Memoirs Of A Geisha Unknown Binding – 1997
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This story is a rare and utterly engaging experience. It tells the extraordinary tale of a Geisha - summoning up a quarter century, from 1929 to the post war years of Japan's dramatic history, and opening a window onto a half - hidden world of eroticism and enchantment, exploitation and degradation.
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Top Customer Reviews
Reading Memoirs of a Geisha is entertaining, funny and thought-provoking, often sad but always heart warming - despite some of the customs/events that would be shocking in the UK, you're never tempted to judge Sayuri (the main character, the geisha) for her actions. Instead you live through it with her and understand what and why she did.
This book is inspirational in that Sayuri goes through so much just to survive, and yet the way the book is written lets us see that it's not unusual for a geisha to go through even more than she did.
I would recommend Memoirs of a Geisha even to people who usually like a lighter read, because even though it's sometimes sad and makes you think a lot, it's also funny and you really feel for Sayuri. A brilliant and utterly engaging read.
and her sister Satsu to be taken to a distant region of Japan, Gion one of the many Geisha districts. On arrival they are seperated and Chiyo is sent to the Nitta okiya to become a Geisha. But the life of a Geisha proves to be very difficult for Chiyo who later becomes the celebrated Geisha, Sayuri.
This book is one of the best i have ever read, the tale becomes so absorbing that Chiyo's life becomes yours for the duration of the novel. Along the way you will meet characters such as the mischeivous Pumpkin, the greedy Mother of the Nitta okiya, the Beautiful Mamaeha-san and the malicious Hatsumomo.
Arthur Golden doesn’t dodge the essential points of the geisha business: the investors in human beings (‘education’, kimonos, make-up) want their money back with a profit and this end justifies all means (torture).
In this book, a big chunk of this investment is paid back by selling the geisha’s mizuage (her deflowering) for the colossal sum of more than a year’s earnings of a labourer.
Poor parents were forced to sell their daughters for sheer survival: ‘We become geisha because we have no other choice.’ A geisha’s life is governed by resignation and fatalism: ‘we viewed ourselves as pieces of clay that forever show the fingerprints of everyone who has touched them.’
The main goal of every geisha is to become a kept woman, the mistress of a wealthy man (her danna), for without a danna ‘a geisha is like a stray cat on the street without a master to feed it. ‘
But, ‘a geisha who expects understanding from her danna is like a mouse expecting sympathy from a snake. Geishas have to keep their true self concealed.’
The central issue is ‘sex for money’. The central member is a man’s ‘homeless eel’. Geishas are there to be ‘consumed’.
Of course, there is fierce competition between them. They all have to pay back their huge debts.
This book says also a lot about the Japanese society, where wealthy people pay a fortune for deflowering virgins, who are sold out of necessity by their poor parents.
Arthur Golden wrote a realistic and moving story using expertly thriller elements.
Not to be missed.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book deserves far more than 5 stars. It was one of the most interesting, beautifully written, thought provoking and emotional stories I have ever read. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Alpacasso Queen
This book successfully took me to another time and place. It is a beautiful read that paints a real picture of another world and carries a universal message of hope.Published 1 month ago by sarah
If you are somewhat of a cynical person or reader I wouldn't recommend this book.
At first I was reading it as a biography as told to an American author so could enjoy it... Read more
An insight of terrible cruelty of a diferent time and culture. An eloquently written and emotive classic.Published 2 months ago by Andrea
Wonderful book, I'm not much of a reader and need easy to read books if I'm going to do it! This was perfect for that, it also ties in so nicely with the movie too :)Published 2 months ago by Elizabeth Kitson
This book was a great read. Very informative and kept me gripped. Great story and detail.Published 3 months ago by Ronald Paterson
Arthur Golden is an American. He is a man. He lives in Brooklyn, Massachusetts.
Sayuri is Japanese. She is a woman. She lives in the Gion district of Kyoto, Japan. Read more