Geisha Culture and Arts for Use  at
Amatsu Okiya in Second Life



The misedashi is a celebration of graduation, heralding a new star on the way to becoming geisha. A minarai is to watch, listen, learn, practice, work hard at adapting to cultural expectations and change.  One day she is ready to be announced and celebrated as a maiko. This is done through much fanfare at her misedashi.

In Amatsu Okiya, the minarai are coached in what to wear for dress, makeup and hair. They also learn to plan and rehearse for the expectation is a recital that demonstrates their abilities. They may invite their friends and as many as can fit into the great room of the okiya where these wonderful events are held.

Following their announcement as maiko, there is time for eating and drinking, presents and congratulations all around.

Warning....Okaasan usually cries at all misedashi - hand her a tissue if she has lost her own.



 "She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret." Memoirs  of a Geisha



 White makeup and red lips, Geisha in Kyoto, Japan

You will need white makeup for your misedashi. Do you remember what this is called? Geisha Overview

You go into misedashi a minarai in your normal kimono, clean face with minimal makeup, and hair neat and long - not in your eyes. When instructed you will go behind a screen and change to the appearance of beautiful maiko. There is junior maiko makeup and senior maiko makeup. The difference is in the lips. Junior maiko have their lower lip partially colored with red lipstick. Senior maiko partially color in their upper and lower lips. There are many types of geisha makeup to choose from in SecondLife, but not all are approved for your use. The okiya will provide you with this - your first maiko skin to make sure that you have the appropriate look. Here are some guidelines.

Junior maiko
• faces painted white leaving bare skin around hairline
• cheek/eye areas a noticeable cherry blossom pink
• eyes outlined in deep crimson and black
• eyebrows defined with red/pink under the black
• noticeable element - small proportion of her lower lip is painted in crimson.

Junior Geisha/Performance Geisha
• faces painted white with the most subtle hint of pink for contouring
• subtle outlining of crimson and black around eyes
• eyebrows faintly defined with red/pink under the black
• lips painted almost in full with crimson.

Senior maiko
 •faces painted white leaving bare skin around hairline
• cheek/eye areas a subtle cherry blossom pink
• eyes outlined in deep crimson and black
• eyebrows defined with red/pink under the black
 • lips partually painted in crimson.

Senior Geisha
•subdued make-up of choice - generally of a natural colour or base.

retrieved 2/6/2008 from

As a geisha ages, her makeup becomes more subtle. For performances she continues to display the traditional white makeup and crimson lips.

 Close-up of a white faced girl in Kyoto, Japan

In addition we look for something special on the back of the neck. Do you remember what this is? Geisha Overview


You will begin the misedashi wearing a nice minarai appearance in a subdued kimono.

You will retire behind a screen at the proper time to change to your maiko appearance and the official Amatsu Okiya kimono that will be provided to you to wear for this occasion.

This kimono is also used for presentations - so take good care of it and keep it neat, clean and pressed in your inventory closet!

You must wear white tabi

You may wear zori - low heeled shoes.


This is an example of a misedashi program.

Maiko - Greet your guests and others and help them to be seated. Then go to the front of the room and line up , in front of the screens,on the side with the double screens). You will be wearing your minarai kimonos, regular makeup, and appropriate hair. Dark hair is good.

<<Senior Geisha:>>

"Welcome to Amatsu Okiya and our Minarai to Maiko Celebration!

You honor us with your presence and everyone of you is a blessing to our day!

I am Geisha ___________.

/me bows.

I would like to start out by introducing, my co-presenters, Geisha __________ and __________.
Each of us have an imoto, a younger sister, who is graduating to maiko this evening.
Tonight, together , we will tell about the Okiya and our minarai -san,  and then they will perform  their recital presentations.
Then  they will be pronounced as Amatsu Okiya Maiko!

Minarai -san,  you may prepare yourself now."

[at this point  Minarai go to discreetly change into Maiko costume, makeup and hair, but stay hidden until your name is called]

<_______'s  Turn>

"Amatsu Mitsukai Okiya was launched on 3/30/07.  It had been Shujin Razi Semple's dream for more than a year to have a functioning, residential geisha school in Second Life that would uphold the values of the Kyoto Geisha.  Originally the okiya was founded on Amatsu Mitsukai island is owned an Amari Gable sim. Together she and Razi built and designed all. In May 2007, Okaasan Suzanne Logan purchased Solaris II and named the island Amatsu Shima (Heavenly Island). With Shujin's blessings Amatsu Okiya was relocated and became Amatsu Shima Okiya. The island was officially launched on June 29, 2008.

<____ turn>
There are three stages of student development in the Okiya.

The first stage is Shikomi. They are initiates and learn basics about the okiya, their home island and their sisters. These first few weeks in the okiya will let both the applicant and the Okaasan determine if this is the right path for them at this time.

The second stage is Minarai, learning through observation and connection with older sisters.

They are demure and shy.

Minarai are exposed to an overview of geisha, honorifics and communication.
By the time they are ready for their debut they have practiced and demonstrated the serve of tea,...

are proficient with at least one musical instrument, and coordinated dance.

They have attended at least one event or outing with one of the family members or a Maiko or Geisha sister.

____'s Turn>
In this next stage, Maiko, they will study seasonal productions and kanzashi, Geisha arts, haiku, and Geisha spirit. Maiko are more outgoing even flirtatious.  During this time they may choose a more formal arrangement with an older sister (oneesan) and when they have completed all their lessons and activities in this section, they may choose to name a sister for life and partake in the san san kudo ceremony with her before they at last become Amatsu Okiya Geisha."

