Geisha, a Life

Geisha, a Life Mineko Iwasaki Rande Brown
  • Title: Geisha, a Life
  • Author: Mineko Iwasaki Rande Brown
  • ISBN: 9780743444293
  • Page: 271
  • Format: Paperback
  • Geisha, a Life Mineko Iwasaki Rande Brown Geisha a Life No woman in the three hundred year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so by the robes of tradition and by
    No woman in the three hundred year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so, by the robes of tradition and by the sanctity of our exclusive callingBut I feel it is time to speak out Celebrated as the most successful geisha of her generation, Mineko Iwasaki was only five years ol No woman in the three hundred year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so, by the robes of tradition and by the sanctity of our exclusive callingBut I feel it is time to speak out Celebrated as the most successful geisha of her generation, Mineko Iwasaki was only five years old when she left her parents home for the world of the geisha For the next twenty five years, she would live a life filled with extraordinary professional demands and rich rewards She would learn the formal customs and language of the geisha, and study the ancient arts of Japanese dance and music She would enchant kings and princes, captains of industry, and titans of the entertainment world, some of whom would become her dearest friends Through great pride and determination, she would be hailed as one of the most prized geishas in Japan s history, and one of the last great practitioners of this now fading art form.In Geisha, a Life, Mineko Iwasaki tells her story, from her warm early childhood, to her intense yet privileged upbringing in the Iwasaki okiya household , to her years as a renowned geisha, and finally, to her decision at the age of twenty nine to retire and marry, a move that would mirror the demise of geisha culture Mineko brings to life the beauty and wonder of Gion Kobu, a place that existed in a world apart, a special realm whose mission and identity depended on preserving the time honored traditions of the past She illustrates how it coexisted within post World War II Japan at a time when the country was undergoing its radical transformation from a post feudal society to a modern one There is much mystery and misunderstanding about what it means to be a geisha I hope this story will help explain what it is really like and also serve as a record of this unique component of Japan s cultural history, writes Mineko Iwasaki Geisha, a Life is the first of its kind, as it delicately unfolds the fabric of a geisha s development Told with great wisdom and sensitivity, it is a true story of beauty and heroism, and of a time and culture rarely revealed to the Western world.
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      271 Mineko Iwasaki Rande Brown
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    About Mineko Iwasaki Rande Brown


    1. Mineko Iwasaki born Masako Tanaka is a Japanese businesswoman, Geiko and author Iwasaki was the most famous Japanese Geiko in Japan until her sudden publicized retirement at the age of 29 Known for her performances for various celebrity and royalty during her Geisha life, Iwasaki was also an established heir or atotori to her geisha house Okiya while she was just an apprentice.


    586 Comments


    1. The book, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden was based around interviews with Mineko Iwasaki She was unhappy with the misuse of her words and wrote this, her autobiography The book details her life as a geisha from childhood up until her retirement a few years ago, in her 40s In the West, at least, geisha has always been thought of as a euphemism for a high priced whore, but as the book shows, the women earn far as geishas than they could ever hope to do on their backs The world of a geisha i [...]

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    2. No woman in the three hundred year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so, by the robes of tradition, and by the sanctity of our exclusive calling But I feel it is time to speak out I want you to know what it is really like to live the life of a geisha, a life filled with extraordinary professional demands and richly glorious rewards Many say I was the best geisha of my generation I was certainly the most [...]

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    3. This is Iwasaki s response to Memoirs of a Geisha which I both read and enjoyed I picked this up because I thought it d be great to get the truth behind the story This fell flat The book couldn t decide if it was a memoir or a history of geisha in post war Kyoto If a history, it lacked description, and the author inserted too much of her annoying self on this later into the story If a memoir, the author didn t talk enough about her emotions For example, she tries to kill herself as a young girl [...]

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    4. This woman wrote her book in a response to Memoirs of a Geisha because she felt that the book gave the wrong impression Unfortunately for readers, this book is story after story about how great and important the author was is It doesn t represent life as a geisha, it represents life seeking fame.

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    5. I started reading this as a memoir and realized my mistake because I was yearning for emotion, of an understanding of the narrator I should have been reading it as an autobiography instead though, because it certainly has the texture of the traditional autobiography rumors are, it was ghost written There is a lot here about the Japanese culture and the pictures really help you place the descriptions.Mineko Iwasaki tells the story of her life as a geisha in Japan Written after the famous Memoir [...]

