Japanese Geisha - the Truth Behind the Mystery


A brand new Geisha Girl lantern means a little look at Japanese geisha & their history......

Geisha are entertainers, NOT waitresses & certainly NOT prostitutes.  Geisha actually means “person employed in the arts

Instead, they are the illusion of female perfection – and men pay huge sums of money to have geisha attend them.  These days, a geisha party can cost $200 to $300 per guest for every two hours the geisha are present.


A geisha should be the perfect hostess to a party of men.  She will sing, play music, dance, tell stories, keep the conversation going, fill up glasses, etc. etc.  She can speak about politics as easily as she can explain the rules of a board game. 

Geisha parties started at a time when Japanese wives were excluded from public life in general, geisha were the women who could play the role of attentive female at business gatherings.

Every party will always have several geisha in attendance - for reasons that we will see below

Geishas spend many years rigorously training in the arts of music, dance & entertaining.  They used to start aged only 5 or 6 – and only the most dedicated made it through.  A maiko is the name for an apprentice geisha

Sex has nothing to do with geisha AT ALL.

Indeed, back in the 1700 & 1800s, the Japanese government was very concerned that female geisha might take money away from the registered brothels, and so they set very strict rules for geisha concerning their style of dress, how and where they could entertain and the hours they could work.

To make sure sex was not part of the party, geisha were not allowed to be hired singly. But instead of reducing the geisha's success, these restrictions only made them more desirable……..

The geisha's traditional white base makeup was was originally made with harmful lead or rice powder.  Not the case any more, I'm glad to report!

Geisha have striking black eyebrows, bright red lipstick and wear heavy black around their eyes.  If you see red makeup around a geisha's eyes, this means that she is actually a maiko (an apprentice geisha)

This is one area where women are more powerful than men.  Back in the 1100s through to the 1600s, all geishas were men.  But in the 1700s, small groups of female geisha emerged and became more & more popular, taking over entirely from the men.

In the modern day, geisha are seen as a link with traditional Japan – and also as a symbol of feminism.

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