Helpful votes received on reviews: 78% (57 of 73)
Location: UK


Top Reviewer Ranking: 1,689,182 - Total Helpful Votes: 57 of 73
Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan's Foremost&hellip by Mineko Iwasaki
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real Sayuri, 16 Oct 2011
I read this book many years ago, but for some reason I never got around to reviewing it. This is despite the fact it has to be one of the most important works on geisha that has come out in the last several decades. It tells a human story of a girl growing up in the geisha community, compared to the painful tale of Arthur Golden's "Memoirs of a geisha". Of course there are similarities between the two - Iwasaki was largely the woman Sayuri is based on.

Iwasaki, like Sayuri, left her family from a young age to join the geiko community, had various sponsors and become a success. However, it is here that Geisha of Gion diverts from Golden's book. Iwasaki was not sold to the geisha… Read more
Sakuran [DVD] <b>DVD</b> ~ Anna Tsuchiya
Sakuran [DVD] DVD ~ Anna Tsuchiya
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memoirs of an oiran, 15 Oct 2011
At first I thought this would be an average film, recreating Edo's "Floating World" but not really exciting me. I was in for a surprise. In fact I enjoyed it so much I wrote a review on Amazon for the first time in years.

The Yoshiwara is lovingly summoned from the depths of history in great colour and detail. We can believe that we're really there and are exposed to the place in all its glory and warts. Some reviewers have said that this film wasn't dark enough, but sometimes an overly dramatic and dark film can divert a viewer's attention from what the director is trying to convey. When Tsuchiya's character feels pain, we feel it clearly. When things are going right for her, we… Read more
Women of the Pleasure Quarters: The Secret History&hellip by Lesley Downer
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Lesley Downer's book on geisha is, quite honestly, one of the best out there. Whereas Liza Dalby has been incorrectly referred to as the only non-Japanese woman to be a geisha (see my review on Dalby's "Geisha"), Downer presumes few airs due to her involvement with the community. The picture of her wearing a geisha wig demonstrate a slight embarrassment but there-through her good-humour in acknowledging that she could never be associated with the fine women of Gion or Pontocho. She is an outsider and she recognises that, even if she learnt much about them.

Downer comments in detail upon the lives, both past & present, of geisha in Japan, talking extensively about how the geisha… Read more