The Misunderstood Japanese Geisha: The Artists The West Mistook For Prostitutes

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“Fiction has served to propagate the notion … that [geisha] spend the night with their customers,” former geisha Iwasaki Mineko once complained. “Once an idea like this is planted in the general culture it takes on a life of its own.”

Despite how most people now see the term, geisha doesn’t mean “prostitute,” it means “artist.” When the first modern geisha appeared in the large cities of Japan in the 17th century, they didn’t sell their bodies for sex. They were entertainers — and they were men.

[Read the full article at All That Is Interesting.]

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