Geisha (芸者?), Geiko (芸子) or Geigi (芸妓) are traditional, female japanese entertainers  whose skills include performing various Japanese arts such as classical music and dance.
 
A woman entering the geisha community can start t as a maiko (apprentice geisha are called maiko)  or as a geisha. A woman above 21 is considered too old to be a maiko and becomes a full geisha upon her initiation into the geisha community. However, those who do go through the maiko stage can enjoy more prestige later in their professional lives.
 
                                                                                                                                                           
                                                                                                                                                 (young Maiko)
For sexual enjoyment and romantic attachment, men did not go to their wives, but to courtesans; in the 16th century  the”pleasure quarters. It was near the turn of the eighteenth century that the first entertainers of the plea quarters, called geisha, appeared.
 
 
                                                                                                                                     ( the modern quartier in kyoto where geishas live)
The term geisha literally translates to mean “entertainer.” Around the world, the term geisha has many different connotations; some western countries think that geishas are high-class prostitutes or escorts. Even some Japanese citizens see geisha in that way because of the lower class geisha who do sell their bodies and work as prostitutes
 
 
 
The biggest misconception of geisha is that they have sex with their customers; the most exclusive modern geisha do not. Their sex and love lives are usually distinct from their professional life. A successful geisha can entrance her male customers with music, dance, and conversation. “Geisha are not submissive and subservient, but in fact they are some of the most financially and emotionally successful and strongest women in Japan, and traditionally have been so”.

Relationships with male guests

The appeal of a high-ranking geisha to her typical male guest has historically been very different from that of his wife. The ideal geisha showed her skill, while the ideal wife was modest. The ideal geisha seemed carefree, the ideal wife somber and responsible. Geisha do sometimes marry their clients but they must then retire; there can never be a married geisha.
Geisha may gracefully flirt with their (often infatuated) guests, but they will always remain in control of the hospitality. Over their years of apprenticeship they learn to adapt to different situations and personalities, mastering the art of the hostess.
Modern geisha still live in traditional geisha houses called okiya in areas called hanamachi (花街 “flower towns”), particularly during their apprenticeship. Many experienced geisha are successful enough to choose to live independently.

Arts

 

Arts

Geisha begin their study of music and dance when they are very young and continue it throughout their lives. Geisha can work into their eighties and nineties and are expected to train every day even after seventy years of experience
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
. Every dance uses gestures to tell a story and only a connoisseur can understand the subdued symbolism. For example, a tiny hand gesture represents reading a love letter, holding the corner of a handkerchief in the mouth represents coquetry and the long sleeves of the elaborate kimono are often used to symbolize dabbing tears.
 Dress

MakeupToday, the traditional makeup of the apprentice geisha is one of their most recognizable characteristics, though established geisha generally only wear full white face makeup characteristic of maiko during special performances.

The traditional makeup of an apprentice geisha features a thick white base with red lipstick and red and black accents around the eyes and eyebrows.

DRESS

Geisha always wear kimono. Apprentice geisha wear highly colorful kimono with extravagant obi.

HAIR

During the 17th century, women began putting all their hair up again, and it is during this time that the traditional shimada hairstyle, a type of traditional chignon worn by most established geisha, developed.