Books like Arthur Golden's "Memoirs of a Geisha" have signaled the current fascination with the discreetly private side of Japan during the evocative age of dynasties and imperial rule. "Ariake," a stunning gift book, offers up the passionate words of the elegant and cultured female courtesans of ancient Japan. It was customary in the late 1st and early 2nd century Japanese courts for women to express their hearts' greatest desires and sorrows through poetry. Translated and compiled in "Ariake," these lyrical and poignant verses of seduction, love, and lament are both simple and extraordinary. Illustrated throughout with gorgeous collages that evoke the color, fabric, and textures of the East, "Ariake" brings to life the subtle eloquence of ancient Japan and the universal passions and torments of love. "Ariake" is an exquisite and timeless volume of the heart's longing.