Vintage Photos Of Geisha, Japan's Traditional Entertainers

Vintage Photos Of Geisha, Japan's Traditional Entertainers image

Vintage Photos Of Geisha, Japan's Traditional Entertainers

Geisha are traditional Japanese entertainers, known for their elegant dance and demure conversation. First appearing in the mid-eighteenth century, geisha have long filled the role of a 'persons of the arts' and even trendsetters.

Not to be confused with "Geesha Girls", prostitutes that marketed themselves to American soldiers after World War II, geisha are highly respected figures of Japanese society. And for good reason– even after years of rigorous training, these dedicated artists continue to take classes in art, poetry, and dance.

Despite the distinctly female image seen in pop-culture, the first geisha were actually men. Their roles were to entertain samuri with drums and music. Over time, the men were replaced with female dancers who became the geisha as we know them today.

By the 1920s, the geisha reached their peak numbers with over 80,000 practicing women. They wore a distinct makeup and kimono as uniform and worked as hosts, artists, and entertainers. Though more plainly dressed than the courtesans they mixed with, geisha were respected as fashion leaders.

These days, the exact number of geisha is unknown. They're still hired to host traditional parties and gathering, but due to the cost and changing cultural landscape, you're more likely to spot a tourist dressed as a geisha than to meet an authentic artist.

Via Japan Zone, DYT

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