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    6. First, I would like to urge anyone who wants to learn about geisha READ THIS BOOK INSTEAD OF MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA The author of that, Arthur Golden, interviewed Mineko Iwasaki and twisted her tales into falsities, making it seem that geisha were high class prostitutes This is not the case oiran, a high class courtesan, sold their bodies, not geisha In fact, Iwasaki was extremely upset when she realized Golden had twisted her facts on the life of being a geisha, and decided to write her factual a [...]

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    7. Check out my blog to see Reviews of Books and Movies as well as Recipes and DIY projectsThis book was a solid 4 star read for me Whereas Arthur Golden s Memoirs of a Geisha was meant to entertain, Mineko Isawaki s Geisha, a Life was meant to inform.Mineko Isawaki is most notable for being one of, if not THE most famous Geisha in Japan s history This autobiography is told from her own view of the traditions and trails that she faced Mineko does a brilliant job of taking the reader through the gru [...]

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    8. Yeeah Mineko Iwasaki unfortunately comes off as very unlikeable in this book The overtone that she is trying to prove something that Arthur Golden was wrong even though he was writing fiction, which I feel she should understand, since she knows everything about art and all is very, very strong Like way too strong Like it kind of made me laugh It just didn t read well at all I would love to have read about how Mineko challenged the system like she claims she did, but never says exactly how inste [...]

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    9. One of my favourite books ever Mineko s story is so fascinating, filled with tragedy, love and intrigue Also great introduction to Japanese culture.

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    10. I believed that self discipline was the key to beauty Mineko Iwasaki successfully sued Arthur Golden for modelling his novel Memoirs of a Geisha on her life I can t really blame him This memoir gets three stars solely due to how fascinating it is to see what it takes to become the most successful Geiko of a generation Geisha of Gion is far from a perfect read My gripes, in no particular order 1 Other reviewers suggest that Iwasaki had a ghost writer If she did, she was robbed There was no natura [...]

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    11. I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir I think it s a very real glimpse into a world many know very little about but like to think they know than they do I liked the insight to traditional Japanese culture, something I ve been interested in since my youth Mineko lead a life that most women can not comprehend, and many would probably find appalling or undesirable, but Mineko lived it well, I think While she was na ve in many ways, in others she was quite strong and mindful of how best to handle some d [...]

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    12. I really liked it for the peek inside the life of a meiko geiko in post war Japan Mineko herself as a child is what we in the West would call a precocious little brat, but is of a misinterpretation of the class system.Two things that were negatives for me though were the fact that either Iwasaki or Brown had never seen a Shamisen and or a Viola The text states that a Shamisen is played like a Viola that I would like to see.The second thing was Mineko s assertion that she doesn t pass wind, or f [...]

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    13. I d vaguely remembered hearing reading something maybe on NPR or 50bookchallenge posts about Mineko Iwasaki, the prime source inspiration for Arthur Golden s Memoirs of a Geisha A Novel, being disappointed with the portrayal of the geisha life in that novel, and therefore, she had written her own memoirs So I checked this book out from the library and I now see where her concerns lie Mineko born Masako Tanaka joined the Iwasaki okiya as a child, due to some family issues She was fascinated by th [...]

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    14. Ever since I read Memoirs of a Geisha I ve wanted to read this one, as Arthur Golden mentions this book as being one of his inspirations On my way to Italy I found it at the airport, and immediately bought it It did not disappoint Where MoaG takes place around World War 2, this one describes the life of a Geisha in the 60s and 70s You get to read about how Mineko meets Prince Charles, Queen Elizabeth and several other celebrities that we know Fascinating book.

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    15. This was a pretty good book, but it was a little dry, probably due to the translation Main point Geisha are NOT prostitutes.

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    16. I d give this 2.5 if I could but it doesn t deserve a three The author is stuck up, spoiled and full of herself She Disparages both the Queen of England and Prince Charles for trivial things that a normal person would never even consider She acts like shes better than everyone around her and bosses people around from a young age She spends the entire book slamming the entire geisha system and is terribly offended that everyone doesn t change and do her things her way instead If you re reading th [...]

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    17. For people who don t know about Japanese culture maybe geisha for them has negative image But it s all wrong Geisha don t sell their body They sell arts And this book tells the very detail about Geisha and their life.Geisha really are the real artist They learn various traditional Japanese culture since they were very young.And being Geiko Geisha is not an easy thing They have to take so many lessons, performing those arts dancing, singing, playing traditional music instruments, etc while wearin [...]

