Geisha Culture Expert
Peter MacIntosh is a Geisha Culture Expert. He is one of the few (if not only) foreigners to have such exclusive access to the geisha world. century.He has a unique perspective in this world as a foreign male, fellow practitioner of the arts, customer, and friend of the geisha nearly a quarter of a century.
Soon after his arrival in 1993 he was taken under the wing of a Kyoto business man who gave him his first insights into what he knew only as “The Secret World of the Geisha”. A world that he was told was off limits to most. Intrigued by this new society he knew that he must begin to study the language and learn more about the traditional arts if he was going to understand the floating world.
He began taking lessons in Sumie (Indian Ink Painting), Shodo (calligraphy), Ikebana (flower arrangement), Nihon Buyou (Japanese dance) and Kouta (traditional ballads sung by the geisha). It was only after years of this study that his mentor and father figure decided it was time to be formally introduced and set up his own accounts at the teahouses which meant taking the responsibilities for any unpaid bills and bad behavior of the young westerner.
With access properly attained through the correct protocol, and his deep understanding as well as his love of the traditional arts, he is in a unique position to truly comprehend their dedication to their training to their profession as well as the importance these women are in maintaining a slowly disappearing and rapidly changing piece of Japanese culture.
In June 2004 he became the first non-Japanese to take maiko and geiko abroad (San Francisco) without the help of a Japanese intermediary, and has continued to travel with them them for culture events in America and Europe as well as domestically. He has appeared in and has acted as an interpreter for many media (see in the media) projects from around the world. He was also a location scout for Hollywood’s “Memoirs of a Geisha”. Since 2008, he created a series of courses on “Geisha Culture Through Western Media” and continues lecturing on these topics at Kansai University in Osaka.
In 2009 he wrote, directed and produced his first documentary “Real Geisha,Real Women”. Mutual respect and trust allows the geisha to relax and even ignore Peter`s presence giving him complete freedom and a unique perspective to create truly original projects and art.