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Japanese Geisha Costumes For Halloween

Updated on June 21, 2016

What Is A Geisha?

The Japanese Geisha Costume is an elegant look for Halloween, but before we talk about buying or making a geisha costume let's find out more about the geisha.

The word geisha means "performer or doer of the arts". A geisha is typically described as a Japanese entertainer and hostess. Geisha often perform music, dances and shows for their clientele. These women have a long and honored history in Japan. The business is extremely beauty-oriented and classical Japanese skills are essential to running a successful business.

If you are not familiar with the words used when reading about the geisha go to the bottom of the page and read over the geisha glossary.

Photo from Wikipedia

The Nihongami hair style usually needs some combs and supplies to keep it's shape.  The geishas will even use wax called Bintsuke with this hair do.Hair ornaments called Kanzashi are also used to decorate this style hair do.   Photo Credit: Wiki used
The Nihongami hair style usually needs some combs and supplies to keep it's shape. The geishas will even use wax called Bintsuke with this hair do.Hair ornaments called Kanzashi are also used to decorate this style hair do. Photo Credit: Wiki used

A Short History Of The Geisha

Originally, geisha were female entertainers and servers who came from very poor or displaced families in the 600s. While some of these women were sex workers, they were also educated to entertain for high-class clients. Traditionally, Japanese men were not expected to remain faithful to their modest wives. They would seek social satisfaction with a geisha. By the 1500s, many geisha were singers, musicians, calligraphers and poets. There were also male geisha, but by the 1800s it was a predominantly female occupation.



Each geisha went through years of training that included formal arts, entertaining skills, social skills, and more.

Training

- Women in their early teens would begin the many stages of training

- First the girl becomes a shikomi, then a minarai, then a maiko

- Finally the girl would become geisha

Source

- First the trainee would become a shikomi or servant

- Formal training begins with minarai, which means learning through imitation

- Minarai phase lasts about one month

- During the 3rd stage of training, a maiko bonds to an onee-san, who helps her with food, board, clothing and training


Source

- Maiko phase can last years and includes following a senior geisha to all events

- Formal arts training includes attending a special geisha school

- Entertainment training occurs at teahouses and through observation

- Social skills includes learning on the streets and observing social structure

- Finally, a maiko becomes a geisha with the erikae ceremony, during which her collar is flipped over and she begins charging full price for her services.


There is a lot of importance on how a geisha looks.

Appearance

- The maiko will wear a red collar to accentuate her neck

- Younger geisha wear more makeup, with the maiko wearing full white powder and more mature women wearing very little powder

- While all geisha wear kimonos, the maiko wears a bright kimono and wooden shoes

- Maiko hairstyles differ through each of the stages, including the nihongami (see the picture up above) that consists of ornamentation

- Geisha will sleep with special head rests and pillows to preserve their hair styles



Feet and Dress of A Maiko - Greg Elms - All Posters

- Young geisha and maiko have short eyebrows, while older geisha will have long eyebrows

- Lipstick is typically bright red and shaped similar to a flower bud

- Eye makeup is usually accented with black and red

- The traditional chignon is called a shimada

- Young, single women wear a high chignon called a taka shimada

- Older women wear a flattened chignon called a tsubushi shimada



Geisha Make Up

Source

Japanese Geisha Costumes For Girls

Now that you know a little bit about the geisha, her costume and her hair, let's look at some of the girl's Halloween costumes with this character in mind. These are pretty kimonos your daughter will enjoy dressing up in.

Collage Of Geisha Pictures

Look At All The Factors Involved In The Making Of A Geisha Costume And Look
Look At All The Factors Involved In The Making Of A Geisha Costume And Look

Women's Geisha Costumes - Short, Sexy Geisha Costume Ideas

These little outfits are not the traditional kimono a geisha would usually wear, but they are very cute and sexy. Japanese geisha costumes, traditional or not, have always been a popular women's costume idea at Halloween.

Ladies Geisha Costumes - Long, Beautiful Kimonos

I prefer the longer traditional style kimono, what I consider to be authentic Japanese geisha costumes, for my own Halloween costume. The length and style of the costume is completely up to the wearer. With these beautiful styles we getting to the nitty gritty of the geisha costume. Traditional style kimonos for women are just the right costume for the lady who wants to dress up as a geisha this year for Halloween.

Adult Satin Kimono Robe - Red FBA
Adult Satin Kimono Robe - Red FBA

This is what a geisha's kimono looks like when I picture those elegant ladies.

 

Fun Group Halloween Costume Idea - Japanese Geisha Costumes

This picture gives me a great idea for a group Halloween costume!  I wonder what you call a bunch of geishas?  This picture is used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.
This picture gives me a great idea for a group Halloween costume! I wonder what you call a bunch of geishas? This picture is used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License.

