Every geisha starts as a maiko
MYTH! You have to be under 21 to be a maiko, and it is possible to become a geisha without being a maiko first. The term maiko is also only used for trainees in Kyoto.
Most geisha were sold to geisha houses (okiya) by their parents
MYTH! Although it did happen, geisha came through many other routes, including being the daughters of other geisha.
Most geisha are in Kyoto.
MYTH! Most geisha nowadays are in the resort town of Atami, south of Tokyo. Kyoto is still the cultural capital of geisha though.
Geisha always wear white face make up
MYTH! Although maiko (young trainee geisha) wear white make up, older geisha only wear it for special occassions