Inside the World Of An Aspiring Geisha

kikuneYesterday, after a very long silence, I got an email from my Japanese friend Fukiko, who has been on my mind frequently of late.

Coincidentally, The Honest Courtesan, an interesting blog I follow, today featured a post about “soaplands,” Japanese bathhouses that also offer sexual services.

When the universe speaks so clearly, what can I do but listen and act? Here’s the result…

Synchronicity compelled me to consolidate, into one post, four videos from an interview with geisha-to-be Kikune (a “maiko”), with whom I was fortunate to have spoken when I visited Japan in 2008.

In the best-selling book Memoirs of a Geisha, the young Japanese heroine suffers mightily at the hands of a “Mother” who controls her life, and elder “sisters” who torment her.

My impression during my conversation with Kikune, the 18-year-old apprentice geisha I interviewed while I was in Kyoto in 2008, was that, while her life is not easy, it’s one that she herself has chosen, and for which she is willing to endure certain hardships.

Part 1


Part 2

Part 3


Part 4

The blog posts which accompanied each of the four videos, and which I initially published separately, may be found at the links below, along with some other links about Japan, and my stay with Fukiko.