Thursday, December 22, 2005

Mattel's Maiko

When I say "maiko," you think... Barbie, right? No? Well, you should. "Maiko" is apparently a trademark of the Mattel corporation--take a look at the page for their Maiko Barbie!
(Via Japundit)

And in other geisha news, Roger Ebert calls them prostitutes in a review of, oh, some movie I am trying not to talk about:

I know, a geisha is not technically a prostitute. Here is a useful rule: Anyone who is "not technically a prostitute" is a prostitute... Is the transaction elevated if there is very little sex, a lot of cash, and the prostitute gets hardly any of either? Hard to say.


Matt said...

Of course kimono evolved over centuries and centuries to flatter a body type that is basically the opposite of Barbie's (and in a very different cultural context, at that). I'd wonder if they'd changed the doll's figure for this model, if it weren't so creepy to wonder what dolls look like undressed.

Ebert has a point, of course... while my first inclination is to refuse to open that can of worms unless we first (a) define our terms rigorously and (b) get some actual scholarly literature to refer to (rather than a heavily fictionalized and romanticized movie)... if the movie even on its own terms seems to be glorifying child-selling and forced sex work, that is an issue that a critic would want to raise.

IbaDaiRon said...

...cannot stand alone or hold umbrella as shown.

Hmph. So, I guess clever banter and serving me sake are out of the question as well, eh. Not to mention a foot rub.

"So, why do you say it's so creepy to wonder what dolls look like undressed?" was Eliza's response.

amida said...

Were kimono meant to flatter or hide?

I thought Ebert had a very good--if cheeky--point. I disagree with some things in that particular review (the problem isn't "ethnic correctness"), but his comments on films are always thought-provoking. His reviews have really deepened my appreciation of film.

Anybody ever actually been entertained by a geisha before?

Matt said...

Maybe I should rephrase: they evolved to make women who had a certain body type look good when wearing them, for local cultural values of "good". (Did that involve hiding? I'm not sure... sure seems like it.)

Word verification: wxwofl. "waxing on and off on the floor laughing"?

IbaDaiRon said...

Daniel-san, no time for joke. I'm dead...serious.

Wax on, wax off, wax on, wax off.

(I just realized how naughty the second member of the pair sounds...oh dear.)