Developmental Network in the Japanese Traditional Entertainment Industry
Kumiko Nisio Masao Sakamoto Yuki Kawabata
This research clarifies the multiple relationships maintained by "geiko" (Kyoto dialect for geisha) and "maiko" ("geisha" -in-training) as they develop into service professionals who are highly skilled at entertaining customers. Their multiple and strong relationships are embedded in a developmental network within the geisha districts (called "hanamachi") in Kyoto. We found maiko's careers are integrated within the larger geisha’s community, and in the course of acquiring work experience maiko develop their skills within a network of designated interpersonal relationships that also include customers. And we found behavioral, managerial and institutional factors that construct and maintain the developmental network around maiko.