The idea that a geisha is an ordinary prostitute, only Japanese, appeared immediately after the Second world war, when the country was flooded with occupation troops. Brave American soldiers going on leave, constantly hunting for drinks and sexual pleasures. Not too educated, not knowing the language and not accustomed to take in another culture, but young and full of testosterone, they quickly turned the word "geisha" into a synonym for call girl. Local pimps them, of course, did not object.
Entertainment for travellers
It is actually not so. Or, more precisely, not so. The first mention of the geishas belong to the XIV-XV centuries. In Japanese "gay" means "art" and "Xia" — "man". Thus, the geisha literally means "person of art". So called people, who entertained guests at banquets. Initially these were men from humble samurai families.
After the beginning of the seventeenth century, the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu unified the country and moved the capital from Kyoto to Edo (present Tokyo), he began to build the road is wide and easy to travel paths. The first and most important have connected the two main cities, separated from each other by 500 kilometers. On it every thirty kilometres and was equipped station where you can relax and spend the night. Very quickly there arose tea houses. To increase the popularity of their establishments, the owners began to hire beautiful and smart girls. Peasant for this were not good, but the market at that time were many representatives of samurai families. Before the Tokugawa pacified the rebellious clans, feuds killed a huge number of samurai. Their wives, sisters and daughters, no one was going to contain. To survive, women willingly took in places on paths.
Noble girl trained good manners, ability to maintain a conversation, knows how to dance and to play musical instruments quickly gained popularity. Now they were called geisha. Other ladies could really glorify his establishment. In the Japanese guide books XVII-XIX centuries, even mentioned in some tea houses are definitely worth a look for a pleasant leisure. It was not about sex. Geisha sold their art. For prostitutes, of which there were many, were fixed other term. They were called girls, which is applied Fig.
Best of geisha, in the General opinion, worked at the last station in Kyoto. There grew up a famous tea gion, where there is still a closed bar geisha.