Dark Side of Kyoto Maiko Entertainment

Dark Side of Kyoto Maiko Entertainment2 Japan

In Japan, the following sad tweet was made about geisha in Kyoto.

(For more information about maiko, the following article is helpful.)

What's a Maiko --Maiko Kyoto--
This website is to provide information about maiko of Kyoto, Japan, to non-Japanese overseas.

This may be deleted but it’s the truth about Maiko. When I was 16 years old my customers made me get drunk and tried to force me to bathe with them (I managed to run away). I want you to think about it, if this can really be passed off as “traditional culture”. The pictures shows me drinking, and winning a whisky drinking contest against my customers once.

It’s hard to believe this could happen in 2017.

I may get killed for tweeting about this but if nobody speaks up, nothing changes. Every year Maiko attempts suicide and suffers from mental illness and I cannot stay silent anymore.

Dark Side of Kyoto Maiko Entertainment3

“Kyoto is a scary place. Don’t be mad.”

“Someone as useless as you will just end up in prostitution if they give up on being a Maiko. How will you get by in life? Just going to spread your legs?” [I speak out because] they told me this and I will never forget.

For six years, they live where they work, being paid nothing, with just a little allowance for personal expenses. Their only communication with the outside world is via letter and public telephone, Maiko is not allowed to own a cell phone. Why? Because if they know the outside world, they would run away.

By the way, the Danna partnership still exists. If something happens, Maiko and Geisha will refer to themselves by that man’s last name. I almost had my virginity sold for 50 million yen. And out of that money, I would have received nothing.

‘Danna’ in the context of Maiko and Geisha means a man who pays for her expenses and in return experts control over her career and life.

Dark Side of Kyoto Maiko Entertainment

This tweet will certainly draw anger from Kyoto. I am waiting in fear for them to contact me.

But, I will not give in anymore. Because I have freed myself from the brainwashing of the Hanamachi world. Whatever they say, whatever they do, they cannot control my life.

If these tweets disappear, it will be the government of Kyoto that made them disappear.

Customers also reach under your Kimono and touch your breast and crotch. Because Maiko generally doesn’t wear underwear. When I told my mother about this she got angry at me and said it was my fault.

(“Mother” does not refer to the family member but the proprietress of the geisha house.)

There are five Hanamachi in Kyoto, so of course, there are some places that don’t force Maiko to bathe with customers and allow cell phones. In some places, the Danna system may even be tougher. But, only the Maiko and Geisha who actually work there know.

I have been contacted by former Maiko, as well as friends of active Maiko who want to quit so I want you to know.

Just because you didn’t go to high school doesn’t mean you won’t make it in the outside world. You can still take the high school equivalency exam, get your diploma that way, and if you want, study at a university. You can also find honest work that doesn’t require an academic background.

Maiko starts their “training” (which, as stated above, in reality, is unpaid work) after middle school instead of going to high school.