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What is the MINARAI period?

What is the MINARAI period?

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That’s the second stage in training to become a Geisha. Minarai are relieved from their housekeeping duties. The minarai stage focuses on training in the field. Although minarai attend ozashiki (banquets in which guests are attended by geisha), they do not participate at an advanced level. Their kimono, more elaborate than even a maiko’s, are intended to do the talking for them. Minarai can be hired for parties, but are usually uninvited (yet welcomed) guests at parties that their onee-san (“onee-san” meaning “older sister”, and is the Minarai’s senior) attends. They charge 1/3 hanadai. Minarai generally work closely with a particular tea house (called “minarai-jaya”) learning from the “oka-san” (proprietor of the house). These techniques are not taught in school, as skills such as conversation and gaming can only be absorbed through practice. This stage lasts only about a month.

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