Societal/ Cultural
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ID: 4918


September 16, 2008, 1:08 am

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Geisha Ranking


A summary of the various ranks found within the geisha community.

Shikomi - Young girls employed as maids before they even begin their geisha training.

Minarai - Older girls who quietly serve geisha "in the field" as servants.

Han’gyoku - "Half-jewel," a term for a trainee geisha who has not yet become an apprentice.

O-shaku - "One who pours alcohol," a more experienced trainee who has not yet become an apprentice.

Maiko - An apprentice geisha who generally serves as the senior assistant to a geisha.

Geisha (Geiko in the Kyoto dialect) - Literally "performing artist," this is the title of a female entertainer who specializes in various performing arts such as playing musical instruments, singing, and dancing. Additionally they act as hostesses at parties, entertaining guests with witty conversation.

Atotori - This is a title for a senior geisha, one who has been adopted by the manager of an Okiya (geisha lodging house) to be the designated heir.

Okasan - "Mother," The title of the manager of an Okiya.

There is generally some confusion as to whether or not geisha are prostitutes. Clarity in the issue is not always easy, even in Japan, because prostitutes do attempt to pass themselves off as geisha in many instances. Additionally, certain high class courtesans, known as oiran, do wear elaborate hairstyles, makeup, and costumes which make it difficult to visually differentiate between the two.

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Comments ( 5 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted MoonHunter
September 16, 2008, 1:10
Now this is something you don't see every day. You probably won't be using it, as it, either. It does give you ideas to other cultures.
Voted valadaar
September 16, 2008, 11:35
I'm not sure how constructive the whole 'You probably won't be using it..' comment is - you immeditately turn around and say it gives ideas for other culture. Let other people judge for themselves - you can say 'I won't be using it, as it either' but to assume others will agree, well, you what you get when you assume...

That said, this is one of the subs which to me seem short enough to be scrolls within a larger submission, as it is a little too small to stand on its own. Of course that my own opinion.
Voted Scrasamax
September 16, 2008, 13:30
I agree with Val on this one. Too little information. Rather than just another ranking submission, this could have been a quick little primer on what a Geisha is as compared to what most people think they are.
Voted punkcasher
March 15, 2009, 23:26
Interesting, but short.

Voted Orouboros
March 18, 2012, 1:02
Only voted

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