Geisha. In Japan, the very first geishas were men that entertained customers waiting to see the most popular and gifted courtesans. By the eighteenth century, young females took over the geisha role and entertained guests instead. Pleasure quarters, areas meant for prostitutes to do their business, were found throughout Japan filled with geishas. This is a portrayal of one, which most young girls were sold into the geisha world to support their poor family.