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This is the look of modern Japan. Yet she wears another face. In the byways of Japanese culture survives an ancient way of life rarely glimpsed by Western eyes. A timeless haven where tradition reigns. Visitors seek solace in a world where grace is the path to peace and ceremony is its own end in this fairy tale, setting the privilege to find comfort in Japan's ultimate symbol of perfection.


Lakeisha. She's a dancer, a singer, artist, confident, but most of all, magician. She conjures a fantasy world as secretive as it is exclusive. Among the few Westerners to penetrate her mysterious facade is Leslie Downar, who lived among the nations of Japan for 10 years.


It is very much a privilege for any Westerner. It's a privilege for anybody who is able to go to a Tea House party. This is why it's so closed and secret.


The first geisha arose in the beginning of the 18th century and the very first geisha were men. They took the job of entertaining the people who had come along to the pleasure quarters so they would entertain them with music and dancing and singing, and then the customers would go on and spend time with the courtesans and prostitutes. So it's very important that from the very, very start, geisha and prostitutes were completely separate. There's no connection.


The issues of the Gule district in the city of Kyoto are known as Gecko's. Young apprentices like Cooey are called Miko's.


At 17, Cleide departs from the path of the typical Japanese teenager she she's chosen to undergo the five year ordeal to become a geko at five p.m..


As other businesses wind down, Calli goes to work at one of the local tea houses called Hochschild's.


Mr. Fouzi, the chairman of a large textile company, is a regular at the Occupiers in Japan, no one blushes when married men enjoy the company of a Jayco or cheers are for men only men with the pull to get inside the world is very closed and very secret.


One reason is it's a little like a gentlemen's club. If it was open to everybody, it wouldn't have any value any longer.


It's very difficult for anybody to go inside a teahouse. The only way that you can go into a teahouse is if you're invited. They have a saying each again sanctuary, which means first timers are always refused. But if you are a very high powered Western businessman or Western political figure like Tony Blair or George W. Bush, you can you may well be invited to a Tea House party. But even if you are Tony Blair or George W. Bush, you could not go by yourself.


This was as much of a typical Osofsky or geko party last three hours. The evening begins with Sukie, a rice wine served with ceremonial grace.


Then do the Miko's and Gecko's join the customers for the next phase of the party?


Witty repartee.


They'll make it an entertaining, light, cheerful party, not a serious business discussion.


And at some point there may be food, but that's not a crucial part.


And at some point the geko will stand up and show off their arts because the word GECC means somebody who is proficient at art after years of education and Gecko's can discuss everything from art to then young Koe simply listens and learns.


The most popular, Miko's and Gecko's, spend the evening going from one tea house to another.


They seldom get home before two a.m. Their job is to create a fantasy, a world where every man feels like a king and a world built on fluttery and guarded by secrecy. There is a rare glimpse inside their world. For 11 centuries, Kyoto was Japan's capital here.


Cultural heritage is fiercely preserved. A maiko like Coey inherits a tradition 300 years old, but for her, it's not only tradition, it's a dream come true. All Miko's are monitored by big sister Gecko's who act as role models for. Collide, big sister, my my hero lends her wisdom to the problem of bad hair. And that's what got away with want anything at the moment because she was the one two. So I was like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no.


So it's just now goes down for a while.


During their five year apprenticeship, Miko's, like Kali, are forbidden to wear wigs during the work week.


They must keep their sculpted hairstyle intact for quite the price of perfection is comfort.


No, look. When Kohei finally becomes a geko, she'll sleep on a regular pillow. For now, she must settle for an omatsu, a wooden cube with a cushion on top.


Because the woman who keeps her hair from getting must know decades ago, mothers would spread rice husks under the block if a girl's had slipped for a second, the incriminating flakes would stick to her hair grounds for a scolding.


This is one of the most important rituals of my Heroes Day makeup. It is also the hardest. The trick is getting exactly the same look every time.


The only color that applies are black, white and red. The older she gets, the less red she uses.


Like an actress they put on the makeup, which shows their profession, and they put on very, very thick white makeup, which in the past used to be used to make their face glow by candlelight in the days before electricity to have a white face, you can imagine a white face glimmering in the dark room looked extremely beautiful and mysterious.


The neck of the neck is not painted either.


There's a certain shape of makeup painted on the back, which leaves the shape of the neck there. And the part of the body, which in Japanese tradition is the most seductive, is the nape of the neck.


Makeup was once white led, which caused yellow skin, premature wrinkles and sometimes lead poisoning. Some geckos still swear by Nightingale droppings prized as a skin whitener. Mommy hero has disappeared in her place, a doll that walks. The simple act of walking is another lesson to relearn the narrow kimono cantrip the legs, while feet can easily slip from slippers. With practice, geckos learn to move with grace, yet beneath the traditional garb is a thoroughly modern woman. Don, you used to work as a secretary for a kimono tradesman, quitting her day job may seem like a step backward, but in some ways, geckos are more liberated than other Japanese women.


They enjoy financial independence, job security and more freedom than most Japanese wives.


What drew you to her new profession was her passion for the shamisen, the three stringed guitar that is Japan's most traditional musical instrument.