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    18. I enjoyed this peek into a fascinating culture I read the fictional Memoirs of a Geisha by Golden first which is based on Iwasaki s life so was looking for some additional background reading when I found this autobiography Definitely seemed much like real life than the novel

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    19. This book, like most non fiction, had a bit of a slow reading pace There were a few events that truly drew me into Mineko s story, though my review is going to be mostly about about the comparison of this book to Memoirs of a Geisha.It s kind of upsetting to me to see so many people say they changed their view of the fiction novel because of this book Memoirs of a Geisha is a work of fiction not everything is portrays will be straight on The biggest confusion present is the use of mizuage instea [...]

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    20. The culture Iwasaki reveals is than enough for me to give her a pass on the somewhat stilted writing she isn t an author by trade, after all I especially enjoy the fact that she pretty much wrote this as a big fuck you to Arthur Golden, who ignored her request for anonymity when she helped him with Memoirs of a Geisha it s worth noting that Golden also misrepresented many facts about the life of geisha in general.I could not handle such a career the lack of good sleep for such a long period alo [...]

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    21. Novela escrita como respuesta a Memorias de una geisha pues la protagonista no qued contenta por como se reflej el mundo de las geishas Esta sin duda, es diferente, menos glamourosa y comercial pero seguramente mucho m s fiel a la realidad Lo que m s me ha gustado ha sido todo lo que se explica sobre la cultura japonesa.

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    22. I think if you have read Memiors of a Geisha this is a must read Mineko does a good job of telling about the life of a geiko geisha from her personal perspecive I appreciated getting the first hand account of it.My only complaint would be the way she laud out the time line At some points she jumped forward in time then jumped back in time and it was hard for me to keep track of her age and what other things were happening at the same time I would have been able to follow along easier if it was t [...]

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    23. Four stars I love reading memoirs I think they re one of the best parts of reading learning from people you ve never met, experiencing a part of the world you never would otherwise, wonder I ve been meaning to read this particular memoir for several years ever since I read Memoirs of a Geisha , which fascinated and enthralled me And then I did some research and found out it had some very serious inaccuracies, and that Iwasaki whom the author interviewed had pressed charges for breach of contract [...]

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    24. Mineko Iwasaki takes you on into her world with her autobiography In this book you ll learn about some japanese costums, what the world of the geisha or geiko, as in this book is like and how it is organized You ll see how something that is normal for us can be viewed as un normal or unwanted in this culture like, signing a fan is not a good thing to do, as the geisha needs it for her performance Mineko Iwasaki might come off to some people as being on a high horse or arrogant or anything like t [...]

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    25. I enjoyed this book of Geiko life immensely The entire time I read this, I thought fondly of Liza Dalby s Geisha , written about the same period Mineko Iwasaki was honest about her personal feelings and personal trials She also wrote with passion on her love of dance While reading this book, I felt like I was walking beside her as she went to dance class and Ozashikis at night Her hard work throughout her life inspired my respect for her and the Geisha tradition even than ever before I recommen [...]

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    26. The autobiography of Mineko Iwasaki, the most famous geisha in Japan until her sudden retirement at the height of her career This is written partially in response to Arthur Golden s Memoirs of a Geisha although it never says so directly as such, it s made accessible to a foreign audience and does much to explain the controversy surrounding Memoirs, particularly the liberties that book takes with Iwasaki s life story, as well as the way it elides geisha and prostitution This is also a memoir in i [...]

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    27. I was eager to read this, so eager that I read it in French the only copy I could find The translation from English and previously of course from Japanese was easy to read, in spite of a couple of hiccups as a former professional translator myself, I know those are impossible to avoid The French translation must be gentler than the English version, 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 f [...]

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    28. Kokia nuostabi moteris Tiesa, knyga pilna domi fakt apie gei os gyvenim , tradicijas, istorij , tad nesuklys nei vienas, besidomintis japon kult ra, pa m s i knyg rankas, bet labiau u visk mane su av jo pati Mineko Iwasaki Kuo daugiau puslapi buvau perskai iusi, tuo labiau ja av jausi Ji sunkiai dirbanti, nuo ma ens pais kas jai yra sakoma, vertino jai suteiktas inias, o suklydusi tuoj pat atsitiesdavo ir dirbdavo dar sunkiau, u puolikus pamokydavo, kad moteris n ra daiktas, o Karalien s akivaiz [...]

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    29. Mi piaciuto conoscere un po di pi il mondo di queste artiste e la cultura del popolo Giapponese.Ho trovato interessante le notizie storiche, e mi ha emozionato molto la vicenda umana.

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