A Brief Introduction To The Insights Of The Life Of A Geisha

08 March 2023
By Sarah Angela Almaden
Japanese House
Sawai Susao

One word: Geisha. No, a geisha is not a prostitute. That rumor is just a myth. The truth is, a geisha is a professional performing artist and entertainer who specializes in classical Japanese art forms in dance, singing, and music. She normally works at social events and tea houses, engaging guests in stimulating conversations, as well as delighting them with fun games. With her iconic look and elegant clothing, she surely will be hard to miss.

What is a Geisha

A geisha (芸者), which translates to an “art person,” is a highly trained Japanese entertainer or hostess outside the Kyoto area and she is typically 20 years of age or older. Around the Kyoto area and in the Kyo language, she is known as a geiko (芸子). Basically, a geiko is a geisha and a geisha is a geiko. Her fundamental goal is to entertain guests at tea houses, inns, and other social events.

A geisha is a master Japanese entertainer who plays traditional musical instruments and performs classical dances and songs. She is also highly trained in the art of conversation, so you can easily find her engaging and discussing any topic and subject with her guests to ensure that their comfort and enjoyment are put first.

The appearance of a Geisha

  • Wears minimal makeup, with black eyeliner and a touch of red around the eyebrows and eyes
  • Both of the lips are painted red
  • Covers her natural hair with a wig that has a decorative comb in it and has an elegant, simple hairstyle (often with fewer ornaments)
  • Wears a simple kimono with short sleeves, a collar made of white fabric, and a short sash
  • Walks in “zori” (草履 or low wooden sandals), which are shorter than the ones that a maiko wears

Geisha Districts or Hanamachi (花街)
    Tokyo: there are six hanamachi in Tokyo
  • Asakusa
  • Akasaka
  • Kagurazaka
  • Shimbashi
  • Mukōjima
  • Yoshichō
    Kyoto: the hanamachi in Kyoto is famous for upholding the history and status of geisha culture; the geishas in this area are known as geiko (芸子)
  • Gion Kobu
  • Ponto-chō
  • Kamishichiken
  • Gion Higashi
  • Miyagawa-chō
Niigata: has a special geisha tradition that extends back to the Edo era; the geishas here are known as geigi (芸妓) Furumachi