While both are traditional Japanese performers that engage in various forms of entertainment and hostess activities, they have different levels of training, roles within the community, dress codes and more that set them apart. Maikos are known for their colorful kimono while geishas typically wear simpler attire but both bring beauty to the culture with each having an important role in Japan’s history.

What is a geisha?

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Picture of two geisha

Geisha are traditional Japanese female entertainers who are skilled in various arts, such as music and dance. A maiko is a young geisha in training. The word geisha literally means “art person” or “artist”.

Historically, geishas were not allowed to be married, as they were required to entertain men at parties and other events. This is no longer the case, but many geishas still choose not to marry so that they can focus on their careers. Geishas typically wear elaborate kimonos and use white face powder and red lipstick to apply their makeup.

Nowadays, there are fewer than 1,000 geishas left in Japan. If you are interested in becoming a geisha, you must first complete an apprenticeship under a more experienced geisha. This process can take several years.

What is a maiko?

(Image by Joi Ito from Pixabay )

Picture of maiko

A maiko is a traditional Japanese entertainer who acts as both a hostess and a performer. Maiko are trained in many traditional arts, such as dance and music, and wear elaborate kimono and hairstyles. Geisha, on the other hand, are more focused on entertainment and are not required to wear the same level of traditional clothing.

The difference between geisha and maiko

Geisha and maiko are traditional Japanese entertainers who are trained in various performing arts such as music, dance, and games. Geisha generally refer to themselves as geiko, while maiko refers to themselves as maiko.

The main difference between geisha and maiko is that geisha are older, more experienced, and more often considered to be the pinnacle of traditional Japanese beauty, while maiko are younger apprentices who are still learning the ropes. Maiko also tend to dress more elaborately than geisha, with brighter colors and heavier makeup.

Both geisha and maiko undergo years of training in order to perfect their skills. In addition to learning how to play traditional Japanese instruments and sing, they must also learn how to apply their makeup correctly, wear their kimono properly, and master the art of conversation.

How to tell a geisha and maiko apart?

Geisha and maiko are often confused with one another, but there are some key ways to tell them apart. For starters, geisha are always adults, while maiko are typically teenagers. Geisha also tend to wear more subdued colors in their clothing and makeup, while maiko usually opt for brighter, more colorful hues. Additionally, geisha wear their hair in a simple updo or bun, while maiko often wear more elaborate styles with cascading curls or braids. Finally, geisha typically wear closed-toe shoes, while maiko often go barefoot or wear traditional wooden geta sandals.

What is geiko?

Geiko is a Japanese word meaning “artistic person.” The word consists of two kanji: 芸 (gei) meaning “art” or “performance” and 者 (sha) meaning “person.” The term is used to refer to geisha, as well as other Japanese artists such as kabuki actors and noh performers.

The term geisha first appears in the 18th century. It refers to women who entertain guests with song, dance, and games. They are trained in traditional Japanese arts such as music and dance. Geisha are not prostitutes, although they were once confused with them.

Maiko are apprentice geisha. They are usually between the ages of 15 and 20. They undergo a rigorous training process, learning everything from traditional music and dance to etiquette and tea ceremonies. Once they complete their training, they become full-fledged geisha.

What is Oiran?

The oiran were the highest-ranking courtesans in Japan. They were expensive, and their clients were typically wealthy samurai or high-ranking officials. The oiran’s role was to entertain her guests with music, dance, and conversation.

The oiran’s kimono was also very elaborate, often costing more than a samurai’s armor. The oiran’s hairstyle was also very intricate, and usually involved lots of flowers or other decorations.

The oiran were not allowed to marry, and when they became too old to work, they would retire to a convent.

Does maiko become geisha?

Yes, maiko eventually become geisha. The process usually takes around five years, although it can sometimes take longer. During this time, maiko learn traditional dance and music, as well as other skills such as tea ceremony and calligraphy. They also continue to undergo regular beauty treatments, which help to maintain their distinctive appearance.

Can geisha girls marry?

No, geisha girls cannot marry. They are required to remain single throughout their lives in order to focus on their work and to avoid potential conflicts of interest. While some geisha do choose to retire from the profession and marry later in life, they are no longer considered to be part of the geisha community once they do so.

Are geishas respected in Japan?

There are a lot of misconceptions about geishas in Japan – that they’re simply prostitutes, or that they’re stuck in a traditional role that doesn’t allow for much respect. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth! Geishas are highly respected members of Japanese society, and their skills are very much in demand.

Geishas undergo years of training to perfect their art, and they are able to provide a unique and special form of entertainment that is not found anywhere else. They are also highly skilled in the art of conversation, and can provide stimulating company for any occasion. In addition, geishas often play an important role in business settings, acting as hostesses and helping to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.

It is because of their skill, dedication and hard work that geishas are held in such high esteem by those who know them. If you have the opportunity to meet a geisha during your time in Japan, be sure to treat her with the utmost respect – she has earned it!

Who is the most famous geisha in history?

There are many famous geishas throughout history, but the most famous is undoubtedly Mineko Iwasaki. Iwasaki was born in 1929 and began her training to become a geisha at the age of five. She went on to become one of the most successful and well-known geishas of her time.

Iwasaki retired from the geisha life in 1977, and since then she has written several books about her experiences as a geisha. She has also been interviewed numerous times, and her story has been adapted into a film and a stage play.

What does a maiko do?

A maiko is a traditional Japanese geisha in training. They are usually older than 17 and have completed their schooling. Maiko live in okiya, or geisha houses, and receive intensive training in music and dance.

During the day, maiko can be found taking lessons or practicing their skills. In the evening, they entertain guests at parties and banquets. Maiko typically wear colorful kimono and elaborate hairstyles.


Featured Image By – Photo by Lan Pham on Unsplash

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