Sayuki Ushers the Japanese Geisha into the 21st Century Sayuki, meaning “Transparent Happiness”, was the name given to an Australian called Fiona Graham when she made her debut as a geisha in Japan on 19 December 2007, making her one of the first Westerners in the 400-year history of the geisha to be accepted into this mysterious and intriguing “flower and willow world”…

Geisha life – Funds and Games

I wrote about my new trainee Sae. She has proven to be hard working and reliable. She wakes up early to clean the geisha house and to sew the collars that we need to regularly change on our under kimonos. She attended kimono sewing school for a while so has actively taken on the role of sewing in my geisha house.   After three months she has learned a range of banquet drinking games, and is able to help at banquets. And now she is currently practicing her third serious dance piece which she learns from one of the most senior geisha in Tokyo. She has been attending drum lessons […]

About Geisha Districts

Every tourist equates Japan with geisha. But most are hazy about where geisha actually are. They might know Kyoto has geisha, but many don’t know that Tokyo does too. Actually there are probably 30 or 40 geisha districts still in Japan, generally defined as being a place where there is a geisha office (kenban) coordinating the activities of a number of individual geisha houses.   Kyoto has five districts, Tokyo has six official districts and a scattering of places where there are individual geisha houses. But throughout Japan there are districts from Niigata to Nagasaki. People generally think of Kyoto geisha as most traditional because Kyoto itself is old. But […]

All About Geisha Banquets

Life as a geisha is often busy with organizing events, and as usual, this week I am busy with organizing banquets for the week ahead. Banquets are the main thing that geisha do, but it seems customers are often not really sure what a banquet involves. So what is a banquet? The average banquet is a leisurely two hour dinner at a traditional Japanese tea-house. Cuisine is usually fresh seasonal ingredients, with a lot of fish, but there are some wonderful vegetarian options, and meat can be prepared on request. Tea-houses are usually exquisite traditional buildings often with little gardens, and every corner of the tea-house is beautiful. Customers usually […]