Japan's Geisha

Essay on Japan’s Geisha

One of the most popular professions in Japan is Geisha. To be a geisha is not as easy as it may seem. It is not only a beautiful woman, who should entertain a man. She must have many skills, such as dancing, playing a classical music, she must to be a woman of art to attract a client’s attention.

Geisha is a hereditary profession; it means that to get this work, you have to be a geisha’s daughter. The process of becoming geisha has several steps. First off all, the training must be started in childhood. Then, student starts the training as a “minarai”. It means that, girl learn all details only by watching “okiya’s” (teacher’s) work. Also “minarai” should have an older sister or an older geisha, in Japan it is onee-san. Her main function is to bring “minarai” to traditional Japanese place, teahouse, for example, where student has a possibility to observe “onee – san’s” work. It is the main condition to find a potential client. Onee-san also must teach all the techniques such as conversation, gaming and serve of tea. This period runs for about a month.

The next step starts when student moves from the status of “minarai” to the status of “maiko”. Maiko is a woman, who has already mastered the art of dance. This period runs for years. Maiko learn from her senior geisha mentor and follow to all her engagements. And the last, final step, when maiko becomes a professional geisha.

Training is a very expensive process, so, then “maiko” after becoming a professional geisha should to pay back all her debts to the okiya, because she provides all necessary opportunities, such as food, kimonos etc., during maiko’s studing. It may happen, when geisha move out to live and work independently.

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