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Hidden Love

Tue 21/9/99, Channel 4
Audience: 2.26m (24th) BARB

Hidden Love

The last in this series concentrated on that mysterious Japanese tradition, Geishas. Beautifully shot, this documentary failed however to crack the veneer of the society that nurtures and continues this tradition, not because of a lack of ability of the programme-makers but because many of the questions lay unanswered by the participants. Only the very wealthiest of Kyoto society are invited to frequent the tea-houses where the Geishas work. The girls are trained from the age of 17, first as hostesses, with classes in dancing, singing and playing of instruments. The make-up is applied fastidiously and the girls taught to attend to their guests completely, betraying no negative emotions. Most girls are sponsored by a Danna, who pays for their classes and costumes. While training they earn little but once they become Geishas at 21, they can become extremely wealthy and mix with the very highest of society. There was a certain sadness in the girls interviewed - none seemed totally happy with their lot, but despite probing questions, the hidden remained so. ***

[It's A Knockout - The James Bond Story - Let Them Eat Cake - Lily Savage's Blankety Blank]

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