Tears are useless. For a week I did nothing, but cry. I was in shock at being torn away from my mother.
Kyoto, capital of imperial Japan and hub of the country's pre-modern culture, is the last bastion of the geisha. It is an exquisitely anachronistic calling, one that perseveres here as it does nowhere else. The geisha—or geiko, the term used in Kyoto—elevates hosting to high art.
Contrary to popular belief, geisha are not the Eastern equivalent of a prostitute, a misconception originating in the West due to interactions with Japanese oiran courtesanswhose traditional attire is similar to that of geisha. The most literal translation of geisha into English would be "artist", "performing artist", or "artisan". This term is used to refer to geisha from Western Japan, which includes Kyoto and Kanazawa.
Lots of blond and buxom American and Europeans are imported for both hostess bars and strip joints, but only a pure bred Nippon Jin Japanese can be a Geisha do don't believe that Shirley MacClaine movie! Japanese actually take pride in their Geisha tradition. I'm not going to take a moral stand here, but will try to point out some interesting facts and thoughts that this quote from Marc Canter highlights.
Successful in their careers, they are financially able to enjoy many of the material benefits that the city has to offer — including high-fashion clothing, nice apartments, cab rides, cover charges and good tables at the hippest eateries, performing arts events and, in one case, even being a single mom. Nor are they desperate housewives. These women regularly check in with each other — usually over a meal or cocktails — exchanging news of their careers and their latest exploits in and out of romance.
Chikako Pari, whose stage name is Ichizuru, is the last geisha, also known as geikoof a small town in Kyoto Prefecture. Though thrown into a vicious cycle of suffering and drama, both in her private life and as an entertainer, the ravishing and exotic Ichizuru managed to turn her situation into art and laughter. Tears are useless.
IN ''Silk,'' Alessandro Baricco's cult novel of erotic enthrallment, a French silk trader travels to remotest Japan inwhere he meets a ravishing young courtesan. Her face is turned away, her body enfolded in layers of brocade. He catches only a glimpse of her hand peeking from her sleeve, but it is enough to spark an obsession that continues to haunt him for years.
Although in some cases they sold their virginity to the highest bidder. Very young they learn traditional activities like singing, dancing, music, ceremonies, etc. These activities are the same with that they entertain the men who pay for their services.
All this in turn took its place inside a larger cultural context. The Edo-period world of licensed prostitution was composed of an elaborate hierarchy of women whose sex was for sale. Those at the top were as celebrated as movie stars are today, while those at the bottom were simply streetwalkers.