The word geisha literally means an art (gei) person (sha). The art in this case primarily means the art of entertainment, rather than “fine art,” so the word can be interpreted as “entertainer”. In some places, as in Kyoto, they are called geiko or geigi. Geisha girls are entertainers specializing in the art of singing, dancing, and playing music on the Shamisen, a three-stringed spike lute. They are often seen at Japanese-style dinner parties and banquets. As professional entertainers, their function id to keep the customers happy, to enliven the atmosphere of the party or banquet, to make sure that the guests are well taken care of during the dinner, and to keep the conversation going.