The World of the Geisha

ロゴ

Oh!Geishas in Asakusa?

芸者イラスト

That's right.
Asakusa has one of the biggest Geisha girls towns in Tokyo at the back of the Sensoji Temple,the Kannonura Street.
In Asakusa the sounds of shamisen or tsuzumi,Japanese small drum,
can be heard still now and the geishas going to Japanese-style restaurants can be seen in the evening.
The elegant Japanese buildings of the managing offices for the geisha,
the Japanese-style restaurants and the geisha houses are still remained.
The Geisha girls town Kannonura Street is one of the few streets full of Japanese atomosphere in Asakusa.
The Kannonura Street has the another face which can not be seen at the front of the Sensoji Temple.
For example,in the Sanja Festival the scene in which the dressed up geishas are coming and going besides portable shrines,
festival musics and townspeople wearing Japanese short coats of the same design remind us the scenes of the Meiji and Taisho era.
We Japanese call the town which has Japanese-style restaurants and geishas the Geisha girls town.
As you already know,the geishas can stir up the atomosphere of the banquet
by putting their skills of the traditional entertainments to practical use.
The geishas are,in a sense,the entertainers and instructors in the banquet.
If you have a little time,will you visit the Geisha girls town in Asakusa?
You never need to feel self-conscious about visiting there.
It is also a good chance for us Japanese of nowadays to discover the identity of Japanese.

It is a "smart play for adults" succeeded from the old Edo era to enjoy with geishas.
But it is apt to be regarded as the most luxurious play and be felt self-concious about enjoying.
But if you learn the rules and procedures for enjoying,you will find the new world of the play succeeded from the old era.

写真

Enjoying with geishas is supported by the following three types of business.

1. The geisha house which is the residence for geishas.
2. The geisha restaurant(the Japanese-style restaurant) which offers the place for the play.
3. The Japanese-style cooking which offers the dish.

We think most of you have never met the geishas really and you have many questions about them.


And,we will show you some Q&A about the geishas.

Q1:Is there any difference between the words geisha and geiko?
Q2:What do the words "tachikata" and "jikata" mean?
Q3:What is "hangyoku",one type of the geisha?
Q4:What are the special products of Asakusa?

写真

Q1:Is there any difference between the words geisha and geiko?

A1:Many people in Kanto Area call them "geisha" and in Kansai Area call them "geiko".

Q2:What do the words "tachikata" and "jikata" mean?

A2:The word "tachikata" means the geishas who dance in the drawing room and the word "jikata" means the geishas who accompany by playing the shamisen and other instruments or by singing.
You need to send for the both types of the geisha to enjoy satisfactorily.

Q3:What is "hangyoku",one type of the geisha?

A3:The full-fledged geisha is called "ippon" and the fledgeling geisha is called "hangyoku".
The word "hangyoku" means half the charge.
The fledgeling geisha was named "hangyoku" because the charge for them was half compared with the full-fledged geisha.
But,now the charge for "hangyoku"(the regular name is "hinako") is equal to that of the full-fledged geisha.
In Kanto Area "hangyoku" is called "Oshakusan" in a popular name and is called "maikosan" in Kyoto.

Q4:What are the special products of Asakusa?

A4:They are described in the impressive passage of the original long piece of Japanese song,Gikei Asajino Nigiwai.
"Matsuchiyama,Hanakawato,Hanayashiki,the Sanja Festival,the Sensoji Temple...", they are sung one by one and at the end of the passage the introduction of the special products of Asakusa is finished as the following "Never forget particulaly the fine spirit of the geisha in Asakusa."

You can look into the details about the Geisha girls town in Asakusa on the official Web site of Asakusa,for example,
the history,the structure,the beginner's lecture for Japanese drinking party,
the introduction for Japanese-style cookings and restaurants and so on.

http://www.asakusa-kenban.jp/

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