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Geisha Culture and Arts for Use at

Amatsu Okiya in Second Life


The Tao Te Ching chapter 11

We join spokes together in a wheel,

but it is the center hole

that makes the wagon move.

We shape clay into a pot,

but it is the emptiness inside

that holds whatever we want.

We hammer wood for a house,

but it is the inner space

that makes it livable.

We work with being,

but non-being is what we use.

Music: Flight of the Phoenix.wma

Prepare for Your Clients

You are not yet Maiko. You are close. Being a Minarai is about learning to be Maiko.

And now imagine that you are preparing to serve your first client. You have butterflies in your tummy. The questions are flying around in your head and one question in particular is persistent - "Will I be able to please him/her?"

Your client is equally nervous. He/she has butterflies as well and the questions are flying around inside, "what

 will this be like?" "will I like this?" "will I be bored?" and most importantly, "Will she like me??"

Your goal is to have them believing AS SOON AS POSSIBLE that you think they are absolutely brilliant and wonderful! Armed with the information you have received so far on being creative, sensitive and intuitive (which is really nothing more than having keen observation skills and making timely use of them), and your good sense of humor, you may embark upon this milestone perhaps in this manner....

Stage One - Introductions

Make sure you establish the length of time you can spend with the client or any conditions that could interrupt your attention.

Chat the appropriate greeting in Japanese using the time of day - based on SL time - using the client's last name followed by --san or --sama and follow it immediately with English translation.

"Konban wa Kota-san! good evening! I am Suri, your Maiko for tonight and I am so honored to meet you!"

After the client's response you might say

"Tell me, Kota-san, how you learned of our okiya?" This allows him/her to speak about his/her relationships, or perhaps the ability to use search and find what he/she was looking for...and of course you will offer praise for your client's cleverness and how glad you are that you were able to be the one to meet them and show them Amatsu.

Stage Two: THE EVENT

The actual event with your client may not require decision-making. Perhaps he/she wishes to show you off at an art show opening or a live music event. If so you will pay close attention to your surroundings and those to whom you are introduced so you can take opportunities to ask the right questions or set out a comment at just the right moment that makes him/her appear in the most positive light to those around you. Take mental notes of all he/she says. Journal your experience so that if your client asks for you again, you will be able to discuss your previous visit in some detail and bring up the good memories that you made together.

If the event you attend allows conversation, you need to be well-versed on various topics so that you can contribute to the conversation and be a lively companion. You want to engage your client in transactional communication. So read up on current events that are in SecondLife and also real life. Generally if you have enough information to start the conversation your client will pick up on it and take it from there.

Read and "stretch" your knowledge base in areas you might not normally pursue. For example, a few years ago I had an opportunity to take a boat taxi in Chicago that addressed architecture in the city and another time I visited Taliesin in Arizona (Frank Lloyd Wright's community). Later his exhibit came to the town where I live. I was able to read through a book of his architectural designs. Months later, I found myself in a delightful conversation with an architect who also had an avatar in SL. I was able to ask him relevant questions and engage him in a bit of sparring which allowed him to demonstrate his command of the topic. We both enjoyed the exchange and I learned a little bit more on the topic of architecture.

Stage Two A: No Event

If the client has nothing in mind you are called upon to use your creativity. It is alright to have an agenda to use for a first-time client. If they have never been to Amatsu Shima before provide them with a tour of the island. You might finish your time with him with a stroll by the bay looking into the shops, or serve tea in one of the teahouses and tell stories, haiku or offer music or dance.

If you have seen him before or he has been to Amatsu before, you can offer the standard tea and conversation and be creative....perhaps spread out a blanket by the sea to serve the tea or take him to another sim for live music, visit another okiya, or explore an Art Gallery. Use the search function in SL to find events. Often times though, your client is interested in spending some "down time" with a beautiful entertainer at his side.

The Ending and Followup

At the end of your agreed-upon time, neither of you may want to make an end. This is where accountability comes in. Remember that your client's security relies on the fact that you will do what you say you will do. You will not be moved on this. So it is a time to display your gentle, firm, feminine strength, tell him/her what a wonderful experience it was to be with him/her and express your hope that he/she will soon call on you again.

Always followup with a note to your client and the host or hostess of any event that you may have attended together, thanking them for a lovely evening and commenting on the excellent work that went into making the event a huge success. Always mention that you are an Amatsu Okiya Maiko or Geisha and the hopes that they will consider our okiya for geisha representation at future events.


1. Buy or research materials needed for your Maiko role - correct hairstyle, makeup, kimono, shoes PLEASE take an older sister with you - or Okaasan - very expensive to you if you get the wrong thing! Remember no obi that is tied in front, no more than two sticks in your hair, look for skin options that have the right lipstick.

2. Help out with our ochaya or another teahouse one time

3. Provide a 15 - 30 minute educational presentation on the topic of your choice to the okiya only (this can be a beginning practice toward a topic for misedashi if you want)

4. Conduct one "practice" session with a "patron" that demonstrates your understanding of this lesson. Document and submit notecard of the session to Okaasan or your Oneesan. Be sure to obtain permission to share conversation from the "patron". Also stay in character during the session.  


"Communication between men and women" from

McNeese, K., (2004) Communication media distinction by nurse leaders: A pilot study, unpublished thesis to satisfy Master of Science Degree in Nursing, Idaho State University.

Rainey, D&B, 1993, Building Your Mate's Self-Esteem, Thomas Nelson Publishers

Nashvill Gallagher, J (2003) Geisha: A unique world of tradition, elegance, and art, PRC Publishing: London, England