What do geishas wear

Geisha, guardian of the Japanese arts 芸 者

A heavily codified activity: the geisha code of conduct

The world of geishas is shaped by the Devotion to art, but it is also extremely codified. There are several aspects to this.

Geisha students that one in Kyoto Maiko calls are very heavily made up. Her face is hidden under a thick layer of white rice powder, her lips are bright red. Eyes and brows are highlighted in black.

More mature geishas that Geikosdo not have to put on excessive make-up anymore. Beyond the age of 30, this is only reserved for big occasions. Now you are more likely to rely on your natural beauty.

When they go out, geishas only wear silk kimono. This includes the obi, a wide belt that is artfully knotted in the back. The shape of the knot depends on the age from the geisha. Maiko wear a train, while a short knot adorns an experienced geisha.

Likewise, bright colors and eye-catching motifs are generally reserved for young geishas. These clothes are complemented by white stockings, Tabi, and wooden sandals were added.

Putting on a kimono is a complex task, and not just because the fabrics are heavy. That is why geishas sometimes resort to the help of professional clothes. By the way, that's the only man who does that Okiya, the house where the geishas live, is allowed to enter.

Kimonos become traditional handmade and are of course very valuable. They often cost several thousand euros.

The traditional hairstyle is a very elaborate bun that is held in place with several combs. Since the hairstyle has to last for several days, geishas put their necks on you when you sleep Takamakura, a specially made item.

  • Being a geisha is also an attitude of mind

Geishas are characterized by particularly good manners. To the To meet the demand for sophistication in every situation, they are not allowed to do many things that others take for granted, e.g. B. Eating in a fast food, going to certain clothing stores or supermarkets, carrying plastic bags.

During a meeting with clients, they must meet him with great Reluctance entertaining without ever becoming ordinary.

The training: how do you become a geisha?

To become a geisha you need staying power and are committed to years of intensive work.

  • From childhood to adulthood

The heads of the geisha houses used to buy little girls under 10 from poor farming families. These women were called Okasan (mother). They took care of the entire education of these girls into adulthood.

At the beginning of their apprenticeship, the girls mainly did housework and helped the geishas in everyday life. It was hard work that required extreme docility.

Then the intensive artistic training began. Lots specialized in a certain art genre. Dance was considered to be the finest art.

Once they had acquired basic knowledge in the various arts, the geisha students perfected the Maiko, their training by accompanying an experienced geisha on their rendez-vous.

The two women were often sisterly to one another. The older one passed her skills on to the younger one and introduced her step by step into the closed circle of geishas. The learner had to succeed in drawing attention to himself and building up a customer base.

If she was ready, she could practice the profession of geisha. The admission to the profession was with the Ceremony of changing the collar (Erikae) completed. The pupil takes off the red collar and receives the white collar of the geishas.

On the whole nothing has changed in the training of the geishas. It is certainly shorter and the trainees naturally choose this profession of their own free will. You start your training around the age of 17 or 18.

  • Reimbursement of the training costs

The geiko had to do this often Pay back the exorbitant costs of their trainingwho had accumulated over the years by working for the geisha house thatOkiya, worked. So they came do not enjoy their self-generated income (that's still the case today).

When the debts were finally paid off, they could either continue working for the house or start their own business. However, they then not only had to bear the cost of clothing, hairdressing and cosmetics, but also a commission for that Okiya pay that acted as an intermediary.

A fortunate few found a rich patron Danna,which gave them some financial security.