The Shinbashi geisha association's webpage and Azuma Odori:


The Kagurazaka geisha association homepage


the Kagurazaka Summer festival


The Asakusa geisha association homepage



Webpage on Shimabara


Takasago Tayû’s webpage



In Tokyo, geisha primarily entertain at banquet restaurants called ryôtei. Such engagements are called o-desaki. In Tokyo, geisha of a particular hanamachi work primarily in the ryôtei belonging to that hanamachi's union. If they are called to ryôtei outside the district (tôde "going far") an extra charge to the guest kicks in. Thus when the last ryôtei of the famous old district of Yanagibashi went out of business, that was the death knell for Yanagibashi's geisha as well. For a comparison of Tokyo's system with the more flexible arrangements between the Kyoto hanamachi, the restaurants, and the geisha, see Akita Tetsuo: Nihon Hanamachi Shi.


For a detailed description of a Kyoto geisha's average working hours, wages, and salary, see Nishio Kumiko, Kyoto Hanamachi no Eigyôgaku, 2007, pp. 27-30.


For an interview with the mother of a Kyoto teahouse discussing what is involved in launching a maiko, see the 2008 documentary film Hannari – Geisha Modern directed by Sohara Miyuki.



Kyoto's public geisha dances:


Official website for the Miyako Odori



Official site of the Pontochô Kaburenjô



Program for the Kyo Odori




Miyako no Nigiwai

Sponsored by the Kyoto society for the promotion of traditional arts.




Homepage of the Miyagawacho teahouse association


homepage for the teahouse Nakazato in Kamishichiken:


the network for the support of Kyoto's geisha communities


Miyagawacho geiko Koito's website:


Tokyo hanamachi Mukôjima, the Sakaeya geisha house website:


Introduction to the hanamachi Asakusa in Tokyo


An advertisement looking to hire geisha, hangyoku, and waitresses in Mukôjima:


An okiya called Dôjôji in Mukôjima looking to hire geisha:


English blog of Kamishichiken geiko Ichi:


Video of Pontochô geisha musicians and maiko dancers at a banquet in 2007:


Examples of salons where a person can be dressed as a maiko:

yumeyakata http://www.yumeyakata.com/

Hanagiku Maiko Henshin http://www.hensin-maiko.gr.jp/hanagiku/


In the 1970s, Shimabara in Kyoto was still considered an active hanamachi, and people spoke of the rokkagai (six hanamachi) of Kyoto. Now, in the 21st century, the geisha community of Kyoto is referred to as a group as the gokagai (five hanamachi.) Shimabara exists primarily as a living museum, with three or four women trained to play the role of the traditional tayû of the old licensed quarter. Their presentations of music, dance, and tea ceremony are mostly given for tourists in the setting of one of two historical buildings that have been preserved.

This is a link to a video of Shimabara’s Kisaragi Tayû in 2007:



The notes, references, and links listed here are keyed to the new preface

“Geisha in the 21st Century”

in the 25th anniversary edition of GEISHA


Trends in the Kyoto maiko population in the 20th century:

In the early 20th century, it was not difficult to find new maiko recruits among the population of the businesses (such as daughters of geisha, restaurants, teahouses, performing artists, etc.) involved in the hanamachi itself. After the end of the Second World War, particularly with the rapid expansion of the Japanese economy in the 1960s, however, other job opportunities opened up for young women. Whereas in the pre-war era, an economically strapped rural family might have considered sending a daughter off to be indentured as a geisha, in the post-war boom, this phenomenon ceased altogether. Even the girls who were born into the hanamachi now had other career options than becoming maiko and geisha themselves.

The maiko population of the five hanamachi of Kyoto stood at about 80 girls in 1965. By 1975, new recruits numbered under 30. This was the point when non-Kyoto born girls began to be accepted in large numbers. At present (2007) about 90% of Kyoto's maiko are non-Kyoto natives.

(See Nishio Kumiko, Kyoto Hanamachi no Eigyôgaku, pp.216-218).

For a discussion of the geisha population fluctuation in Osaka and Tokyo, see

the publication "Report on the hanamachi of the entire country—conditions of the geisha profession—compendium from eastern Japan, 1996" and compendium from western Japan, 1997, put out by the National Federation of Food-related Businesses:



For the resort community of Atami, see:


Based on a February, 2007 survey done by the Kyoto society for the promotion of traditional arts. (京都伝統技芸振興財団調査)

Population of geiko and maiko and number of teahouses in the five hanamachi of Kyoto, 2007

Tokyo population of geisha and number of banquet restaurants, by hanamachi, 2005

Survey by the National Federation of Food-related Businesses


Graphs adapted from Nishio Kumiko: Kyoto Hanamachi no Eigyôgaku (The Business of the Kyoto Geisha Communities) 西尾久美子:京都花街の営業学(東洋経済新報社)2007

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