The geisha are dynamic and autonomous women, dancers, musicians and sex workers - able to reflect their agency despite the ideals of the societies they were intrinsically related to. Geisha served as representations of Japanese culture and later, their iconography would become a recognizable symbol the world over. Men across a range of time periods and geographical locations sought to control these women through ideals which regulated them to subordinate positions within society. They evoked them in art and represented them through their lens. Through the use of prominent feminist and female historians, I reflect how the geisha were able to sustain themselves in realms of ambiguity, thriving within patriarchal cultures which continually tried to entrap them. Yet the geisha did not remain static, they transformed as a reaction to new male ideals of women, thus retaining their agency and holding on to their power.
Ng, W. S. Margaret
Zaman, Shahroz, "Tracing the Evocation and Conceptual Transformation of Geisha Across Japanese Modernity" (2021). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 9252.
Asian History | History of Gender | Women's History
Geisha, Print, Feminism
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
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