Friday, March 9, 2012

Lessons We Can Learn From Geisha

I have been meaning to do this post for a long time. When I first started this blog I watched a documentary about Maiko Training. A Maiko is a young woman who is training to become a Geisha. A Maiko starts out as a normal Japanese girl and she learns how to become the ultimate feminine woman who is desired by most men because of her grace, elegance, and mysterious beauty. It just goes to show, although some aspects of femininity come natural to women, some things can and must be learned in order to appear the most feminine. It includes learning how to move, speak, dress, wear make-up, perform music and various arts, and how to treat men. It takes five years to learn all of this! It reminds me of young women who are sent to finishing school to learn how to be proper ladies. It was hard to find videos about Geisha, just as it is difficult to find videos about etiquette and finishing schools because people want to reserve these skills for the elite members of society (or they want to be paid for the valuable information).

When I started this post I decided to give myself a lesson (a few hours) about Geisha based on what I could find online. So I decided to watch The Secret World of Geisha and Memoirs of a Geisha (other video: Video1). What I love the most about Geisha is the way they move so gracefully and slowly. That is what I really want to learn, how to move in the most feminine manner possible. That is also why I want to learn dance lessons. I really want to learn some Geisha tricks!

Memoirs of a Geisha starring Gong Li
I have to say that I have been a fan of Gong Li ever since I saw her in Raise the Red Lantern years ago. I also loved her in Hannibal and Miami Vice (the movie).  She is always so beautiful, graceful, reserved, and ultra-feminine. I really need to watch more of her films so I can absorb some of her essence! Her photos on Google Images are just breathtaking!

Here are some lessons we can learn from Geisha:

  1. Be a fantasy and a walking work of art.  A Geisha is a man's fantasy of a feminine, pure, idealized woman. Make yourself look beautiful and feminine. Walk in a soft delicate manner with small steps. Carry and treat yourself like a precious work of art. Do not allow people to treat you with disrespect because you are priceless! The more you believe this and act this out the sooner it will become your usual way of thinking and behaving. Part of being a fantasy is not revealing everything about yourself as soon as you meet someone. Be mysterious. Also, try not to mention everything you do to look beautiful, keep your grooming habits secret.
  2. Be exclusive and only associate with high quality men. Only the most successful, high quality men are able to associate with Geisha. Do not lower yourself by associating with low quality people or they will bring you down to their level and you may pick up their bad habits. If you associate with low quality people onlookers will assume that you are low quality too. If you want to find a good man then you must frequent the places where such men congregate not at a sleazy club or on the street beside the liquor store.
  3. Learn how to entertain. Geisha are artists who provide entertainment to wealthy clients. Being entertaining includes learning the art of conversation. Become aware of world events, read non-fiction, tell amusing stories, ask other people questions, and show interest in others. Be a good guest at parties, be on your best behaviour, and learn dining etiquette. You don't have to say everything you are thinking and there is not need to argue all the time. Speak wisely, listen closely, and learn to keep a secret.  Sell your skills and companionship to male suitors, not your body.  Be reserved and learn to control your emotions.
  4. Women need to preserve traditional femininity. Women must teach girls and other women how to be feminine because men can not properly teach these things. Men may believe that acting feminine comes naturally and don't realize that it is hard work to learn. There are tips and secrets that we must teach future generations so that we maintain our femininity despite all of the pressure to be androgynous. Gender roles have changed with time and we can keep some of the old and blend with the new. 

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for the information - I'm definitely interested in following up about geishas now!

    I'm really sad my mom was part of the anti-femininity/feminism movement. As a result, I'm now catching up on lessons that were typically passed down to the women in my family.

    I definitely think it's worth it to take an etiquette class.
    I think I might do it this summer.

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  2. Thank you for this post! I Googled geisha's and found this for a lesson to my young women's group. I'm giving a tea party/lesson on etiquette and the art of conversation and this is spot on! The last reply sums what I am working with as most of my students are products of the same movement, where we have not yet learned to balance our niche.

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