Geisha culture used to be a tradition enjoyed mostly by wealthy citizens leading luxurious lifestyles. However, with the economic slump that Japan has experienced in the last 20 years or so, geisha are found more frequently as entertainers for the general public. The number of geisha in Japan has declined from around 80,000 in the early 1900’s to under 1,000 today.

Take a look at this glimpse into the life of a modern day geisha in Japan as reported by Al Jazeera’s Steve Chao:

The changing world of Japan’s Geisha from Matthew Allard on Vimeo.

A modern day girl transforming into a Geisha in Kyoto, Japan:

The Geisha from Matthew Allard on Vimeo.

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    1. I was indirectly quoting form the blurb on the vimeo page which says, “Japan is reeling from a 20-year economic slump, and has recently been surpassed by China as the world’s second-largest economy. What the Japanese call the “lost years” have taken a serious toll on some of the country’s most beloved cultural icons, including the Geisha. Instead of charging several hundred dollars for tea, dancing and artful conversation, many now have to look for other ways to make a living.”

      What I gather from this video is that there are simply not as many wealthy people paying for traditional geisha entertainment these days…

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