What is a Geisha

Discover the fascinating world of geisha – highly skilled traditional Japanese entertainers known for their artistry, elegance, and cultural significance.


Geisha, which translates to ‘person of the arts’, are traditional Japanese entertainers who are highly skilled in various art forms such as music, dance, and conversation. They are often misunderstood and shrouded in mystery, but their role in Japanese culture is significant and fascinating.

History of Geisha

The history of geisha dates back to the 18th century when they first emerged as professional entertainers in the pleasure districts of Japan. Originally, they were male entertainers who later transitioned to female performers. Geisha were trained in various arts and skills to entertain guests at banquets and events.

Roles and Responsibilities

  • Entertaining guests with music and dance
  • Engaging in witty conversation
  • Performing tea ceremonies

Geisha VS. Oiran

Geisha are often confused with oiran, who were high-class courtesans in Japan. While both geisha and oiran were entertainers, geisha focused on artistic talents and companionship, while oiran were primarily associated with physical relationships.

Training and Lifestyle

Becoming a geisha requires years of rigorous training in traditional arts, etiquette, and performance skills. Geisha live in okiya, houses run by a mother figure known as the okasan, who oversees their training and contracts with clients.

Modern Geisha

In modern times, the number of geisha has declined significantly, with only a few hundred remaining in Japan. Geisha continue to preserve traditional arts and culture, but they also adapt to contemporary trends by performing at events, festivals, and cultural exhibitions.


Geisha play a unique and essential role in Japanese culture, representing a tradition that dates back centuries. Their dedication to the arts, commitment to their craft, and ability to entertain and engage with guests make them an integral part of Japanese society.

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