Hi,friends.How you doing? I will write about what Geisha is in Japan today.
I visited in the western part of Japan Kyoto for business last week,then I came across Geisha on the street like above pic.The last time I saw them was 5 or 6 years ago.If you were living out of the Kansai district in Japan,it would be quite rare to see them in your life.While staying in Kyoto for a couple days,I’ve got a few questions about Japanese Geisha from our clients born in US.Let me write about them here.
①WHAT IS “GEISHA” IN JAPAN?
Although Geisha literally means “artist”,the Japanese use it to refer to women who mastered the specific traditional art of entertainment that includes Japanese dancing,playing musical instruments,singing and performing the tea ceremony.Until the end of the WW2,the Japanese girls were supposed to be sold by their parents and taken to “Okiya” where they were trained to become Geisha when lots of Japanese got struggled with poverty at that time.But women who become Geisha today have their own will,it’s all on them.Well-trained Geisha are basically respected as women who have inherited the traditional art of entertainment in Japan.Although the number of authentic Geisha have been decreasing recently,there’re still lots of “Geikos” and “Maikos” ,apprentice Geikos. When it comes to “Geisha” and “Geikos”,it is said that there are no exact differences between them.A best -selling book called Memoirs of a Gaisha,written by American Arthur Golden,has generated a renewed interest in Geisha.
②WHAT IS KIMONOS?
The cloths the women putting on you can see above pics are called “Kimonos”.What we call Kimonos today were originally a kind of underwear called “Kosode” worn under longer robes in Heian period(794-1185).It was at the end of the Muromachi period(1336-1573) when Japanese women began to wear them without the robes.In the middle of the Edo period(1603-1868),Kimonos have become more decorative and the sashes called “obi” were made wider.The bottom of Kimonos used to drag along the ground til women started to adjust their length by tying them at the waist using sashes.“Obi” were wrapped around the waist twice and tied in the back with a original bow.As for most of the women today,Kimonos are only worn on special occasions such as New year’s season,a coming-of-age ceremony or receptions.Some of my foreign friends guess that Obi bows are supposed to use for carrying objects,but it’s not the case of course.
Thank you for visiting my blog today.
If you are interested in the culture of Gaisha in Japan,I highly recommend you visit in Kyoto.You will be able to meet them and having a good experience there.