Geisha - Encyclopedia

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GEISHA (a Chino-Japanese word meaning "person of pleasing accomplishments"), strictly the name of the professional dancing and singing girls of Japan. The word is, however, often loosely used for the girls and women inhabiting Shin Yoshiwara, the prostitutes' quarter of Tokyo. The training of the true Geisha xI. 18 a or singing girl, which includes lessons in dancing, begins often as early as her seventh year. Her apprenticeship over, she contracts with her employer for a number of years, and is seldom able to reach independence except by marriage. There is a capitation fee of two yen per month on the actual singing girls, and of one yen on the apprentices.

See Jukichi Inouye, Sketches of Tokyo Life.

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