Women dressed as geisha in Kyoto, Japan. They are wearing traditional kimonos and geta. Geisha (芸者) are traditional Japanese artist-entertainers. Geisha were very common in the 18th and 19th centuries, and are still in existence today, although their numbers are dwindling. The geisha tradition evolved from the taikomochi or hōkan, similar to court jesters. Geisha were traditionally trained from young childhood although modern geisha begin their training, which remains extremely long and difficult, at much older age.