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The story of Maiko (Dance Child)

Geisha or Geiko are traditional, female Japanese entertainers, whose skills include performing various Japanese arts, such as classical music and dance.

Contrary to popular belief, Geisha are not prostitutes.

Apprentice geisha are called Maiko. This word is made of the kanji 舞 (mai) meaning “dance” and 子 (ko) meaning “child”.

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.

The ritualised apprenticeship and training for a maiko can take up to five years in the Kyoto area.

Tokyo geisha generally do not follow the ritualized Kyoto maiko apprentice process. The training period can be six months to a year – notably shorter than a Kyoto maiko – before she debuts as a full geisha.

May 16, 2008 Posted by | Geisha, Japan, Roykeanz, _BABE | Leave a comment