Mineko Iwasaki (岩崎 峰子, Iwasaki Mineko) also known as Mineko She denounced Memoirs of a Geisha as being an inaccurate depiction of the life of a geisha. Iwasaki was particularly offended by the. From age five, Iwasaki trained to be a geisha (or, as it was called in her Kyoto district, a geiko), learning the intricacies of a world that is nearly gone. As the first . An exponent of the highly ritualized—and highly misunderstood—Japanese art form tells all. Or at least some.

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Notify me of new posts by email. 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. Iwasaki unexpectedly retired at the height of her career, at the age of She debuted as a minarai, or apprentice geisha, at an unusually young age and worked herself nearly to death for the next few years.

Mineko does a brilliant job of taking the reader through the grueling daily schedule she had from a young age as well as giving a lot of historical background to her life and the life of a Geiko female artist. For instance, once she was adopted she suckled her elder sister’s breast to go to sleep I enjoyed this book of Geiko life immensely. I can only imagine that either “everyone” in Japan knows so much about what it means to become a geiko that she didn’t feel the need to go into much detail, or that Gion is a closed world, where those who don’t “belong” aren’t meant to know.

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? Dec 19, Tracey rated it liked it Shelves: Mineko Iwasaki was honest about her personal feelings and personal trials. What I didn’t like was the anger and chiding that loomed throughout the autobiography. After reading Arthur Golden’s well-written, Memoirs of a Geisha, and feeling some sympathy for the orphan girl forced into that life, reading this true story was a bit difficult, since the real geisha insists that it was her choice, at five years old, to leave her parents, that she could visit them at any time, and that she had the upper hand at her geisha house.


It was time to read a non-fiction portrayal. She is often self-important and sanctimonious. I never had that opinion after reading it.

Review of Geisha: A Life by Mineko Iwasaki – Great Imaginations

And when it comes to this review, I have some very strong opinions. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

But I also found it kind of dry and written with an air of condescension. The Best Books of In Geisha, a Life, Mineko Iwasaki tells her story, from her warm early childhood, to her intense yet privileged upbringing in the Iwaskai okiya householdto 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.


There was also something a little off with the description. An odd book, by an odd person.

I love the detail she gives on traditions of a geiko as well as the intricacies associated with each year and season and the symbolism and immense cost of each important occasion and dress of a geisha’s career.

I liked it but was not what I would call a great book. The book couldn’t decide if it was a memoir or a history of geisha in post-war Kyoto. These are tallied and reported iwasaoi the Kabukai. In her autobiography, Iwasaki speculates that the profession may be doomed if the industry fails to adapt to changing economic and social circumstance.

GEISHA, A LIFE by Mineko Iwasaki , Rande Brown | Kirkus Reviews

I think the geiko geisha life is very interesting and beautiful. She claims to have an acute memory but it’s a bit too much to swallow.

Men are lice allowed inside I can forgive this. She was loved by kings, princes, military heroes, and wealthy statesmen alike. Jul 26, Madeline rated it liked it Shelves: Oct 05, Cheryl rated it liked it Recommended to Cheryl by: In an online interview with Golden about his novel, it is alleged that he had a fax that shows how the geisha asked him to put her face out there more, which leads you to believe that once the book became a hit with millions of dollars, she wanted more.


She’s gifted at everything she tries: Mineko also covers the importance of appearance, describing the elements of beauty, including the kimono. I enjoyed this peek gwisha a fascinating culture.

If she did, she was robbed. Views Read Edit View history. Mineko Iwasaki, now fifty-two years old, is the mother of two daughters. A Life Mineko Iwasaki Limited preview – And one that I ultimately had to leave. I should have geiha reading it as an autobiography instead though, because it certainly has the texture of the traditional autobiography rumors are, it was ghost-written.

By age 16, she had earned a reputation as Japan’s most popular maiko and finally became a geiko on her 21st birthday. She’s just flown half way around the world to be at some boring state dinner. This was a pretty good book, but it was a little dry, probably due to the translation. Yes, you read that right. See all 3 questions about Geisha, a Life…. Now I can say that I have read both books, and Memoirs of a Geisha beats the pants off of this very informative, but slightly dry attempt at the same.

Otherwise, it could go either way. At one point when shes a child she takes off her shoe and expects another little girl to scratch her toe for her!! What is clear is that from a very young age the author knew how confined and rigid the world of a Kyoto geisha was in the s, when she joined it; so why did she continue there?

The world of a geisha is one where women run things and make lots of money whilst all the time looking like the epitome of sweet, submissive feminity. It’s also sad that their very own culture feeds the misconceptions with similarities between the geiko and oiran “ceremonies”.

The second thing was Mineko’s assertion that she doesn’t pass wind, or fart as we call it in these parts.