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Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha

Lowest online price: 399.00 231 (42% off)
Language English
Contributor(s) Arthur Golden
Binding Paperback
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Overview: Memoirs of a Geisha

This Is A Seductive And Evocative Epic On An Intimate Scale, Which Tells The Extraordinary Story Of A Geisha Girl. Summoning Up More Than Twenty Years Of Japan'S Most Dramatic History, It Uncovers A Hidden World Of Eroticism And Enchantment, Exploitation And Degredation. From A Small Fishing Village In 1929, The Tale Moves To The Glamorous And Decadent Heart Of Kyoto In The 1930S, Where A Young Peasant Girl Is Sold As Servant And Apprentice To A Renowned Geisha House. She Tells Her Story Many Years Later From The Waldorf Astoria In New York; It Exquisitely Evokes Another Culture, A Different Time And The Details Of An Extraordinary Way Of Life. It Conjures Up The Perfection And The Ugliness Of Life Behind Rice-Paper Screens, Where Young Girls Learn The Arts Of The Geisha - Dancing And Singing, How To Wind The Kimonok, How To Walk And Pour Tea, And How To Beguile The Most Powerful Men.
Product Details
Language English
Publication Date February 3, 2000
Publisher RHUK
Contributor(s) Arthur Golden
Binding Paperback
Edition Latest
Page Count 512
ISBN 10 0099282852
ISBN 13 9780099282853
Dimensions and Weight
Product Dimensions 11 cm x 3 cm x 17.8 cm
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Customer Reviews on Memoirs of a Geisha

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Overall Rating 4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Reviews
  1.  An enjoyable read but a fancy tale 26 February, 2014 On
    'Gei' means arts and therefore the literal meaning of 'Geisha' is artist. A Geisha is above all an entertainer and a performer. But in reality the line that divides a Geisha and a prostitute is really thin; a circumstance that can be compared to the fate of Devadasees in Indian temples.
    In this context, this literary sensation of Arthur Golden seems to be a mere fancy tale; story is related as the memoirs of a famous Geisha who had reached the pinnacle of her career, led a contented life and finally succeeded in becoming the mistress of the man she loved all her life -- something like a from rags to riches story.
    Imagine for a moment your little girl proudly announcing one day, "Dad/Mom, when I grow up I will become a famous prostitute". Well, this pretty much summarises the situation. How could anyone be proud to be a Geisha is beyond my imagination (I mean the Geisha in the story, the real life of a Japanese Geisha is still clouded in mystery), but even if your conscience won't agree with the too good-to-be-true tale, the novel is a beautiful, brilliant masterpiece and there is no failing to like it.
    A much more true version can be found in Sayo Masuda's 'Autobiography of a Geisha'. Here the author, herself once a Geisha, reveals some of the behind-the-screen facts, especially the treatment they get from other ladies in the society.
    Thank you for your feedback Was this review helpful to you?
  2.  Geisha ......tragic but imaginative 3 May, 2014 On
    I read a free PDF version of it. It is basically a life story of a sophisticated traditional Japanese escort during World War II era. I have read auto-bio's/memoirs of a hell lot of people eg. Saddam Hussein, Hitler, Gandhi, Marie Curie, Feynman, Gen Musharraf, Ramakrishna Paramhans, Steve Jobs , you just name it . But there is something different in this book. The book has a very uncanny narration. She is not hurried into unloading her emotions but very patiently through imaginative and thought provoking ways gives the analogies of her circumstances with some objects around her (may be like a bark of a tree). She takes the reader inside the world of a Geisha , how they are plucked away from their family at a very age. How she herself was tricked by the same very person she regarded very highly.

    Her description of the hardships she faced during her early formative years as a Geisha will wrung your heart with pain. She plans and attempts escapes but it always ends up getting severe beating by the hands of the House lady.
    Later on as the years pile up, she herself wants to be a geisha to escape the drudgery of working like a house maid in the Geisha house and works hard on her training. Their training includes dancing, cooking, public behavior, ways to please a man and steer the conversation in a direction which pleases him. Young geisha's also have to do an internship also with some senior geisha. And observe her and learn how she entertains her customers in taverns and pubs. The part of the story which disgusted me the most was the "Mizuage" thing. Mizuage is the unbroken hymen of a virgin Geisha. For a newly initiated Geisha this is a prized thing. Rich people bid for the " mizuage " and the person who bids highest gets to break the seal. Such a pathetic practice. And the Geisha has to select the bidders by offering them rice Cakes. The way the narrator has described the consummation scene, it make you hate sex and that is a very difficult thing to do seeing that 70% of books sell because of sexual passages.

    The silver lining in this manuscript the tender feeling she had for a man who was a friend of her client.That man had once while she was young given her his handkerchief which she had kept all these years inside a secret cabinet inside her elaborate traditional make up box,

    Even if you have no interest in the Japanese way of life or anything. Just read the book for its vivid imaginations, it makes your look at the world with a different shade of lens.

    I loved the book and it will stay with me for a long time to come.

    Must read.
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