Inside The Secret World of a Modern-Day Geisha

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Inside The Secret World of a Modern-Day Geisha

The western world is more familiar with the term geisha, but in Japan, the name smears the quality of the cultured geisha that they behold. In the city of Kyoto, the heartbeat of this valued tradition, they refer to it as the geiko.

There has been a bit of controversy on whether the culture of the geiko is linked to prostitution. The answer is outright, NO. However, in the past, there was a group known as the Shirabyoshi. They were entertainers too, but also prostitutes.

Inside The Secret World of a Modern-Day Geisha

When it comes to the geiko which is the “modern-day geisha,” they underwent training which they still do. They are taught skills of conversation, flower arranging, painting, playing musical instruments etc. they do not move close to the guests neither are visitors allowed to move near them.

The trainees of this culture are called maikos. They pay their housemothers up to a tune of $500,000 by the end of five years. As they entertain during training, the money is paid to the housemother. Once they are fully trained, the Maiko graduate to geiko.

They perform in the tea houses and showcase the performing arts in the theater. One only gets an opportunity to view them if he is invited by the member(s) of the tea house. It works like the modern day “clubs” like a golf club. It is expensive and exclusive. It costs up to $2,000 to watch the richly costumed and respected geikos.

To qualify for training, the candidate must have completed the junior high school unlike before when small children were sold off by needy parents to entertain guests in the traditional tea houses.

 

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