Term paper on Japan’s Geisha

Mostly all of us have watched the films where a Japanese woman in a long beautiful kimono with a strange heavy makeup on her face attends a man”¦

Some people believe that Geisha is a prostitute. But it is not so. The word Geisha can be interpreted as “art performer”. Her traditional function in Japanese society is to amuse customers. But the way she does it is singing, dancing and communicating with the client.

Everything is decently. Many men consider that the first geisha appeared in the eleventh century when the woman started dancing for warriors. It was a real break as only male could appear on the scene using makeup and female clothes.

Geisha girls and women are educated in some traditional skills, which include Japanese ancient dance, playing instruments (including shamisel), singing, arrangement of flowers, kimono wearing, traditional tea ceremony, alcohol serving manners, dialoging etc. It takes a lot of time to become geisha and still after getting geisha status the girl has to improve her skills attending a lot of lessons.

If the girl wants to become geisha she is introduced to an o-chaya . The main woman of an o-chaya, named okami, meets the girl and her family and explains everything about how the education goes. The okami accepts  the girl if the first likes the beginner, and the training can start right away .The future geisha can  live in the o-chaya in case she has graduated from a middle school. From this moment the girl is a geisha trainee, and she can’t leave for several years. When a half-year have elapsed, she can be called maiko, or a young geisha girl (girls of 15-20 years old).

Such girls have a beautiful and colorful kimono with very long sleeves and special high shoes made of wood. After a  five-year period maiko has the right to quit if she has changed her mind or become a geisha. Like every other woman maiko can have a husband but in this case she has to quit the job. There is a special ritual of becoming a geisha. It is called “erigae”.

Time flies and society changes. Of course it couldn’t help damaging its traditions.  But today’s Japanese society still has geishas and they are quite popular. There are geisha districts, where one can find geisha restaurants. There you can taste Japanese cuisine, and take part in the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. You will be able to see “tachikata” (so called dancers) and listen to “jikata” (or singers).

To be geisha is not only a job. A young girl gives up all her life span to this occupation. Japan is one of a few countries where culture traditions are still alive.

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