Niigata Company Keeps Local "Geigi" Culture Alive (News)
Niigata, Jan. 10 (Jiji Press)—Niigata-based Ryūto Shinkō, the first Japanese company to train and dispatch geigi traditional female entertainers to event venues, has marked the thirtieth year since its establishment.
Geigi, also known as geisha or geiko, working for the company perform dances and play music at party halls in the city almost every day.
"We hope to globally promote the unique geigi culture in Niigata," said Nakano Susumu, 86, chairman of the company.
According to Nakano, Niigata has developed as a trade hub since the middle of the Edo period (1603–1868). Famous cultural figures and key politicians gathered in the city, leading to the launch of entertainment services by geigi.
Niigata's Furumachi district had been as famous as the Gion district in Kyoto for its geigi services, having 400 such entertainers in its heyday.[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]