Geisha

Geisha

A Life

Book - 2002
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Baker & Taylor
A Kyoto geisha describes her initiation into an okiya at the age of five, the intricate training that made up most of her education, her successful career, and the traditions surrounding the geisha culture.

Blackwell North Amer
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.

Simon and Schuster

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 the sanctity of our exclusive calling...But 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.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster, 2002
ISBN: 9780743444323
0743444329
Branch Call Number: 306.742 IWASA IWASA
Characteristics: pages : illustrations ; cm
Additional Contributors: Ouchi, Rande Brown

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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.

m
Minnetonka_Library
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

MasterChief_Sierra117 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

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Sexual Content: Brief but still discretion is highly advised.

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