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Geisha House

A Geisha

Geisha, “woman of the arts”, [1] were women, and very occasionally men, who were paid to entertain. [2] They dated back to the second and third centuries. [3]

Floating World Edit

The life of the geisha was an odd mixture of high-society pleasantries and low-born indentured servitude. They lived in a sort of pocket reality, referred to by outsiders as the “Floating World,” but the geisha had their own name, karyūkai, the “World of Flowers and Willows.” [4]

Appearance Edit

Geisha appearance was designed to evoke the Rokugani ideal of feminine beauty; light skin, rich black hair, brilliant and deep eyes. Maiko, the geisha apprentices, bore a white-painted face. Geisha wore rich multi-layered kimono with vibrant colors and patterns, with the obi brighter than the kimono. The hair was worn up in the shimada style, that could take hours to prepare. [1]

Contract Edit

When the harvests were poor, many farmers were hard pressed for cash, and sold their daughters to become a geisha. They were trained as entertainers, and with time, they could purchase their own contract, to conduct their lives as they wished. [5] They slept in a special building called okiya, where they are cared for as an investment. A geisha only would leave the Okiya when a rich man became her patron. [6] To become the honored concubine of a great samurai lord was the life-goal of most geisha. [7]

Activities Edit

The geisha were the Rokugani epitome of femininity, the personification of beauty, culture and sensitivity. They spent decades of rigorous training in dance, singing, etiquette, and playing the samisen. Her job was to entertain wealthy patrons, often bushi, offering a fragrant fantasy. If a geisha slept with her patron it was their decision, not part of her contract. [6] Geisha were a part of the Hinin caste in Rokugan, although they were generally treated with more respect than other groups within their caste. [5] They traditionally had simple, playful names that were easy for their customers to remember. [8] The mother of all geisha within a district was known as Okasan. [9]

Samurai's desires Edit

The geisha house was the only place a samurai could put aside the mask of his duties and be "only a man" during conversation with geisha. A samurai never opened his heart to his wife. A samurai could open his heart to a geisha, who was trained to listen to his woes and console him. [10]

Male Geisha Edit

With so many samurai-ko in the Emerald Empire, there were also male geisha. Although rare, they were respected by their peers within their profession. [11]

Scorpion Clan Edit

The Scorpion Clan, a clan dedicated to uncovering secret knowledge, were notorious for using geisha houses to obtain information, so almost of all Scorpion geisha were there by choice. Some samurai were more than willing to part with information if they thought it would impress a pretty woman. [10]

Spying Edit

Purchasing a geisha's contract was a costly endeavor. Certain samurai were introduced to particularly skilled girls whose intent was to gain access to their client's home. A Shosuro-trained geisha had learned also learned to watch and remember. [10]

Silken Sect Edit

The Silken Sect of the Kolat used geisha frequently as agents. [12]

Notable Geisha Edit

Geisha

A Geisha serving tea

Notable Geisha Houses Edit

Geisha 2

A Geisha playing a biwa

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sword and Fan, p. 143
  2. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 10
  3. Book of Air, p. 56
  4. Sword and Fan, p. 142
  5. 5.0 5.1 Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 25
  6. 6.0 6.1 Honor's Veil, spanish pp. 20-21
  7. Sword and Fan, p. 147
  8. Second City - The Campaign, p. 58
  9. Battle for Otosan Uchi, Part 1, by Rich Wulf and Shawn Carman
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Way of the Scorpion, p. 107
  11. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 59
  12. Way of the Ninja, p. 47


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