All geishas have to learn their trade, and the name for an apprentice geisha is Maiko. Maikos may start learning around aged 15, and part of their training will be in traditional dance, music, tea ceremonies and literature. They will also learn the art of pleasure, and in particular, how to please men.
Maiko are often portrayed in shunga art, young women who are dancing, playing an instrument or pouring tea. The name Maiko originated from the women who served green tea and dumplings to the people who visited temples or shrines. From the images, once can see how experienced they are. Their dress changes as they become more experienced, and they become more sophisticated and stylish with time.
[caption id="attachment_219403" align="aligncenter" width="440"] Maiko and two geiko[/caption]
Maikos are always well presented, which is the Japanese way. Clothing, hair and hygiene are immaculate. Yet behind the perfection, there is sensuality, which is why shunga art is so popular. Sensuality is key to life and key to a happy life indeed.
Maikos, after learning the art of entertainment, will learn the art of pleasure. Such pleasure is shown in shunga art where Maikos are often pictured serving and spending time with older men. The art is sensual, as are the Maikos.