Why geisha?

I didn't want to derail Kyandasu's topic so I've started a new one. She mentioned that she finds the history of geisha to be interesting, and she's not alone. It's one of the things that non-Japanese people seem to find most fascinating about Japan. And, to be honest, I wonder, why? Before I inject my general view of the world of geisha and how some women in Japan regard it (not all, mind you) - are you interested in geishas (geiko, maiko)? If so, why?
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