Before graduating to become a full-fledged Geisha, known as Geiko, theA Maiko must study music, dance and how to maintain a flowing, comfortable conversation with customers. The trainees must learn the old customs and give up the trappings of modern lifeWhile some elements may sound frivolous, the training and life of a Geisha is far from easy and it is considered a great honour and achievement to become a Geiko.A At the start of their training, the young women are expected to do housework day and night in the Okiya. Tomitsuyu says she grew up dreaming of becoming a geisha, the way many American girls dream of being princesses. The teahouses remain traditional and private a€“ "Nightline's" cameras were only allowed in when the clients were away. A The young women train for years as a Maiko after being accepted into a Okiya - a Geisha house - where they will live and are taught how to be a Geisha by an Okasan (Japanese for mother).

They must share a room with other trainees and established Geiko - who they must also help to dress and get ready. Such is the way the customs have been maintained over the years, the pictures wouldn't have looked that different had they been taken decades ago. They must always show the utmost respect to their elders, kneeling on the floor when they return to welcome them home.The National Post reports that many of the women quit before the end of their training as they struggle to live away from home comforts and from the trappings of modern life. A year ago, she was a regular teenager playing trombone in a community band, but now has a new instrument – this traditional drum. She says the experience makes her feel like she is Mickey Mouse at Disneyland, and that people forget she is training to be a professional entertainer.

Stylists are traditionally men, because working with the heavy kimonos requires a lot of strength.

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