A Story Teller
Be of Good Cheer
Believing is Seeing
Benefits of Play
Different, Yet Similar
Division More Fun Than Hiking
Forty and Pregnant
Happy Mother's Day
Happy Valentine's Day
It's a Miracle
"Just" a Housewife
Little Gem in the Woods
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
RMKK Year in Review
She's Having a Baby
The Game of Life
The Otters Return to Glacier
The Wonder of it All
These Boots Are Made for Walking
Time is on My Side
You Get What You Expect
100 Years of Grandeur
“What’s a Geisha?” asked my twelve-year-old daughter at the
breakfast table the other morning.
“Hmm” I thought, “do I really know what a Geisha is?” I responded
vaguely, as I wasn’t completely confident about my knowledge on the
wanting to give misinformation about the centuries old Japanese
custom, I Googled the question.
Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”, topped the list. I often use
Wiki’s resources and have wondered about its reliability,
considering the “anyone can edit” format. I’ve cross-referenced its
material with other sources and everyone seems to be
consistent. Wikipedia has been an informative online resource for
Geisha’s date back to the 1600’s in which its been recorded that the
first Geisha were men. The custom has developed through many eras of
Japanese culture, some of which have not been so savory. The modern
Geisha is a female Japanese entertainer whose skills include
performing various Japanese arts such as classical music and dance.
They serve tea in teahouses as well as making polite conversation at
banquets and parties. They are not prostitutes, do not serve food,
and are not wives.
In the West, the connotation of Geisha with prostitutes came after
World War II during the Allied Occupation of Japan. American GI’s
incorrectly called prostitutes “Geesha Girls” and this image and
mispronunciation have persisted to this day. A Geisha is free to
pursue personal relationships with men she meets through her work,
but they are carefully chosen and not casual. A Geisha’s good
reputation is not taken lightly.
The image of Geisha is one of colorful kimonos, chignon’s adorned
with extravagant combs, and stark white faces with bright red
lipstick. We watched a YouTube video as a Maiko, or apprentice
Geisha, applied her makeup. It was really quite fascinating watching
her smear rice powder paste around her face, chest, and back,
skillfully coming up the nape of her neck leaving an unwhitened “W”.
All of this creates an illusion that Japanese men find alluring.
Here are some interesting facts that you may not know:
- The white base was originally
made with lead until it was discovered to be poisonous
- A line of bare skin is left
around the hairline to create a mask effect
- Geisha’s wear white split-toed
- Some color their teeth black.
Teeth look yellow in contrast to the white make-up. Black teeth
appear to fade into the darkness of the mouth
It used to be that when a question
was asked, one had to go look it up. Sometimes this was done in a
timely fashion, sometimes not. With high-speed Internet and easy
access to a wealth of information, these answers need not be put
off. As the saying goes, inquiring minds want to know.