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According to The Other Wiki, geisha, also known as geiko or geiki, are traditional Japanese female entertainers whose skills include traditional music and dance, fine conversation, and tea ceremony. Geishas are easily recognizable by their hairstyle, their elaborate kimonos and their white make-up. Geishas who have not yet completed their training are called maiko ("dance-child"), and tend to be more colorfully arrayed than their adult counterparts, with different hair pieces for each month, and different styles for her levels of apprenticeship. A young maiko is supported by her onee-san (big sister) and when she fully graduates, she will be a single entertainer/businesswoman.

The role of the geisha has for a long time been seen as mysterious, secretive, and alluring. Contrary to what some might say, geishas are not prostitutes (that woud be oiran), but rather are professional artists, with stage names and distinct personal lives. That hasn't stopped them from being prime Fetish Fuel material.

It is interesting to consider that prior to Schoolgirl or Maid character types, geishas were considered the archetype of Japanese femininity, and as such, the term "Yamato Nadeshiko" could be applied to them.

Provide examples of:

  • Femme Fatale - often play the part in Japanese tales and older literature
  • Gorgeous Period Dress - their costume is an obsolete style, and quite a deal more showy than the modern fashions
  • Kimono Fanservice - the style they wear screams "teh sexx" in Kimonese
  • Raven Hair, Ivory Skin - black hair, white make-up, bright red lipstick
  • Training From Hell - they undergo demanding training, and some works like to exaggerate it
  • Yamato Nadeshiko - the very idea of geiko is to be as pleasant company as possible to a male Japanese audience, so if a geiko isn't a Yamato Nadeshiko in her private life, her business self will still be one.
Examples of Geisha include:


Anime and Manga

  • Mademoiselle Butterfly
  • In Zodiac P.I., the mystery revolving around Gemini focuses on a pair of twins (of course) who are also maiko. The solution to the mystery is that one of the twins was wearing the wrong headpiece for the particular month -- she had used the headpiece to stab the man who was stalking her, and could no longer use it.
  • Erika from Pokémon Red and Blue resembles this a bit, in the Pokémon anime she even dressed like a Geisha at a few points.
  • Hotaru Enjouji from Kizuna was this in the past.
  • Kichiji from Haikara-san ga Tooru.

Film


Literature

  • In James Clavell's Shogun, Kikuchiyo is a forerunner to a geisha, with a manager, an apprentice, and an exceptional level of refinement at all the arts of entertainment (including that of love). In fact, she is the inspiration for her manager, Gyoko (a now retired entertainer) to suggest to Toranaga a class of women exclusively for the performing arts.
  • Memoirs of a Geisha and its film adaption tells the story of Chiyo, a little girl whose dirt poor family sells her in order to make ends meet. Some of her companions in fate end up being sold to brothels, but the pretty Chiyo is lucky enought to be bought into a geisha house to be a servant, and later, if she proves worthy, an apprentice, thus becoming the samous geisha Sayuri. Despite the fact the book gives the impression of being a biography and based on real life, it's pure fiction and contains its share of inaccuracies. The one most aficinados would name first would be the auctioning of the virginity of maikos about to graduate into geikos.
    • In fact, the book was "inspired" in the life of a real life geisha named Mineko Iwasaki. Iwasaki got so upset at the author, Arthur Golden, that she sued him and then wrote her own book (Geisha of Gion) to counter all the fictionalization.


Theater

  • Averted: Cio-Cio San in Madame Butterfly may look like a geisha, but isn't: she still lives with her family (a geisha would live in a geisha house) and is getting married, which in real life geisha are not allowed to do unless they retire.
  • Yum-Yum, Peep-Bo and Pitti-Sing are three Maiko (apprentice Geishas) from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. The work is far from being accurate, and many productions play it Up to Eleven, making these characters a pile of anachronisms and inaccuracies.
  • In Pacific Overtures, the number "Pretty Lady" is sung to a pretty Japanese girl whom the three sailors can't figure out if she's a geisha or not.
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