Chinese national Rinka, formally known as Zhang Xue.
When it comes to geishas, my knowledge is limited to some basic facts on the term and the 2005 film Memoirs of a Geisha. Although it’s strongly regarded as a tourist attraction, especially for western visitors, the geisha profession is fading out.
I recently read about a Chinese woman who is training to become a geisha so as to spread this unique Japanese tradition in China. Rinka, formally known as Zhang Xue, was born in Shengyang, China and moved to Japan when she was 14 years old. There, she came into contact with a geisha and decided to undergo the necessary apprenticeship, aiming at returning to China with her approved skills and her dream of 'opening a fine Japanese inn in China to help Chinese people better understand Japanese tradition.' The training is anything but easy. Aged 29, Rinka endures hard training five days a week, learning the traditional forms of singing, dancing, and music, as well as the proper walking postures at the geisha school based in Shimoda.
I consider this woman’s determination and will to be very inspiring. She is committed to the noble purposes of keeping a deep-rooted tradition alive and cross-cultural exchange. No matter what happens in her future plans, she is an exemplary case of a thoroughly implemented vision. In this sense, I think Rinka represents strong women who can survive in hardship as long as they have a dream.
Girl Museum Inc.