National Geographic Geisha

Geisha (芸者, Geisha) are traditional, female Japanese entertainers, whose skills include performing various Japanese arts, such as music, singing, and dancing. They also engage their clients with light conversation.

Gion (祇園 or 祇をん) is a district of Kyoto, Japan, originally developed in the middle ages, in front of Yasaka Shrine. Geisha in the Gion district do not refer to themselves as geisha; instead, Gion geisha use the local term “geiko.” While the term geisha means “artist,” the more direct term geiko means specifically “a woman of art.”