Documentary by Kayla Messerschmidt
Documentary by Laurel Lokhaiser
Poems by Caperton Sterner
Women run the okiya, women teach girls the skills they need to become geisha, and women introduce new geisha into the teahouses that will be their livelihood.
Women run the teahouses and can make or break a geisha's career. If a geisha offends the mistress of the main teahouse where she does business, she may lose her livelihood entirely.
A geisha is always a single woman. If she decides to get married, she retires from the profession.
Many gestures performed by Geishas have a hidden meaning.
It can take up to two hours (or even more) for a Geisha to get all ready.
The geisha world is also referred to as the flower-and-willow world.
Geisha are highly trained professionals—experts in traditional Japanese dance, music, tea ceremony, games and poetry, etiquette, deportment, and repartee.
Who Am I?
Lives in the Flower and WIllow World
Where you will only find me Single
A Married me does not exist
Sometimes but not always marry my clients
But if that happens I must retire from the profession.
Living under a contract
In your own home
Which is run by a proprietress who is called Mother
Usually a Retired one herself
Where preparing for their job takes at least an hour to get ready
Having more makeup on then a covergirl
Hairstyles like they are a celebrity walking the red carpet
And dressed in one of Japan’s most beautiful treasures, the kimono.
Starts out as a maid
Takes years and years to learn the trade
Entertainers but not prostitutes
Entertaining them with song, dance, games and conversation.
And we are paid according to time consumption.
Preparing for the event takes one hour plus to get ready
And girls having more makeup on then a cover girl.
Hair Styles like they are a celebrity walking the red carpet
Dressed in one of Japan’s most beautiful treasures, the Kimono.
Appearance changes throughout our career
From the girlish, heavily made-up entertainer, to an older established one.
Different hairstyles and hair pins signify different stages of a girl's development
When everything is done and over with
Preparing for the event costs about 50,000 yen.
Highly Trained professionals
Experts in traditional Japanese dance, music, and tea ceremonies
Most Gestures made by me have a hidden meaning
I am a Japanese Celebrity
⅓ of us has a mother in the same profession
We have been known to be the Fashion leaders
Many of us attend the Hanayagi school to master the art of Buto
In earlier days we would begin training as early as age 4
But now we begin during the teenage years.
Our clothes weigh about 22 pounds.
All must learn shamisen-playing, though it takes years to master.
Some of us don’t only dance and play music, but would write poems.
While Others paint pictures or compose music.
Poems and Japanese style music by Natalie Mundis