Visiting Japan. Part 3. Playing with Geisha

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We went to yet another good restaurant serving raw fish and other good stuff. At the end of the dinner, two Japanese women sitting at the table nearby asked us in broken English,

“Where are you from? rdquo;

” We are from the USA. And you? rdquo;

” I “m from Hiroshima rdquo;.

We smiled to each other, but I really felt the ugliness of this moment even though I didn “t drop that bomb back in 1945.

Next day I asked about it one of the local Americans, and he said Japanese have different approach, “We lost that war, let “s move on rdquo;. Well hellip;I don “t really buy it ndash; what about thousands of people whose relative died because of that bombing? I don “t think that it “s so easy to forget and forgive.

Germans buried ALIVE my ant with an 18-month old baby in Babi Yar during the WW2. I “ve been to Germany a couple of times and my mind understands that the people I see there now didn “t do me any harm, but still hellip;I “ll never forget about Nazis. I don “t think Japanese will ever forget and forgive Nagasaki and Hiroshima. And they should not.

For the evening, we “ve had scheduled a private party with Geisha. The plot of the movie Memoirs of Geisha was written to sell copies and may give you a false impression of what is this all about. Geisha “s have nothing to do with prostitution. It “s about paying money for spending time with her without having sex. This is exactly what I did yesterday. We “ve hired a very interesting Canadian-born man who lives Kyoto for 15 years, fell in love with Geishas in general, and even got married with a retired geisha. First he gave us a private tour in the region where geishas live, and then we had a private dinner with Geisha.

Some young girls decide (not being forced) to become geishas. They approach one of the special houses, and if a mother of such a house likes her, they sign a contract for 5-6 years and invest money into this girl “s education clothing (geisha “s kimono can cost $50-60K). While in training, these girls are called maiko. As of today, there is more than a 100 geishas in Kyoto.

Here “s our 17-year-old maiko:

The house she belongs to, arrange her appearances on private parties only for the close circle of the customers of this tea house. The only reason we were able to invite her was that we “ve hired an insider. Regular tour agents just put a bunch of tourists into a bus and bring them to one of the shows.

She enjoys drinking sake and is a pretty easy going. Here “s I am, playing a simple game with her.

She “s a giggling girl, speaks no English, and you can “t expect to discuss culture or politics with her. People are paying for just being around her. No sex, can you imagine? Go figure hellip; Different world, different culture.

After the contract is over, the new geisha moves out and works as a freelancer for the customers of the same tea house.

Today, we are taking a bullet train and start moving toward Tokyo.

Stay tuned hellip;

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