the tea houses (ochaya) in pleasure quarters , and what the most of us ignore is that the first Geisha's were men , their job was to amuse clients . And then the women dominate this profession until they were no "otoko geisha" (men geisha) . In 1900 there were more than 17000 geisha's but now there are just 200 and we can found them in Kyoto , where they are called geiko . Because Kyoto is the traditional city of geisha's but we can find them also in Tokyo where they are called "gyoko" and some other small city .

How a geisha do lives ?

   Geisha live in what we call "anamachi" what means flowers city in okiya (the house of geisha or maiko lives during their career or contract, the person who menage it is called okaa-san which mean the mother) or they can live in their own apartment but still get back every morning to the okiya where she lived before to salute her onee-san and okaa-san until she pay back the coast of their education . Basically the geisha who are independent have a Danna (having a danna means that a geisha hes someone to look after her debts  and expenses , it also means being on call as the man's professional misters ). The danna is chosen by the okiya who instruct her.

What the profession of geisha consist to do ?

   They work mainly in serving clients at what we call zashiki (banquet made in traditional restaurant) , playing traditional music or just making conversation with them. They are two types of geisha : Tashikata (standing person) who are the most beautiful specialize in the traditional dance , singing and playing instrument , and Jikata (basis person) who accompany the first . Geisha's play the shamisen (a Japanese instrument) , the flute and the dorm.

With their delicacy , submission and absence of personality they can easily entertain male customers , charming them by their beauty and their talent , serving them the Saki or playing an instrument. A geisha paid very well , an evening with a geisha is not easy to realize . Geisha are very expensive . "What a beautiful and amazing job they are doing !" Said a photographer who passed 10 years following their activities , "This world still mysterious for me".

How to become a geisha ?

   In the past girls didn't really choose this profession , they are sold by their family to okiya , to okaa-san (the mother) who adopt them and they become officially shikomiko. The okiya take care of these little girls by educating them and teach them different stuffs like : the chanayu (tea ceremony) , Japanese literature , and playing music instrument . At the same time shikomiko were also responsible of domestic works , at the age of 12 the girls become a Meiko (geisha apprentice) by choosing a graduated geisha as a onee-san (the older sister) they celebrate this relation with the meiko and the geiko with a ceremony called : San San ku do , when the two women drink three cups of saki . The onee-san teach the young meiko how to dress , make-up and how to act with clients , in few words she perform her in exchange she take a percentage from the meiko's benefits . After the formation that take from 1 to 2 years or more the okaa-san judge if the meiko is ready to become a geisha or not . If she succeed becoming a geisha a ceremony called "Erikae" where she change the red color of her kimono to white.

   Nowadays , with the new rules in Japan (about providing children's abuses) . Becoming a geisha is a choice made by teenager girls over 15 years old . Abandoning their life and work very hard "When we enter the world of flowers we change our life , and also the name" said a young maiko from Kyoto .

What did look like ?(appearance)

   When you are in Japan , it's easy to recognize geisha from their style and her appearance , they usually make kimono of silk called : obebe . Colors of the kimono are choosing according to the season and the age of the geisha , young geisha or meiko wear kimono with bright and attractive colors when the older one wear kimono with unobtrusive colors . Geisha are also famous with their unusual make-up they make-up their face and their neck with white , and the lips with red . Their hairstyle is more extraordinary , geisha wear a traditional bun made by a professional hairdresser.

Did geisha get married ?

   Yes . She get married but when it happen she have to leave the okiya and leave the profession of becoming geisha too , because the first rule of being geisha is to be single , when the geisha decide to get married , sometimes with their donna ( most of time danna are already married ) .

Are geisha prostitute ?

   What people must know is that "Geisha" and "Prostitute" is not the same thing . A real geisha's job is to act accompanying a guest to observe the beauties of nature such as cherry blossoms , autumn colors ect - , often with a picnic included , at which a geisha will serve the food or treats . They are paid for this service , but sex is not a given part of the service offered , in some review they said that when danna ..For a geisha she become his mistress and has some kind of sexual relationship with him. To equilibrate it every okiya had a prostitute called "onee-sen geisha" , she is easily recognized for her appearance xhich is very different from the geisha. But she is very respectable from the okiya.

(From the movie "memoirs of a geisha)

Geisha seen from the world :

   "I wasn't born and raised to be a Kyota geisha . I wasn't even born in Kyota . I'm a fisherman's daughter from a little town called Yoroido on the the sea of Japan" we all remember this passage from the movie 'Geisha' made from the famous book "Memoirs of a geisha" written by : Arthur Golden. Who told the story of one of the greatest geisha in her times ! Sayuki : the In recounting her story , Mr . Golden gives us not only a richly sympathetic portrait of a woman , but also a finely observed picture of an anomalous and largely vanished world. But this wasn't the first artwork talking about geisha , in 1983 an American writer named : Liza Dalby who participated in some event of geisha and followed their activities for years , made her book "Geisha" which was adapted to a movie called "American geisha" in 1986.

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