Memoirs of the Real Geisha
The geisha is a largely misunderstood position, but due to their quiet nature and secretive training, that really is no surprise at all.
Translated as “artist” or “artisan,” geisha are often mistakenly thought to be prostitutes since their job traditionally involves entertaining men. In reality, their job consists of being a super hostess, able to converse over a wide range of topics, dance, perform music, play games, and pour tea or alcoholic drinks.
Historically, the concept of a geisha does have its roots in a profession that at times involved sex. During a tumultuous period in Japan’s history in the 600s, many families were displaced, so young women would turn to serving and entertainment to make a living; called saburuku, some of these women also engaged in sexual services. From this, however, arose the profession of a geisha or high class entertainer, and by the 1800s, an established and respected geisha culture was in full swing.
But what does it take to become a geisha? Though we associate them with being tokens of a bygone age, geisha still exist today and many young women are brought into the profession. But what’s going on behind the closed doors?