16 Refined Geisha Tattoos
We have already shown you beautiful geisha tattoos but you will agree we need a second shot to explore this icon of Japanese culture deeper.
Translated from Japanese language, the word geisha means « performing artist ». An etymology allowing us to understand two things about those traditional Japanese icons : geishas are living work of art and being a geisha is an art in itself. Each women carrying on this culture is the guardian of an ancient art that now tends to disappear. Geishas first appeared around 1750. They were meant to entertain rich clients, with poetry, dance, music, tea ceremonies, calligraphy and origami. Cultivated, the geishas were witty and wise interlocutors of lords and powerful merchants. But they were not prostitutes, their bodies even sacred. In Japanese culture, geishas are even thought to live in a separate reality called Karyukai, which translate into « the flowers and willows world ». The willows are representing the beauty, peace and serenity of geishas, while the flowers are designating courtesans. Courtesans were allowed to offer their bodies to clients in the contrary of geishas. Karyukai is an elusive world but also existing in real locations, in the main cities of Japan. There, the geishas are living in houses of pleasure, the okiyas. Living inside the Karyukai is a discipline, with tough and strict rules and education. Geisha is not only a job, but a vocation demanding sacrifices, especially renouncing to modernity. But even now, many girls are dreaming to become one, in order to wear the luxurious and elegant kimonos, the bold rice make-up and the jade headpieces.
Because of their mysterious and gorgeous appearance, geishas have inspired art and indeed tattoo art. Either inspired by ancient Japanese prints, the ukiyo-e, or modernized by mangas and movies influences, geisha tattoos are coveted by Japan lovers but also ink lovers looking for beautiful tattoos. If you enjoy seeing ethereal, gorgeous and refined geisha art or if you look for inspiration for your next ink, here is a selection of superb geisha tattoos.