It Ain't Easy Being Geisha

Geisha are traditional female Japanese entertainers and social companions. Their training, performances, and appearance follow a tradition that goes back hundreds of years, and follow very elaborate rules and customs. The Japanese tea ceremony is a case in point. There is a right way, and many wrongs ways to do it, and each aspect of the setting, utensils, materials, and steps have a particular meaning.

Just wearing the traditional Japanese kimono takes dozens of steps! Here's how to do it (instructions scroll to the right... way to the right).

Besides wrangling with a kimono, maiko, or apprentice geisha, must wear ornate hairstyles with wax and accessories that may add six pounds to the weight of her head! Geisha stylist Tetsuo Ishihara tells us about maikos who must sleep propped on a wooden pillow to preserve a hairstyle that must last a week. Many maiko styles are displayed each year at Kushi-matsuri (the comb festival) in Kyoto.


It doesn't get any easier to look the part, after the jump.

Geisha makeup takes a big chunk of time and material. Here's a primer from a Japanese makeup website, just in case you want to try it.

Traditional geta sandals complete a kimono ensemble. Maiko wear a particularly tall type of geta sandals, called okobo.

You can see photos of the finished product in these two galleries of geisha photography by Frantisek Staud.


Compared to what geishas go through to be well-dressed, these modern fashionistas found at Japanese Fashion probably find it easy to look their best.


That's only how to get the look of a geisha. They must also learn etiquette and performing arts. Learn more about modern geisha at Immortal Geisha.

Courtesy of Airpod
New Nap Pods—Complete with Alarm Clocks and Netflix—Set for A Trial Run at Airports This Summer
Courtesy of Airpod
Courtesy of Airpod

Sleepy travelers in Europe can soon be on the lookout for Airpods, self-contained capsules designed to help passengers relax in privacy.

For 15 euros per hour (roughly $18), travelers can charge their phones, store their luggage, and, yes, nap on a chair that reclines into a bed. The Airpods are also equipped with television screens and free streaming on Netflix, Travel + Leisure reports.

To keep things clean between uses, each Airpod uses LED lights to disinfect the space and a scent machine to manage any unfortunate odors.

The company's two Slovenian founders, Mihael Meolic and Grega Mrgole, expect to conduct a trial run of the service by placing 10 pods in EU airports late this summer. By early 2019, they expect to have 100 Airpods installed in airports around the world, though the company hasn't yet announced which EU airports will receive the first Airpods.

The company eventually plans to introduce an element of cryptocurrency to its service. Once 1000 Airpods are installed (which the company expects to happen by late 2019), customers can opt in to a "Partnership Program." With this program, participants can become sponsors of one specific Airpod unit and earn up to 80 percent of the profits it generates each month. The company's cryptocurrency—called an APOD token—is already on sale through the Airpod website.

[h/t Travel + Leisure]

8 City Maps Rendered in the Styles of Famous Artists

Vincent van Gogh once famously said, "I dream my painting and I paint my dream." If at some point in his career he had dreamed up a map of Amsterdam, where he lived and derived much of his inspiration from, it may have looked something like the one below.

In a blog post from March, Credit Card Compare selected eight cities around the world and illustrated what their maps might look like if they had been created by the famous artists who have roots there.

The Andy Warhol-inspired map of New York City, for instance, is awash with primary colors, and the icons representing notable landmarks are rendered in his famous Pop Art style. Although Warhol grew up in Pittsburgh, he spent much of his career working in the Big Apple at his studio, dubbed "The Factory."

Another iconic and irreverent artist, Banksy, is the inspiration behind London's map. Considering that the public doesn't know Banksy's true identity, he remains something of an enigma. His street art, however, is recognizable around the world and commands exorbitant prices at auction. In an ode to urban art, clouds of spray paint and icons that are a bit rough around the edges adorn this map of England's capital.

For more art-inspired city maps, scroll through the photos below.

[h/t Credit Card Compare]


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