Misunderstanding about Geisha – Geisha is respectable profession

Published by Hiromi Nishiwaki on

Hi! This is Lena Shiratori.  I am Multi Lingual Cultural Promoter.
I promote Japanese culture and items in multi lingual.


Many foreigner image Japan with the image of FUJIYAMA and Geisha. and Many thinks Geisha is easter version of prostitute, however, it is wrong. Geisha is Professional ARTIST.

Geisha. Gei means Skill. Geisha is Skilled Artist who mastered traditional Arts such as, dancing, singing, playing musical installment like Shamisen ( three-stringed traditional Japanese musical instrument similar to banjo) , performing tea ceremony, to entertain customers. Thus, They are professional Artist, far from prostitute.

So why such misinterpretation has made? It is said because Costume of Geisha looks same to that of Oiran (花魁) .



Oiran (花魁) is courtesans in Japan and considered as part of Yujyo (遊女) woman of pleasure or prostitute. However, Oiran is High class Yujo, with high status, therefore, the are distinguished from ordinary Yujyo. Oiran has class system and highest class Oiran is like today's celebrity.

The highest rank of courtesan was called (太夫), followed by the kōshi (格子), and they had right to refuse clients! Nice! Women with dignity!

The most famous Oiran in Japan should be Yoshinodaiyu. You can't imagine how much man had to spend to share time with such Oiran. One of the article says it is 3 years salary of Samurai.

Going back to t he main subject, I Wrote that Costume of Geisha looked same to that of Oiran. Please compare with pictures.

Geisha Arima

Geisha Arima 

Japanese Woodblock prints by Mizuno Toshikata.

Japanese Woodblock prints by Mizuno Toshikata.

What I'd like to say here, is, Geisha is purely professional Entertainer, and its outlooks is nice as Oiran, again, they are skilled Artist and to be respected.

Thanks for reading my article and Happy New year and Next time you come Japan, please enjoy Geisha Performance.

Thank you!


Office Flora Art Promotion

Office Flora Art Promotion





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Have a nice day!


Hiromi Nishiwaki

Office Flora "JAPANOPHILE " Promotion was founded as a Japanese culture Research firm in 2017. We provide exciting information on Japanese Art and Culture and offer intellectual excitements though the prism of Hiromi Nishiwaki. We provide deep insights about Japanese traditional culture and Art from a Western perspective while keeping the core concepts from the Japanese Spiritual and traditional values intact. Our mission is to contribute to world happiness and prosperity.

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