Q and A

Can a man be a geisha?

The original geisha were all men until one audacious female in the Fukagawa Geisha district some 400 years ago declared herself to be a geisha too. There are now less than ten male geisha in all of Japan…

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Did geishas sleep with their customers?

Do top Hollywood actresses sleep with their directors, or fellow actors, or fans? Sometimes, if they fall in love, but it is not part of the job description. And it would take some considerable effort…

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What do feminists think about the fact that the first geisha was actually a male?

Why would they think anything of it? There are still male geisha (called hokan) and female geisha and both still entertain male or female customers. At the time 400 years ago when all geisha were male…

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What were actually the duties of a Japanese Geisha?

Please don’t put us in the past tense! We are very much still active today! Geisha are above all artists with duties to entertain their clients with music and dance performances. But beyond that geisha…

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Are there practicing Geisha outside of Japan?

To become a geisha it is necessary to train under a senior geisha mother in a geisha house, usually one that is part of a recognised geisha district. It is not possible to do that outside Japan. It is…

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What activities do geishas perform?

The main activity that geisha do is banquets: a two hour or so long traditional Japanese dinner usually in a traditional private room in a teahouse, with geisha company. The geisha sit and chat with

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How much does an evening with a geisha cost?

The cost of a geisha banquet depends on the food which is usually courses of traditional Japanese cuisine and can be between 5000 yen and 40,000 yen or so. And the geisha costs can run from between…

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What is it like to spend an evening with a geisha?

A genuine geisha banquet is a delightful evening at a traditional Japanese restaurant with the company of beautifully clad musicians and dancers, a little like calling a prima ballerina to your private…

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Why is Maiko or Geisha still popular in the modern age?

They are still popular because they are beautiful, unique and fascinating, and something that can only be experienced in Japan. And recently we have seen the revival of some of the geisha districts in…

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Can a foreigner become a geisha? If so, is it possible to start training at age 19?

In 2007, I trained for 11 months in a geisha house, or okiya in Asakusa District and formally debuted in Dec, 2007 as a geisha. My geisha name is “Sayuki” (紗幸). I was brought up partly in Japan…

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Can a foreigner become a maiko and later a geisha/geiko?

No foreigner can work as a geisha without permanent residency or Japanese nationality. A few women married to Japanese have worked briefly as geisha in the countryside where standards are more lax. This…

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