Hi there!  How is your weekend going? I hope you all are having a relaxing one.

Well, today I want to write about Geisha. Before having this blog, I was not so interested in our traditional culture, and I had never thought about it. However, since blogging, I have heard many people from foreign countries say that Geisha is cool. Well, maybe……….

I know Geisha is really popular in the world, and the word, Geisha has become an international word. When we say it, most of people who know our culture image what Geisha looks like. They are wearing a beautiful kimono and maybe dancing or playing Japanese instruments. I think the image makes people from oversee think their job is cool.

Well, from a Japanese point of view, to be honest with you, I have never thought their job is cool. We Japanese people tend to look down their job because we think Geisha is the same as who works in a bar or nightclub. Even so, we know that they are different from the women who works in a bar of nightclub. Geisha needs talents.

Unfortunately, I have no friends who became Geisha, but one of my mom’s friends were a Geisha before or one of my mom’s friends were a daughter of a farmer Geisha. When girls want to become a Geisha, they go to a certain place in Kyoto or somewhere after they graduate from middle school. They are 15 years old. They start learning Japanese dance, playing Japanese instruments or singing Japanese traditional songs. They practice them every single day to improve their skills. It takes years for them to become an expert of dancing or singing or whatever. This part is the big difference between Geisha and other women who work in a bar or nightclub.

Geisha sells their talents. Most of them are expert of dancing, singing, Japanese instruments, Ikebana (flower arrangement) or Tea Ceremony. After they become Geisha, they belong to Ochaya ( a very expensive Japanese restaurant where most of customers are top of the company, doctors, lawyers or politicians.). People can’t go to Ochaya without any connections. It’s a male thing to play with Geisha. When Ochaya get a reservation from their customers, they call Geisha to entertain their customers. Most of the cases, they are called in their business meetings at the restaurants. It’s our part of culture while drinking alcohol, many businessmen discuss their business. I guess, since Geisha’s customers are very educated people like a politician, doctor, lawyer or toppest class of businessmen, they must be smart enough to catch up with their conversations. They must educate themselves to understand their customers’  conversations.

Geisha retires in their certain age. Some of them get happy marriage. My mom’s friend got one. One the other hand, my mom’s other friend who is a Geisha’s daughter, she is a child born outside of marriage. Her mom was a mistress of a politician. It happens a lot to Geisha. This is one of the reasons that we tend to look down on them. In Japanese society, reputation is very important. My mom told me that when her friend who was a daughter of a Geisha was bullied when she was a kid. She didn’t became a Geisha after she grew up. She went to a top level high school in my hometown and graduated from a junior college. I think her politician dad supported her education. Well, I have to say her life was very tough. She got divorced twice, and she moved to Hokaido with her boyfriend. She lost him there, and now she lives alone. She has two sons from her second husband. When I was a kid, I used to play with her kids. Until I grew up, I didn’t know that her mom was Geisha.

They are all I know about Geisha. If my daughter says she wants to become a Geisha, I definitely will be against it. Luckily, she lost the chance to become it because she is 21 years old. It’s too late for girls to become it.

I hope this blog entry will help you to expand knowledge of Geisha.

Thank you for reading! See you next weekend!





2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Helga Jaermann
    Jun 12, 2016 @ 20:23:51

    Dear Yumi I love your story, thank you, love Helga


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