Geisha Tattoos

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Black & Red Geisha Girl Tattoo


One of the symbols that reminds us of Japan is the geisha, the Japanese word for "artist". The porcelain face, black wig with accessories, and beautiful kimono bring an aura of mystery to a geisha.

The word geisha consists of two kanji, gei and sha which translates to "performing artist", and that's exactly what a geisha does: entertain people.


Kanji for the word Geisha

The kanji symbols for the word Geisha (gei & sha).
Find more kanji symbols here...

A geisha undergoes many years of training to perfect their art of entertainment. Some of the skills a geisha acquires are:

  • Traditional music, dance and poetry: the geisha represents traditional values that the Japanese held to them dearly. Traditional instruments and dance were an important part of Japanese culture.
  • Tea ceremonies and intelligent conversation: one part of a geisha's job was to appeal to nobleman and warriors with intelligent conversation and etiquette.
  • Calligraphy and flower arrangement.


One of the biggest misconceptions is that a geisha offers sex to customers. A true geisha is a learned women in position of power and embodies proper etiquette and entertainment skills. The misunderstanding came from Japanese prostitutes who dressed as geisha to appeal to American soldiers in World War II.


Geisha Tattoo with Butterflies


Symbolism of a Geisha

Geishas have become a popular symbol in the West due to appearances in popular movies such as Sayonara, novels like Memoirs of a Geisha, and art forms like manga and anime.

To us, a geisha symbolizes:

  • Fertility: red is a popular color for a geisha, and they believe that wearing red undergarments will bring fertility.
  • Power: the geisha has an important role by entertaining powerful people. A geisha needs to perfect their talents, learning the art of conversation, and be a strong female leader.
  • Femininity
  • Mystery
  • Grace and beauty
  • Traditional values


Tattoo of a geisha's head with butterflies and flowers


Capturing The Geisha in a Tattoo

Asian-themed tattoos are very popular, and it's no surprise that we find the geisha perfect for tattoos. With exquisite colors and patterns, a geisha tattoo can be sensual, mysterious, beautiful, and exotic. Women as well as men can wear a geisha tattoo, although it is a very feminine kind of design.

Often a traditional geisha is captured in a tattoo with complimentary symbols such as:

However, those willing to be more daring may want to take their own spin on a geisha by having a zombie or ghost geisha for a tattoo. Make sure you find a talented tattoo artist because geisha tattoos are not the easiest kind of design: there are many details and it's hard to get the face right.


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 You will find more Japanese inspired tattoos here: Japanese Tattoo Designs...