Japan is reeling from a 20-year economic slump, and has recently been surpassed by China as the world's second-largest economy. What the Japanese call the "lost years" have taken a serious toll on some of the country's most beloved cultural icons, including the Geisha. Instead of charging several hundred dollars for tea, dancing and artful conversation, many now have to look for other ways to make a living. Al Jazeera's Steve Chao reports. Shot and edited by Matthew Allard.

Shot on a 7D and a 5D mark2. Lenses used were Canon 70-200mm US IS2 f2.8, Canon 50mm f1.2, Canon 135mm f2, Canon 16-35mm f2.8, Canon 24-70mm f2.8, Canon 100mm Macro f2.8 and a Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. All audio was recorded separately on a Zoom H4N. It was edited in FCP and ran on Aljazeera English on the 19th August 2010 around the world.

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