Kids [2 of 3] - 舞妓 (Maiko)
Posted by Stu (From Scotland | Living in 京都 Kyoto, Japan) on 13 January 2007 in People & Portrait and Portfolio.
"Geisha," is the most familiar term to English speakers. Like all Japanese nouns, there are no distinct singular or plural variants of the term. The word consists of two kanji, 芸 (gei) meaning "art" and 者 (sha) meaning "person" or "doer." The most direct translation of geisha into English would be "artist" or "arts person."
Apprentice geisha are called maiko (舞子 or 舞妓). This word is made of the kanji 舞 (mai) meaning "dancing" and 子 or 妓 (ko) meaning "child" or "young girl." It is the maiko, with her white make-up and elaborate kimono and wigs, that has become the stereotype of a "geisha" to Westerners, rather than the more demure true geisha.
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