M Y T H S  &  F A C T S  A B O U T


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MYTH #1:

Geisha are prostitutes.

FACT: Geisha are NOT prostitutes.

They are and always will be highly-skilled entertainers. Not to mention, prostitution is illegal in Japan ever since 1956 — and in the past, a geisha is imprisoned should they ever offer sex to others as a service (this was a way to protect the "oiran").

G E I S H A  A R E  N O T


Often mistaken for geisha, oiran were actually the well-known courtesans in Japan. They are of the highest rank amongst all prostitutes given that they are also skilled in various traditional arts. In 1800, oiran fell out of popularity until they eventually vanished in 1957 when prostitution was outlawed.


Young girls are being sold to okiya (geisha houses) by their parents because of poverty.

After all, it is more of a personal career choice and a lot of girls have to persuade their parents today in order to let them become a maiko (apprentice geisha) given that it is  a strict profession in which training starts at around 15 years old.

FACT: Maybe in the past, but nowadays, NOT at all.


Geisha MUST have a personal relationship with their  patron or danna.

FACT: NOT true.

A geisha's training is expensive but it is very unusual for a geisha to have a personal relationship with a danna — in fact, it’s NEVER a requirement. As for patrons, supporting geisha is primarily done to show their high social status and support for the art and tradition.