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Japan's first Male Geisha

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Posted

Who says men can't rock that floral kimono?
Japan recently had its first ever registered Caucasian Geisha, Sayuki.

Now welcome Japan's first male Geisha, in actual female kimono and make up, Eitaro.

20070315_01.jpg

Eitaro, Geisha from the district of Asakusa

According to the article he has been dancing (Japanese traditional dance) since he was very young. He often played feminine roles.

Eitaro's mother and grandmother were both Geisha. His mother recently passed away from cancer, and to ensure the survival of the Geisha tradition Eitaro decided to continue the family tradition as male Geisha. Eitaro is now one of the proprietress of the Matsunoya tea house and okiya (geisha boarding house). Eitaro is featured in this video, he is the one dancing in the black kimono: Art of Geisha

Matsunoya okiya (Geisha house) official website: Geisha Matsunoya

I found this in a Japanese news article mentioned in another website, however, the person breifly translated it so I can't provide the full translation but here is the link for the source anyways: Source (In Japanese)

Geisha in Japan now set up personal blogs and official websites to help promote the tradition. Japanese girls can even enquire to be a Geisha via e-mail.

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Posted

^ Cool outfit...can't tell if he is a guy because of the make up lol...I wish they would put up a before picture so I can see how drastic (or minimal) the transformation into a Geisha was for the dude O_o

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Posted

Err Japan's had male geisha's long in the past..talking 100's of years though xD

But he might be the only male geisha right now which is pretty cool.

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Posted

AWE. What a sweetheart >___<

I probably wouldn't do that if i was a guy, lol :o

I mean, as a lifetime thing. I probably would be one to walk around dressed as a chick though. Just saying.

BUT AWWEEE(:

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Posted

wow.

omg.

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Posted

Omg is right. I guess it's taking cross-dressing to the next level...

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Posted

He actually looks really pretty like that.

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Posted

ooops double posttttt

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Posted

I bet he's more feminine than real women. Put them to shame.

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Posted

Uh...males portrayed female roles ALL of the time in Japan hundreds of years ago, females weren't even allowed to perform or act. So cross-dressing isn't something new.

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Posted

Before you make certain comments, do your research because anything Geisha related I post, I know what I'm talking about. Trust me, I've been reading about them since I was grade 7.

Err Japan's had male geisha's long in the past..talking 100's of years though xD

But he might be the only male geisha right now which is pretty cool.

Japan do have male Geisha but they are not referred as Geisha, they are referred to as Taikomochi. There are actually two Taikomochi in Kyoto.

The word Geisha is strictly referred to women who follow the arts. Males would have been called Taikomochi and dressed in male kimono.

This is the first time a male is given that title, and to work with female kimono in ozashiki (parties).

So technically, Japan has never had any males referred to as a Geisha and this is the first.

Uh...males portrayed female roles ALL of the time in Japan hundreds of years ago, females weren't even allowed to perform or act. So cross-dressing isn't something new.

Yes, this is prominent amongst Kabuki. However the inventor of Kabuki was a female herself, Okuni. The first Kabuki performers were females, but they were banned because they became like burlesque shows and were replaced with male actors.

Geisha also portray male roles in their annual Odori programs.

However, this is the first time a male is referred to as a Geisha, not as a Kabuki actor, or Taikomochi.

Eitaro is the first male to attend an okiya (Geisha house), go to the Geisha school and learn the arts and be registered at the Kenban (Geisha office) and attend Ozashiki (parties).

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Posted

interesting. i can't tell that he's a male though because of all that makeup. looks like a woman to me. lol

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Posted

wow......he is pretty. all the make up && outfit makes him seem like a girl

its good to continue the family tradition (right????)

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Posted

Before you make certain comments, do your research because anything Geisha related I post, I know what I'm talking about. Trust me, I've been reading about them since I was grade 7.

Japan do have male Geisha but they are not referred as Geisha, they are referred to as Taikomochi. There are actually two Taikomochi in Kyoto.

The word Geisha is strictly referred to women who follow the arts. Males would have been called Taikomochi and dressed in male kimono.

This is the first time a male is given that title, and to work with female kimono in ozashiki (parties).

So technically, Japan has never had any males referred to as a Geisha and this is the first.

Then you should have clarified it in that sense.

But the art of geisha stemmed off from men working as "geisha" beforehand and then women followed soon after but were not allowed to do the same roles as the men.

Technically Japans first male geisha dated way back in history when the art of Geisha first started.

I was referring to history and not to the present day Japan. Also I would appreciate you don't assume we don't research in general either. I've been learning about Japanese culture since I was 6 due to my mother, I've also gone to Japan as an exchange student and still studying Japanese in post secondary. My first post wasn't being hostile to you, I was just stating a point that males had a presence in the art of geisha before this.

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Posted

What

It took them this long?

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Posted

Then you should have clarified it in that sense.

But the art of geisha stemmed off from men working as "geisha" beforehand and then women followed soon after but were not allowed to do the same roles as the men.

Technically Japans first male geisha dated way back in history when the art of Geisha first started.

I was referring to history and not to the present day Japan. Also I would appreciate you don't assume we don't research in general either. I've been learning about Japanese culture since I was 6 due to my mother, I've also gone to Japan as an exchange student and still studying Japanese in post secondary. My first post wasn't being hostile to you, I was just stating a point that males had a presence in the art of geisha before this.

Yes the males had prescence in a similar form of the art of hospitality but they were not called Geisha, they were called Taikomochi. Furthermore they were not dressed in female kimono, nor make up, and they did not follow any "feminine" pursuits.

But the "males are the predeccessors" theory can be challenged.

Many Geisha in Kyoto believe that the art form arised from females who served tea at Yasaka shrine to travellers and pilgrims, and eventually they started to sing and dance as well. This is somewhat valid is a sense that today the district near Yasaka shrine, Kamishichiken, is the oldest Geisha district. Source

However, the earliest predecessors of the art form were Shirabyoshi (female court entertainers), so technically it really started with the women in the Heian period. They danced, sang, sometimes courted with males, practiced ettiquette, poetry, etc.

Eitaro is the first male to be called under the term Geisha, not Taikomochi. He is also the first to actually wear the female ensemble to entertain guests.

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