Geishas are the subject of much speculation from any other world outside Japan. Despite their fame the western world and even other eastern cultures do not completely understand the mystique that surrounds geishas. According to Liza Dalby, an American anthropologist who did research on geishas, the misunderstandings are probably due to the fact that there is no comparable group to them in other societies and so people have no basis on which to compare them to. Geishas are often mistaken by people as some kind of elite prostitutes, which is definitely not the case. In fact the word geisha comes from gei, meaning art, and sha, meaning a person.
To be a geisha one has to be well-trained in the traditional manner, etiquette, and various arts. One will need to master not only the intricacies of wearing a kimono but seemingly mundane stuff such as how to greet customers properly, how to serve a meal, and how to make conversation. Geishas aim to entertain but are at the same time a living piece of art.