It would be wrong to portray geisha as beautifully dressed women hired for sexual services. Things are more complex than they seem. Geisha are a historical phenomenon, a truly unique tradition in terms of culture and heritage.
The attitude towards geisha has always been special. Comrade Sukhov, the protagonist in the classic Soviet-era movie The White Sun of the Desert, commented on the subtlety of Oriental customs in this way: “The East is a very delicate issue.” He seemed to be absolutely right. The Europeans often confuse a geisha with a girl at the bar or a common streetwalker. It is a mistake. Geisha are a historical phenomenon, a truly unique tradition in terms of culture and heritage.
Geisha are meant to be entertaining, coquettish and amusingly clever. They are trained to entertain their patrons, to make them feel exceptional. Providing sexual services is optional.
Geisha use their skills in traditional Japanese arts, music, dance, and storytelling.
Many Japanese have never tasted the joys of keeping company with geisha due to high costs of their services. The fees charged for two hours of a geisha’s services will equal to a one fourth of an annual salary of the average Japanese employee. More importantly, money is not a key issue in this case. A potential client should present proper recommendations. A Japanese man would be greatly privileged to receive an invitation to attend a party with geisha. He sees a geisha as a dream girl and confidant. Booking a night with geisha is like getting a kind of starry ticket to some exclusive members-only club.
Only top-ranking bureaucrats and wealthy executives can afford to hire geisha for a night at tea houses or chaya or at traditional Japanese restaurants. On the face if it, geisha look extremely reserved and exquisite, though they are quite capable of engaging in suggestive banter while maintaining an aura of good manners and aloofness.
Japanese companies frequently treat their foreign visitors to a night with geisha. Geisha pay a great deal of attention to their guests, they keep the clients’ glasses filled with drinks, they light up cigars, and create a cooling current in the air by waving their fans. Yet the traditional geisha engagements never involve sexual activity. In the middle of a dinner party geisha kneel down on a miniature stage and start playing traditional stringed instruments. They also dance and read poetry for a while. Then they go back to their guests, according to ameno.ru.
A geisha walks with tiny steps, sliding smoothly across the floor. She wears wooden clogs. Her movements are graceful and somewhat slow. She is full of grace, the epitome of female sensuality. The taka shimada, is a high chignon traditionally worn by young, single women. The hairstyles of geisha are decorated with elaborate combs and hairpins. The traditional makeup of an apprentice geisha features a thick white base with red lipstick, and red and black accents around the eyes and eyebrows. Makeup is applied before dressing to avoid dirtying the kimono. A geisha is all dolled up for the party. All and all, she is made to be a woman.
As a rule, a geisha sips at her drink but she doesn’t touch food at a business dinner. She treats her customers by pouring sake into their glasses and keeps the conversation going. Any man in company with a geisha, be it a CEO or government minister, is likely to turn into a teenager who seeks favor in her eyes. Incidentally, a geisha may plainly refuse a client’s advances.
In the past, there was a traditional geisha house or okiya in every Japanese town. A visitor would be an “emperor” for one night after crossing the threshold of a place where geisha entertain their patrons.
The visit to a geisha house would kick off with tea ceremony. In olden times, a girl did honor to her family if she chose the profession of a geisha. Her choice was a sure sign of the wealth of her parents who had the means to support the very large expenses related to a geisha’s traditional training. Therefore, her parents were held in great respect by neighbors and friends. Japan has, without doubt, changed a lot since those days of old. Still, the Japanese maintain a very respectful and careful attitude toward geisha because geisha are a part of the traditional values of the Japanese way of life.
The term harmony is arguably the key to a geisha’s main secret. I am talking about the beautiful harmony of voice and words, movements and grace. As for the art of bringing men to exaltation, a geisha is second to none. A geisha looks meek and solicitous yet she is both enticing and inaccessible in terms of sensual enjoyment. Dealing with a prostitute, a man is driven by his male instincts. On the contrary, in company with a geisha, he feels like a samurai i.e. a warrior, a hero, a wise man. In short, he feels like a Man.
Translated by Guerman Grachev
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