______'s turn

/me looks toward the excited and nervous Maiko-to-be behind the screen...

<______ continues>

"Now as I call your name for the introduction, please walk out on the stage and stand behind your prim marker"


First: Minarai One...... her oneesan Geisha ______ will introduce her.

<< One  walks to her marker and bows standing on the marker on the stage>>

<<______ speaks>>

Minarai One, joined Amatsu Okiya on _________, <<tells about why she wanted to become a geisha through Amatsu Okiya>>

<< ____________>>

Next Minarai Two..........she is my younger sister.

<< Two bows>>
_____________ continues......

Minarai Two......... joined the Okiya on _____________. <<Tells why she wanted to become geisha through Amatsu Okiya...

Maiko One and Two will now favor us with a magical musical  and dance performance.
  Please enjoy  as they make  their way  into their  new roles of Amatsu Okiya Maiko....

<< _________continues>>

For tonight's performance. First Maiko One will tell us an enchanting story, and she will be accompanied by Maiko Two on the Pipa, an exclusive rare chinese lute. Following that they will perform a traditional dance together, accompanied by  koto music.

Domo arigato gozaimasu for the lovely story One, and thank you Two for the skillful Pipa  music.
Now our maiko shall perform a traditional dance, highlighting the skills they have learned during their training.

Koto music begins. They dance, After   finished-  all  bow

<< __________>>
What an exceptional performance !
 Now, our beloved Okaasan, has a few precious words to share.

Okaasan comes forward.

Okaasan  in front, and __________, ______, and  __________ kneel together  behind Okaasan.  / Or on the side area near the koto.                                                                                 

Okaasan speaks( from private note card)....
Okaasan gives her Congratulations Speech .... to  new Maiko
Okaasan says:  I have a gift for you - please take it with my blessings!

<<Okaasan   continues>> says
Congratulations to youl!  Now you may begin to advertise your services in the okiya.                                                                        
 May you enjoy this next stage of your journey toward your dreams! 
We also thank  you for your excellent story ,dance , and  musical performance. Domo Arigatou Gozaimasu, Beautiful performance.

<< _________speaks>
Please join with us and celebrate and congratulate the hard work that has brought these lovely women to this day!

Please join us for some celebratory foods and champagne.







Concept development- what is it /theme

     Review with Okaasan EVENT1. Concept development- what is it /theme
     Review with Okaasan  PLANNING CHECKLIST

1. Concept development- what is it /theme
     Review with Okaasan 
2. Location Reservation - confirm that space is available on the day
3. Dates -check for personnel availability ( Important)
    you'll need performers plus a few people to be greeters, and helpers.
4. Budget- there is none, be sure to ask  about any spending before hand
  1. 5. Poster- create poster , put notecard inside poster

Save this information to use as a template for organizing your events.

  1.  Concept development - what is it? theme?
  2. Location reservation - confirm that space is available on the day
  3. Dates - check for personnel availability (important) - you'll need performers PLUS a few people to be greeters, helpers and alternates if necessary
  4. Budget: there is no Okiya budget - but ask - many of us have a ton of things in inventory that we can share
  5. Poster - create a poster or ask someone to help you with this, put your note card inside poster -  you will need a script in the object so it can be delivered
  6. Your note card should also contain a landmark with the invitation
  7. Distribute invitations and posters. Give a set to Okiya members, friends to help distribute your list
  8. Announcements in world
  9. SL - Events Calendar posting (Okaasan can do this for you)
  10. Group announcements - do one week ahead, then followup with additional the day before, 3 hours before, and 1 hour before
  11. Organize food, drinks, tables to use (again, Okaasan has many things you can use)
  12. If a dance, select and place dance and pose balls on dance floor, or get a dance floor set up from one of your elder sisters or Okaasan
  13. Music for dancing - will you use the sim stream? hire a dj?or use your own instrument to play for your presentation? Decide then determine who - what - where it will be set up
  14. Day before - set aside 2-3 hours to do location set up, to place cushions, table, chairs, food, drink, etc
  1.  Develop your script to use so the performers will know exactly what to do. Put this in a note card for everyone to follow
  2. Test your script and make revisions (change note card title, with new version ...xxxxver1, ver 2
  3. Rehearsals (at least two for large performances)
  4. Confirm participants a week ahead, then 1-2 days ahead
  5. Reconfirm participants
COSTUMES and Other Details
  1.  Kimonos and fans? colors, seasons
  2. Props?
  3. Donation jar is set up correctly?
  4. Sets are in place
  5. Check placements for everyone
  6. Clean up - remove all extra prims


1.   Complete your final examination
2.   Decide what you will do for your Misedashi and determine date and time
3.   Use the planning note card to work on your event and ask for help along the way. 
4.   Verify that you have everything you will need to participate in the misedashi (hair, makeup, kimono, shoes)
5.   Know how to change your title in the group page
6.   Know how to use the dance HUD and square up with the stage before you begin dancing
7.   Know how to welcome your guests and make them comfortable
 8.   Know how to mingle
 9.   Remember to send thank you notes to those who give you gifts for your Misedashi
 10   Know how to set up your advertising sign in the Okiya - have your Maiko picture ready ahead of time

Omedeto! Congratulations on your accomplishments so far!