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In Japan there's an elite group of female artists - Geisha - whose purpose is to be the perfect companions to men. The Geisha world enforces a strict code of privacy and silence and is inaccessible to the average Japanese man. Clients must be introduced and be very wealthy as Geisha cost a minimum of £300 an hour to hire. Many Japanese people are defensive about the perception outside Japan that Geisha are highly trained prostitutes, maintaining that Geisha are artists who are trained to entertain. But this unique film reveals that in this culture ‘entertain’ is a nebulous term. And in a country in which women are becoming increasingly liberated, Geisha embody the submissiveness many married men no longer enjoy at home. 

Geisha is set in Kyoto, where the most accomplished and expensive Geisha live and work. It centres on two apprentice Geisha or “Maiko” - Satohina and Sonoe. Satohina, 17, is a very pretty, and very naïve, trainee who arrived from the countryside ten months ago to pursue what she perceives as a glamorous career, but Satohina is blind to the real motivation and desires of the wealthy men she entertains. Geisha reveals the truth behind the modern Geisha and provides rare access to the inner sanctum of Japanese society.

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Optomen for Channel 4, UK

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