The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Darkest Facts and Secrets of Geisha Girls

at 10:36 am | By

Starting Young

maiko geisha makeup

Credit: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Many young women were brought into the profession at a young age. Some girls were as young as 3 or 5 when they became a maiko or apprentice geisha. However, older women are allowed to enter training as well and can become full geisha after just about a year of practice. In the past, however, training could last for years and develop across various stages of learning.

The Commitment

geisha tea ceremony

Credit: Junko Kimura/Getty Images

When a girl or woman becomes a maiko, she must give up all the conveniences of modern life. To learn their new job, they must enter an okiya or training house where they are taught by an oka-san or mother. Conditions in the okiya can be strict and severe, and if a maiko or full geisha offend the oka-san, she may be kicked out of her training or service for good.

Essentially, these women come to the oka-san in debt and are committed to her until their debt is repaid.

No Men

geisha maiko taditional clothes walking

Credit: Buddhika Weerasinghe/Getty Images

Unsurprisingly, men are forbidden to live in the okiya, and while a maiko or geisha can have a child, only girls are allowed to stay These daughters, called atotori, would often become geisha themselves. Protege who have sons must choose to send the boy away or leave altogether.

Comments
Share