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THE GEISHA ‘Osome’

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OSOME || BEAUTY OF THE GEISHA || BLOG

Osome (おそめ) Real name: Hide Ueba 1923-2012

Osome, she was born in Kyoto, trained in Tokyo, and became a geisha in the Gion district of Kyoto. Her work took her back and forth between Kyoto and Tokyo. She also served as the inspiration for a number of novels and films in Japan.

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Original picture of Osome

MYSTERY of THE GEISHA

A long standing stigma has been placed on Japanese Geisha girls. When someone thinks of a Geisha, they think of a glorified prostitute or call girl. This is far from the truth. Geisha’s are entertainers, and they are trained vigorously in art, music and dancing. If you translate Geisha into English, you get artist.

Being a true Geisha is an honor to the girls, who when they become full-fledged Geisha’s are then called geiko. If a girl begins her training to be a geisha before she is 21, she is called a maiko, meaning child dancer. A girl or woman can become a geisha even if she wasn’t a maiko, but if she had been a maiko she would enjoy much more prestige.

Because the geisha is much coveted, prostitutes have called themselves geisha’s to bring in more customers, but you will notice a distinct difference, and that is their attire. Both girls where a kimono, and over their kimono is an obi (or sash). Geisha’s tie their obi in the back, and prostitutes tie it in the front. One simple reason for this, you can’t tie it yourself if its in the back, and if you’re a prostitute, your going to need to tie it and untie it throughout the day. The prostitutes often went by the name ‘Geisha girls,’ or ‘panpan girls,’ and they often serviced American military. Geisha DO NOT engage in paid sex with clients.

They attend parties and tea houses, where they are the entertainment and hostesses. They pour tea, sing, dance, play instruments, and chat with the guests. In other words they are the life of the party and companions.

The training to become a geisha is extremely rigorous, and because of this the number of women today who are becoming geisha is diminishing.

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