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19-06-2005
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Geisha
Quote:
Once Japan's trendsetters of fashion and taste, geisha today are both scorned as antifeminist anachronisms and revered as custodians of a treasured past
i was inspired to start this thread after reading a national geographic article:
(btw this topic, i've decided, is a fine alternative for the research i would put into japanese studies if i was attending grad school )

Quote:
It was in the brothels here (kyoto) and in the pleasure quarters of tokyo and osaka that geisha first appeared in the 17th century as dancers and musicians. the earliest geisha were men, but by the mid-18th century the profession was dominated by women - the tradition that remains today.
The modern geisha is the aristocrat of the huge industry that has evolved through the centuries to cater to Japanese men's sensual desires. But she is not a prostitute. If she provides sex, it is at her discretion or as part of a enduring relationship. Her business is to sell a dream - luxury, romance, and exclusivity - to the wealthiest and most powerful men in Japan. Inside the most expensive restaurants and teahouses, as men conduct delicate busines negotiations, geisha pour sake and keep the conversation flowing - at a cost of thousands of dollars.
The few women who enter the geisha world today are drawn by the romantic image or a love of traditional arts. But before World War II most geisha had no choice, they were born into the trade or were forced to join it just to survive.
In a society where a woman's place was either in the home or in the brothel, geisha carved out a separate niche, creating a community of women that became known as the 'flower and willow world.' they dressed in lavish silk kimonos and strove for perfection in makeup and courtly manners. in the 19th-century heyday they were pacesetters of fashion and popular culture, the supermodels of their time. But as Western culture overwhelmed postwar Japan, the geisha froze in time, clutching tradition as their appeal.
A geisha, which means 'a person who lives by art,' studies tea ceremony, calligraphy, and an instrument called the samisen, and trainds for dance performances that are the only public exhibition of her talents. In these extravagant shows geisha move through a series of restrained and elegant poses, displaying little exuberance.
The world of the geisha does not give up its secrets easily. The geisha's impassive white mask shows little emotion, and her strict code of silence and fierce protectiveness toward clinets conspire against revelation. Through discipline and talent, the geisha has created a life of beauty. She has made herself into the image of the perfect woman, the embodiment of Japanese culture and refinement, a living work of art. That is the source of her pride and salvation.
adapted from the book Geisha, by Jodi Cobb.

*mods feel free to move

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File Type: jpg geisha_3.JPG (256.8 KB, 24 views)

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Last edited by travolta; 19-06-2005 at 04:02 PM.
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19-06-2005
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MASKED BY MAKEUP and fierce reserve, and 83 year old geisha and her young counterpart prepare for the stage.

ORNATE JEWEL in the austere elegance of the Kyoto banquet room, a maiko duitifully pour beer.

Quote:
In this world the man holds the higher position, and the woman follows him. That's the way it should be. I must help and support him but not let him know. That ist he woman's virtue: to be strong on the inside and not let it show."

Tokyo Geisha
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File Type: jpg geisha_4.JPG (157.2 KB, 28 views)

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Last edited by travolta; 19-06-2005 at 04:10 PM.
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19-06-2005
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COLORFUL CHAOS reigns in the tiny Kyoto geisha house as three maiko, joined by young helpers and an 'auntie' prepare for their evenings work.

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An obi is like a man's necktie. You tie is tight, and you become upright and rigid. I'm like a businessman putting on his suit in the morning, preparing for his daily battle, forgetting his personal life. When I put on my makeup and a kimono, I turn into a geisha in my mind also. In a kimono, I am a professional.'

-Tokyo Geisha
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19-06-2005
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i adore geishas there was always something about their appearance that i am drawn to. i adore the pale skin dramatic eyes and red pouted lips

thanks for this thread and i cant wait to learn more about geishas

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19-06-2005
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SPIKES OF PAINT accentuate a maiko's nape, considered sensual by Japanese men.

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I have seen how geisha prepare their makeup, but I don't like to. I want the romantic ideal, not the reality. I dont want to know their tricks. I don't want to know their sad stories. I want to keep it a dream, and they want to keep it as a dream for me. That's business.

-Kyoto Client
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19-06-2005
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GLIMPSED IN PASSING on streets or in cabs, geisha and maiko lead hectic, costly lives. Through handsome wages and tips for their nightly parties, much goes toward the kimonos, which run thousands of dollars each. Since geisha can't marry, many take older lovers for financial and emotional support.

Quote:
I'm tired of people's eyes. I'm tired of pretending to be someone I'm not, tired of flattery. I would love to be thought of as a frank and honest person, speaking and acting as I really feel. But this business won't allow that.

-Kyoto Geisha

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19-06-2005
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i found this website and if you go to galleries they have some beautiful vintage pictures of geishas

www.immortalgeisha.com

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19-06-2005
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BTW these images and words are taken from a National Geographic about a decade old


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Last edited by travolta; 19-06-2005 at 04:40 PM.
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19-06-2005
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Great idea travolta

I was wondering if anyone knows why they leave the long triangle shapes at the back of their neck unpainted...is there a reason behind this?

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19-06-2005
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thanks cowboyboots

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19-06-2005
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i found this explanation:

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The white paint on the back of the geisha¹s neck is meant to be painted in a way that resembles the female genitals. Their obi (a sash and bow tied around the kimono) is tied differently depending on your level as a geisha. The less experienced geisha has a simple tie that is meant to be undone easily (giving as you guessed it easier access for their male companions), while more experienced geisha have harder to undo obi to give the idea that they are a more treasured gift to be unwrapped slowly.
http://www.spectator.net/EDPAGES/geisha.html

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19-06-2005
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Quote:
· The unpainted nape of a geisha's neck is considered to be the most sensuous part of her body. The more neck exposed, the more risqué the geisha's kimono.
found it...interesting

taken from... http://www.specialtytravel.com/stori...es.cgi?id=5302

Edit: ahh you got there first travolta, touche

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Last edited by fab_fifties_fille; 19-06-2005 at 04:44 PM.
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19-06-2005
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19-06-2005
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Thanks for the amazing photos
I read a book on Geishas a while ago and have been fascinated by their tradition ever since.


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19-06-2005
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from the bbc.com



It takes half an hour to put the make-up on and wig on and then a special man comes to put the kimono on.To wear the kimono properly for a long time I need a man's hands to tighten it. Geiko wear a wig because this hairstyle needs long hair – it's not suitable for modern life. And it needs a lot of oil, so real hair doesn't stay up for long.

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