Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan’s Foremost Geisha (Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki) [Mineko Iwasaki] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. MINEKO reached the peak of her career as a geisha in the Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan’s Foremost Geisha ( Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki) – Kindle edition by Mineko Iwasaki, Rande Brown. Mineko Iwasaki, the greatest of the legendary Kyoto geisha girls, was the kind of geiko (the Gion word for a qualified geisha) who came along.

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She’s just flown half way around the world to be at some boring state dinner. Apparently, according to Wikipedia: Also great introduction to Japanese iwssaki. She simultaneously loves and criticizes the hierarchical social structure, restrictiveness, skill, artistry, and effort that contribute to a geisha’s craft, particularly as interacts with gender and as it has failed to change with the times; her experience and opinions are fervent and complex.

I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. Part of Iwasaki’s displeasure with Memoirs may have been because the character Sayuri seems obviously modeled on Iwasaki, with many of the book’s main characters and events having parallels in Iwasaki’s life. These people and experiences are often portrayed negatively in Memoirseven when their real-life counterparts were positive for Iwasaki.

My only big complaint about this book is the writing itself.

View all 4 comments. That geissha why it is fiction. And no, I’m not terribly interested in that aspect. Heather McAlister White male privilege at its finest: And Mineko must first contend with gionn bitterly jealous sister who is determined to sabotage her success. The beginning of the book is confusing; first we are told Mineko accepted adoption into the world of Gion because she just had to be a dancer; then we find out she was only about five or six when she left her parents to be adopted legally by the teahouse.


Book: Geisha of Gion | James Kennedy

She certainly valued the traditions, even while trying to modernize and improve them ie: Written by the real-life geisha that supposedly inspired the protagonist of the same name in Memoirs of a Geisha. She went on to face death threats and wrote this book to tell the true story of her life. Mar 13, Crystal Navarro rated it liked it Shelves: I can’t remember what happened last week as clearly as she recounts the events of her early childhood.

She loves the dance and the culture, but in the end, the rules surrounding behaviour and choice for geisha are too limiting, not to mention the institution’s lack of forward thinking and willingness to change. You pick it rather than bow it, and it’s held like a guitar rather than a viola.

I liked the insight to traditional Japanese culture, something I’ve been interested in since my youth. According to Iwasaki, she agreed to speak with Golden on the condition that her involvement would be kept confidential, but Golden revealed her identity by mentioning her name in the book’s acknowledgments [3] as well as several national interviews.

Geisha of Gion : Mineko Iwasaki :

Like it kind of made me laugh. She takes up golf: If you’re readi I’d give this 2.

Iwasaki was the most famous Japanese Geiko iwaaki Japan until her sudden publicized retirement at the age of Golden created composite characters and different settings and scenarios so that the novel could read like fiction, thus honoring the protection-of-privacy deal he’d had with the real-life geisha. It is accorded spiritual significance. There is a lot here about the Japanese culture and the pictures really help you place the descriptions.

I would have been able to follow along easier if it was told from a time line perspective rather than event perspective oof to speak. They write the tallies down on slips of paper that they place in a box in the entryway of the ochaya. Put straightforward, Jwasaki Iwasaki is a bad ass, and I would love to meet her one day if possible.


Account Options Sign in. And being Geiko Geisha is not an easy thing. Geisha, a Life is the first of its kind, as it delicately unfolds the fabric of a geisha’s development. Geisha of Gion Mineko Iwasaki. Oct 12, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Shelves: Why did the mother gelsha the household hand her such an important responsibility over Mineko?

James Kennedy

She claims to of had a premonition of a friend’s death. I expected a pretty basic factual account, but was pleasantly surprised by Mineko’s escapades – hiding in the closet as a kid, working her hardest to embrace her passion for dancing, chasing down the pervy men who harassed her.

Iwqsaki French translation must be gentler than the English geishx, as there is quite a lot of self-deprecating humour included in the tales of her beginnings as maiko, and her bid for independence when she gets her first apartment at twenty-one and tries to learn to shop and cook for herself.

You’re considering reading Memoirs of a Geisha, but didn’t realise this was the true story. I came to really like Iwasaki – she seemed honest about the blessings and shortcomings of life in Gion Kobu.

Geisha, a Life is her story — at times heartbreaking, always awe-inspiring, and totally true. She does talk about kimonos, hairstyles, ceremonial passages from one stage to another, but it’s all pretty superficial. But this doesn’t mean we are doormats. Mineko Iwasaki tells geishx story of her life as a geisha in Japan.