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Editor reviews

This is a short overview of the realities of being a geisha in today's Japan, and the social and cultural history that make these highly skilled women such complex and mysterious figures. Performer Ellouise Rothwell presents the facts in a smooth, sensuous voice with a light accent, set against harp and other gentle instrumental music that adds texture to the recording. For anyone who has ever wondered what these women in kimonos really do, this is a highly recommended entree into a fascinating topic.

Summary

Learn about the history of the Geisha with iMinds insightful audio knowledge series.Mystery and misconception surround the geisha. At first glance, she may appear to be rather average looking, heavily clad in a weighty costume and an excess of make-up. But behind this mask lies a range of artistic skills and social etiquettes of immense importance to Japanese culture past and present.

The most common place to find a geisha today is in Kyoto, the former capital of Japan before Tokyo –or Edo- took over. Even so, it is rare to see a real geisha walking the streets there. There are Japanese girls who look like geisha - wearing colorful kimonos with thick obis wrapped tightly around their waist, tottering along on pairs of wooden okobo. But real geisha are more likely to be sleeping late, emerging at night to entertain well-paid and well-paying businessmen, politicians and the like. The word geisha literally means “a person of artistic skill”. In Kyoto, the words geiko and maiko are more commonly used. A geiko is a fully qualified geisha, while a maiko is still in training.

Perfect to listen to while commuting, exercising, shopping or cleaning the house.. iMinds brings knowledge to your MP3 with 8 minute information segments to whet your mental appetite and broaden your mind.

iMinds offers 12 main categories; become a Generalist by increasing your knowledge of Business, Politics, People, History, Pop Culture, Mystery, Crime, Culture, Religion, Concepts, Science and Sport. Clean and concise, crisp and engaging, discover what you never knew you were missing.

iMinds is the knowledge solution for the information age cutting through the white noise to give you quick, accurate knowledge .. Perfect your dinner party conversation, impress your boss - an excellent way to discover topics of interest for the future.

©2009 iMinds Pty Ltd (P)2009 iMinds Pty Ltd

Critic reviews

"I'm learning all sorts of stuff about stuff I didn't even know I didn't know. And it sticks. In a nutshell: wonderful." (Jonathon Margolis, Financial Times)

What listeners say about Geisha

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  • Debbie
  • 22-08-21

History and Mystery of the Geisha

The word Geisha literally means "artist", although there's much more implied in the long-standing tradition. This eight minute listen is very informative, although it is not appropriate for children. I learned a lot about the Japanese customs and origins of Geisha, which likely began with wandering girls displaced by war. These saburuko girls (serving girls) likely offered sexual favors as well as serving wealthy families; the more educated girls could make a living by entertaining at high-class social gatherings. Then in 794 the capital of Japan moved to Kyoto and the ideals and conditions of the geisha profession were formalized. Interestingly enough, the relationship between a husband and wife in Japan were not one of love, but of making a "good match". The wife must be a good homemaker, mother and of good social standing. The love relationship was more often than not, found between a man and the Geisha. Laws have strictly ruled the profession in Japan, and still do, although the number of Geishas has fallen drastically. This is an excellent introduction to the subject, and will entice you to want to learn more about a subject that is foreign to most Americans.

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  • Cheryl Claussen
  • 13-03-21

Geisha

A short yet insightful look into the history of an old and often mythical profession.