Geisha

Geisha are Silverstari women trained to entertain their customers, be it by reciting verse, playing musical instruments, dancing, or engaging in light conversation.


Historical Geisha (OOC)

Apprentice geisha are called maiko (lit. "dance child"). It is the maiko, with her white make-up and elaborate kimono and hairstyle, that has become the stereotype of a "geisha" to westerners, rather than the true geisha. A woman entering the geisha community does not have to start out as a maiko, having the opportunity to begin her career as a full geisha. In fact, a woman above 21 is considered too old to be a maiko and becomes a full geisha upon her initiation into the geisha community. However, those who do go through the maiko stage enjoy more prestige later in their professional lives.

Geisha do not engage in paid sex with clients. Geisha engagements may include flirting with men and playful innuendos; however, clients know that nothing more can be expected. In a social style that is uniquely Japanese, men are amused by the illusion of that which is never to be.

Geisha are expected to be single women; those who choose to marry must retire from the profession.

It was traditional in the past for established geisha to take a "danna", or patron. A danna was typically a wealthy man, sometimes married, who had the means to support the very large expenses related to a geisha's traditional training and other costs. This sometimes occurs today as well, but very rarely.

A geisha and her danna may or may not be in love, but intimacy is never viewed as a reward for the danna's financial support. The traditional conventions and values within such a relationship are very intricate and not well understood, even by many Japanese.

While it is true that a geisha is free to pursue personal relationships with men she meets through her work, such relationships are carefully chosen and unlikely to be casual.

(There is a whole heap of stuff regarding makeup, dress and training which isn't included here but can be found through the link below. There are many appearance distinctions between full geisha and apprentices, the most obvious being that geisha don't typically wear the heavy white makeup unless it's part of a performance.)

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