Geisha Hair Styles

Warenshinobu Style - worn with a kanzasi or hair ornament for a maiko’s debut.  (A maiko is an apprentice)
Warenshinobu Style - worn with a kanzasi or hair ornament for a maiko’s debut. (A maiko is an apprentice) | Source
Sakko - This style symbolizes the end of one's apprenticeship.
Sakko - This style symbolizes the end of one's apprenticeship. | Source
Yakko-shimada - This style geisha hair do is worn on special occasions
Yakko-shimada - This style geisha hair do is worn on special occasions | Source

Geisha Shoes

The Zoris are the closest shoes to what a geisha wore. You can order a pair of these slippers on Amazon or you can wear a pair of your own summer flip flops. It really depends on how authentic you want your costume to look.

Traditional geisha sandals
Traditional geisha sandals | Source
Source

Geisha Costume Accessories

I love these parasols with the oriental designs on them, and the socks or tabi are exactly what the geisha ordered! If you are planning a Geisha costume this year, these socks will be an inexpensive but authentic accessory you will need. Of course you can always wear a pair of your own socks with the zori shown above. You can even use flip flops if you are not looking for an authentic version of this beautiful Halloween costume idea. You have to admit it, these Tabi socks are very cute!

This is called a Kanzashi and it is a hair ornament
This is called a Kanzashi and it is a hair ornament | Source

Geisha Makeup Tutorial For Halloween

This is a 33 minute video that shows the entire makeup process a Geisha goes through.

Geisha Makeup Tutorial

Geisha Makeup Common Mistakes

Find out about a Geisha's sexy signature she creates with her makeup

How To: Modern Geisha Inspired Makeup / Geisha Makeup Tutorial

How To Dress Like A Geisha

Can you imagine doing this everytime you got dressed?

The Memoirs Of A Geisha

This movie gives you a look into the mysterious world of the Geisha. It's a private world that, before this movie, was a secret to most of the world.

Parts Of A Geisha's Costume

1.) A Kimono

2.) An Obi

Would You Dress Up In A Geisha Costume?

Would You Wear A Japanese Geisha Costume For Halloween

More Kimono Ideas For Your Geisha Costume


Here are some beautiful robes and kimonos for you to take a look at. Choose one of these lovely Japanese geisha costumes to dress up in this year at Halloween.


Dream2Reality Japanese Anime Tsubasa Chronicles Cosplay Costume - Tomoyo Kimono Medium

The Geisha Glossary

Here are the definitions of some of the "geisha" words you see on this page. They are in the same order they appear in on the lens.

  1. Geisha - The word geisha literally means person and art, or an artist. The geisha is an entertainer, she can sing, converse, play instruments, dance, serve, she is the ultimate hostess and guest. The world of the geisha is known as a magical place called "The Flower And Willow World", a place where the realities of the real world fade away.
  2. Shikomi - a shikomi is a girl as young as 5 who works as a maid and begins training in dance and the arts. This is the first stage of geisha training. This stage can last for years.
  3. Minarai - When a skikomi reaches her mid-teen years she can "graduate" after passing rigorous tests to become a minarai, the second stage of geisha training. During this time a minari dresses in a kimono shorter than that of a geisha, her obi, too, is shorter. The colors of her dresses might be louder than those of a geisha. The minarai begins to work in a tea house and at other functions. This stage can last for weeks or months.
  4. Maiko - The last training stage of geisha, the maiko is an Apprentice. She works one on one with an onee-san (also called an older sister) to complete the last stages of training. This stage of geisha training can last for two to five years. During this stage the maiko wears a red collar.
  5. Onee-san - An onee-san is a guide or teacher for a maiko. The maiko follows her onee-san everywhere. The onee-san can teach the maiko everything from how to serve tea, dancing, how to strike up and engage in an interesting conversation, she is the finishing teacher who will take the maiko from student to geisha.
  6. Erikae - The Erikae ceremony is a graduation of sorts for the maiko. She becomes a geisha and the ceremony literally means "the turning of the collar". During the ceremony the red color of the maiko is traded for the white collar of a geisha.
  7. Kimono - The kimono is the "uniform" of the geisha. It is a long robe with big sleeves usually made of silk in beautiful colors and designs. A real geisha's kimono can cost thousands of dollars. There is a system to putting on your kimono, the left side always goes over the right side. The kimono is tied with an obi, and usually worn with tabi socks and zori shoes.
  8. Obi - traditional sash used with a kimono. Sometimes
  9. Tabi - split toe socks worn by geisha
  10. Zori - Flat, thong style sandals worn by geisha.
  11. Nihongami - An intricate hair style worn by maiko. To create this look the maiko uses combs, sometimes Bintsuke wax, and other supplies. You can see a picture of this style hair towards the top of this page.
  12. Shimada - A shimada is a bun or chignon worn by a geisha. There are several different styles of this hair style including the taka shimada, the tsubushi shimada, and the momoware (also called the parted peach).

Yes, I think the geisha costumes are beautiful or No I do not like the geisha costume

Yes, I think the geisha costumes are beautiful or No I do not like the geisha costume

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