Those who link the figure of the geisha with the Oriental myth of the sensual, provocative, submissive and servile woman are wrong. Geishas are instead an example of emancipation and freedom. The term geisha – geiko in the Kyoto dialect – translates literally to artist, a person of art. From the earliest age, in their quarters – hanamachi or flower town – these women start to learn the skills they will master as adults: music, singing, poetry, conversation, flower arranging, calligraphy, the tea ceremony, dressing. And make-up. White for her face, black for her eyes, red for her lips. The black and white of the pictures remove colours from our sight to protect her most private essence. Daiane Soares conveys this essence, capturing the reflection of their eyes in the mirror – the only link between the hidden interiority of the body and the exteriority of the world. The geisha paints her face in order to hide it. She sings, dances and entertains, like a living work of art, but the rest is secret. As the leading character noted in Rob Marshall’s film Memoirs of a Geisha, «My world is as forbidden as it is fragile. Without its mysteries it cannot survive».