What is a Geisha?

A geisha is a woman highly trained in the arts of music, dance and entertaining.

Geisha (or Geiko as they are known in Kyoto) is Japanese for "person of art." She spends a great many years learning to play musical instruments, sing, dance and be the perfect hostess.

A geisha is simply the illusion of female perfection.

A geisha's whole persona is to portray a man's fantasy of perfection and men pay vast sums of money to have geisha attend to their needs, or, I should stress almost every need. Many Westerners think of geisha as prostitutes. Those who understand the Japanese culture will know that a geisha is not a prostitute.

A geisha is only successful because she is the ultimate in unattainable perfection.When men hire geisha to entertain at a party, sex has nothing to do with it. A geisha entertains with singing, music, dance, story-telling, knowledge of a customers interests and flirtation.

She can talk about politics or explain the rules of a drinking game, both with equal ease. In the past Japanese wives were kept away from public life in general, geisha fulfilled the role of attentive female at business gatherings

Surprisingly the original geisha were men and they entertained all over Japan -- social restrictions dictated that women could not entertain at a party.

These male geisha kept the conversation going, performed and flattered guests at parties given by the upper-class

In the 1700s, women calling themselves geisha first appeared in the "pleasure districts" of Japan. There are so many slightly differing stories on the origans of todays geisha society.

One popular take has a group of female artists stealing business from prostitutes in the pleasure districts by hiring themselves out to sing and dance at parties.

Another one has a failing prostitute taking a job as a geisha to make some extra money, and as a geisha she was a hit.

However the female geisha came about, they were a distinct threat to the prosperous brothels. Because geisha were not working with the brothels, the brothel owners got no money from the geisha.

The geisha's popularity led the government to try to get the focus back on registered prostitutes, they set very strict guidelines for geisha. Regulations were set in place dictating their style of dress, when and where they could entertain and even the hours they could work. Sex was not to be part of the geisha work, so it was made illegal for geisha to be hired alone. This was meant to lessen the attractiveness of the geisha, but instead it only made them more desirable.

Japan suffered a very bad time financially which led the the poorest families to sell their daughters to geisha houses

These children were around the age of five or six and were trained to become successful geisha. This sounded great, though the money the Okiya spent was to be repaid on the children becoming successful geisha.

Today, young women apply to become geisha, several years ago newspaper adverts were placed to find trainees because of the decline in popularity.

Girls must complete their high school diploma, training is full time and many girls find it too hard to fulfil the strict requirements that are required from them...