Friday, January 05, 2007

Finding (Information of) a Geisha!

The moment anybody outside this tiny country Japan is thinking about Japan will immediately find an image of a colorful female in their mind. Though Japan is famously known for its electronics, efficient cars and earth quakes what comes in ones thought is the female who is elegantly dressed with costlier kimonos and painted her exposed body parts like face, hands and neck with various colors.

Who is she? and where is she? are the questions raised to me when I heard of my trip to Japan initially from India. I found the females referred as Geisha (‘Gei’ means art and ‘Sha’ means person in Japanese, in a simple form an Artist). Often, we can notice at least one of the souvenirs purchased on the foreigner's return to their home country from Japan will be a ‘Geisha’ doll. An immensely represented figures of Japan the Geisha.

In the beginning my idea of Geisha is a rich woman or a woman from the imperial family is who the Geishas are, but later I found a different view about them. These are the people who entertain their customers with dance, music, story telling and communication (probably drama) expressing the illusion of a female. Their dressing needs aid from a professional as it involves lots of difficulties. In the ancient days Geisha are not females instead males. Later the term has transformed to females, as no entertainment ends without the spice of a woman. The Geishas are trained from their young age, some times from childhood. They have a special training for how to entertain their customers, when they were matured or learned to become Geisha these young people will go on an apprentice period during that time they will be referred as Maiko.

All these information were an original Geisha related, but what is their stand in the modern society of Japan where the western influence is more than their culture. That leads the answer pointing the sex workers, now the majority of Geishas are referred or meant as prostitutes. Though Geishas are not originally sex workers they were the people to entertain their customer no in the form of sex but various arts.

I wanted to meet the today’s Geisha, got information of their locations primarily Kyoto the old capital of Japan. But having limitations with the work schedule I’m really unable to visit that far. Next place came to me as an option is Asakusa of Tokyo (Refer my previous blog Auspicious Asakusa). Finding Geisha out from Asakusa is a real challenging task; finally I met a Maiko(Trainee Geisha) on the road. She was beautiful with the pink colored makeup all over her body with a black Maiko’s kimono. As a matter of fact, I never missed the opportunity to ask her to pose with me for the camera my friend carried along with me for the trial. She accepted my request with a beautiful smile (look at the picture). She was accompanied by two men dressed in a colorful form, but I still have no idea of who to refer them as this is the time I have seen a person like them. Some of the points stated here are the output of my discussion from the Maiko and the two men along with her. They stated couple of tea houses in the area hosts the shows of Geisha.

As the Geisha culture is turned very costly because of their traditional training process of ages and dressing. The modern community (though preferred but) is not really making their visit to tea houses of Geisha. As the bars and hotels entertain their customers in Japan with hostesses on the western costume which are economical for many. What ever reason, the population of Geishas are in extinct in Japan leading a faded future of Geisha.

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anwer said...

nice post man. u got large amount of information is very nice..

Sivakumar said...

Thanks Anwar, I wish your continued visit and comments on this blog.