What is geisha?
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What Does geisha Mean
The etymological root of geisha is found in two words in the Japanese language : gei (which translates as "arts" ) and sha (translatable as "person" ). A geisha is a woman who, in Japan , was taught for the tea ceremony and for music and dance , allowing her to animate various social events.
It can be said that a geisha is an artist formed from childhood or adolescence. Between the 18th and 19th centuries , a large number of Japanese women were geisha, while today the number of geisha has decreased.
Geishas were educated in special establishments ( geisha houses ). There, upon arrival, they fulfilled different assignments, attended the most experienced ones and carried out cleaning tasks. Five or six years later, thanks to the apprenticeship, they became entertainment professionals and could achieve some fame and recognition.
Geisha is often linked to prostitution . However, while their job may include flirting or innuendo when attending male gatherings, sexual activity is not part of their job. A geisha may agree to have an intimate relationship with a client, but this decision transcends the role of geisha.
However, there are speculations on these issues and even regarding the sale of a geisha's virginity . For this reason, especially in the Western world, it is common for a geisha to be mistakenly considered a prostitute.
It should be mentioned that the work of the geisha does not only take place in men's gatherings, but can also be carried out for a group of women, or even mixed.
If we focus on the history of this Japanese concept, we will notice another very curious fact, which has little to do with the idea we have of it in the West: in the beginning, most of the people who became geishas were men. This takes us further away from the relationship that many make between geisha and prostitute , although to distinguish both notions it is enough to know the multidisciplinary training that the former receive as a condition for assuming their role.
One of the fundamental elements of the performance of the geisha is an incense that is used to measure the duration of the show: the entertainment ends when it is extinguished. In the past there was a clear distinction between city geisha and neighborhood geisha : although both entertained their audience in the same way, making use of their vast artistic knowledge, the incense used by the latter lasted less, since their audience it was less numerous.
The demand for geisha — and in this case we include both male and female geisha — grew as the artistic level of courtesans declined. In the 17th century, courtesans' clients no longer hired them because it bothered them that they were not free to travel to other districts , as they could not even leave their homes. This loss of interest meant the beginning of a new life for many of these women.
The reason why we currently only link women to the role of the geisha is because the number of men engaged in this form of entertainment began to decline around the 19th century. Over time, the Japanese themselves stopped associating the term with men.
As for the appearance of geishas, the look changes as the woman grows. Usually, the geisha makes up her face with a white base , with black and red ornaments. The traditional clothing, meanwhile, is the kimono .