Geisha Tattoos Charleston WV
South Charleston, WV
Geisha Tattoo Designs - The Japanese word geisha means 'person of the arts' and a true geisha is said to be a living work of art. To the Westerner, she is a figure of mystery and intrigue. Her white mask-like makeup hides emotions, her traditional black wig is dressed with tinkling bells, and her small body is wrapped tightly in kimonos of breathtaking colour and exquisite design, bound in the middle with the wide sash or obi. In her thonged sandals, her white-socked feet take tiny steps. In her hand, she holds a fan, the complex and intricate use of which speaks a language of its own. The colour red was also a trademark for the geisha, and kimonos were lined with scarlet silk. It was believed that red symbolized fertility, and that wearing crimson underwear was essential for healthy reproductive organs. Lipstick -- always red -- was made from crimson flower petals.
Movies, books, and comics about geisha heroines intrigue and fascinate the western imagination; the film Sayonara, starring Marlon Brando, for instance, and the novel, Memoirs of a Geisha, or Puccini, in his opera, Madame Butterfly, all featured a 'geisha' character in the leading role. Puccini took artistic license in doing so, since no girl of fifteen could be a full-fledged geisha. Although the opera became a great favourite in the West, it was never popular in Japan.
Geisha tattoos find their way into designs on sleeves and torsos of both men and women. Not so much in Japan, though, where the geisha and her art are seen as tourist attractions, or as relics of the past.
In feudal times men donned women's garb, painted their faces white and performed dances for the battle-worn samurai and weary noblemen, who sought entertainment for relief. Centuries later, these practices had become so popular that women joined the ranks of performers. By the 18th century, the geisha industry was becoming popular with men of status and power. At huge expense, the services of a geisha house would provide amusement and entertainment for clients and their esteemed guests in the exclusive teahouses - ochaya - of Kyoto.
A true geisha went through years of training for her art, and the training was expensive. Poor families were sometimes approached by geisha houses offering money for young girls. The young apprentice, called maiko, became skilled in playing traditional musical instruments and mastering ancient dance. Singing, calligraphy, poetry, tea ceremonies, flower arrangement and the correct serving of drinks were among her many skills. She was required to listen and sometimes engage intelligently in conversation with her clients and patrons, and to honour a code of silence with regard to what she heard. The success of a geisha depended on her talent, sophistication, beauty, and skilfulness in etiquette.
The personal life of a geisha was hardly separate from the geisha house to which she belonged. Though she was permitted to take a patron, usually a we...