What exactly is a japanese Geisha…?
I saw a movie called “Memories of a geisha” and searched online
are they really prostitutes or something?
“Memoirs of a Geisha” is a work of fiction written by a white man whose access to the geisha world was limited at best and who turned to Orientalism and Western fantasies about geisha to sell his book. Geisha are highly-trained artists and entertainers who spend their working lives studying and perfecting several Japanese arts, including dancing, singing, playing instruments, and tea ceremony (you might also hear people mention things like flower arranging and calligraphy, but I’m not so convinced that those are essential geisha skills). At parties they provide entertainment, have lively conversations with guests, and play games. People who regularly hire geisha and maiko (apprentices) are fully aware that they are NOT buying sex or even the chance for sex, and while a geisha might make the choice to sleep with a client for some reason sex is not part of the typical bargain and most guests will be going home at the end of the night.
In the past, geisha were legally barred from selling sex because of fears that it would take work away from the actual courtesans and prostitutes. Of course, just because something is illegal doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Many geisha who worked at hot springs resorts also sold sex, and it is highly likely that at least a few geisha who worked in places like Kyoto sold sex too for whatever reason. And of course mizuage was a sexual thing back then (these days it’s just a nice dinner and a change of hairstyle for the maiko), but that is because a virgin geisha was seen to be as odd as a virgin wife. The simple fact of the matter is that geisha as a group have never been defined as prostitutes in Japanese culture, and it is also important to keep in mind that Japan and the Western world often have very different views on sex. Personally, I don’t think a single act of selling sex (like mizuage) is enough to make someone a prostitute, and I don’t think a few people selling sex is enough to make an entire profession one of prostitution. Geisha are now and have always been first and foremost high-class entertainers and artists.
Memoirs of a Geisha Full Movie Online Part 1