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Another common word to call geishas is Geiko (芸子). This word was made in Kyoto, and it is what they are called there. Kyoto is the city where the geisha tradition is older and stronger. Becoming a professional geisha (geiko) in Kyoto usually takes five years of training.
Apprentice geishas are called "maiko" (舞妓). This name is made of the Japanese words 舞 (mai) meaning "dancing" and 妓 (ko) meaning "child". The traditional image of the geisha in white make-up and kimono of many bright colors is really the maiko. Full geishas wear simpler kimonos, and only use white make-up at special times.
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