Culture of Geisha

Geisha (in Kyoto known as Geiko) are professional female entertainer.  They wear fantastic kimono with special make-up and entertain customers by performing traditional Japanese arts at banquets as well as in teahouses.

How to become  Maiko &  Geiko(Geisha)

Girls, when they were around 10 to 11 years old (recently around 15 -16 years old) had to start to live in Geisha houses called gOkiyah, which took responsibility for raising and training them. They worked first as maids, then as assistants to the house's senior Maiko as part of their training and learned traditional Japanese arts such as the tea ceremony, flower arranging, singing, dancing and playing instruments. In addition, they learned the Kyoto dialect if she was not a local, as well as social and conversational skills. This period is called gShikomih(training period).

After 1 or 2-year gShikomih period, only ladies who were approved to achieve a certain level of abilities required successfully became gMaiko.h  The fine manners and education acquired during gShikomih are said to complete the beauty of Maiko combined with their fascinating appearance. In line with the special tradition for Maikofs debut, which is called gMisedashih, Maiko visit teahouses to introduce themselves.

Maiko became Geiko about 5 to 6 years after their debut.  There is a special ceremony called the gerikaeh(eri means collar and kae means change), in this occasion the collar of costume is changed from red to white, which is a sign of maturity.  After the ceremony, Geiko become independent from gOkiyah and move into a single residence and change their ways of wearing Kimono and make-up. Previously Geiko had a patron, who was called gDannah at this occasion.

Costume F Difference between Maiko and Geiko

Kimono: The Maikofs kimono has brighter colors and longer draped sleeves.  By contrast, Geiko mainly wear more subdued colors on their kimono that has shorter sleeves.

Shoes : Maiko wear gOkoboh, the high platform ggetah (wooden sandals).  On the other hand, Geiko wear flat lacquered Zohri.