Geisha, A Life

Geisha, A Life

Book - 2002
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No woman in the three-hundred-year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story -- until now."Many say I was the best geisha of my generation," writes Mineko Iwasaki. "And yet, it was a life that I found too constricting to continue. And one that I ultimately had to leave." Trained to become a geisha from the age of five, Iwasaki would live among the other "women of art" in Kyoto's Gion Kobu district and practice the ancient customs of Japanese entertainment. She was loved by kings, princes, military heroes, and wealthy statesmen alike. But even though she became one of the most prized geishas in Japan's history, Iwasaki wanted more: her own life. And by the time she retired at age twenty-nine, Iwasaki was finally on her way toward a new beginning. Geisha, a Life is her story -- at times heartbreaking, always awe-inspiring, and totally true.
Publisher: New York ; Toronto : Atria Books, c2002
ISBN: 9780743444323
Branch Call Number: 305.4339092 Iwasa 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 297 p. :,ill. (some col.)
Additional Contributors: Brown, Rande


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May 27, 2018

Mineko Iwasaki was the geisha who was interviewed by Arthur Golden who wrote "Memoirs of a Geisha". What Golden wrote about geishas was completely inaccurate, but by the time Mineko discovered that he'd completely fictionalized her account of being a geisha and turned the meaning of "geisha" into "prostitute" the book had already become a bestseller. So she sued him and won. Unfortunately he forever marred the world of the geisha to foreigners who now wrongly believe that geishas are high-priced prostitutes. They're not. They're dancers who prepare their entire childhood to perform intricate dances on shoes that are no more than six inch high sandals. Stick that up your nose Arthur Golden. ;)

Siloam_Fields Jun 12, 2013

Unlike 'Memoirs of a Geisha' which in itself was a fantastic book, albeit a highly romanticised view, 'Geisha, a Life' offers extraordinary testament to the way that real female artists were like. Tells in fascinating detail the many types of artists; in this case geiko and maiko. Offers insight into the public and private lives of these women. Also mentions stigmas, and wrong thought prejudices, as well as where such 'bad names' towards geisha came from- from real incidents, not exactly co-relating to the geiko way of life. It should be noted that every person is different, no matter their career.

A comment on how Geishas were really like. They weren't a bunch of skilled prostitutes as portrayed in the movies and other b.s stuff. They were skilled performers such as dancing and experts at the tea ceremony.

Apr 11, 2009

Loved it!!!

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Blue_Crane_28 Mar 21, 2012

Blue_Crane_28 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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Sexual Content: Brief but still discretion is highly advised.


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