Three years ago, Eitaro lost his mother, a dedicated geisha, to cancer. Ever since then, he and his sister have been carrying on her legacy, running a geisha house and overseeing a group of six other geishas.
26-year-old Eitaro first performed as a female dancer at age 10, at one of his mother’s geisha parties. He started taking dance lessons at the age of 8 and when he was just 11-years-old, he performed at Japan’s national theater. He was clearly a natural geisha, and a trivial thing like gender wasn’t going to stop him from following his calling. Eitaro’s mother, a skilled and charismatic geisha, dedicate her life to reviving Tokyo’s geisha culture, after the last geisha house had closed its doors during the 1980’s Japanese real estate bubble. As a boy, Eitaro grew up watching her perform, and just like his sister, Maika, he was fascinated by her elegance. But, three years ago, they lost their mother to cancer, and it became their responsibility to carry on her legacy. Now, Eitaro is the master of an ‘okiya,’ a geisha house in Tokyo’s Omori port district, and together with his sister and a groups of six other geishas, entertain customers at geisha parties.
There are other male geishas who dress up in men’s kimono’s and assist the women by performing as drummers and singing along with them, but Eitaro is the only male geisha who takes on a female role. As odd as that may be, it only helped Eitaro’s popularity grow and now his geisha house performs frequently for private geisha parties, public stage performances and public relations events.
A century ago, there were around 80,000 geishas in Japan, but the country’s changing economy and corporate entertainment policies made them unaffordable, so today the number of working geishas is estimated to be around 1,000.
via Daily Mail