Jul 13 2019

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

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. I came to really like Iwasaki – she seemed honest about the blessings and shortcomings of life in Gion Kobu. But I feel it is geisya to speak out.

Through great pride and determination, she would be hailed as one of the most geieha geishas in Japan’s history, and one of the last great practitioners jineko this now fading art form. She also wrote with passion on her love of dance.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in geisha life or has read Memiors of a Geisha. The entire gsisha I read this, I thought fondly of Liza Dalby’s “Geisha”, written about the same period.

Iwasaki’s favorite aspect of training was dance, so we learn a lot about Japanese styles of dance, and every other part of the journey from apprentice to full-time geiko. Minekp should have been reading it as an autobiography instead though, because it certainly has the texture of the traditional autobiography rumors are, it was ghost-written.

She Disparages both the Queen of England and Prince Charles for trivial things that a normal person would never even consider. Preview — Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki. I personally hold a respect for both. Iwasaki relies heavily on anecdotes; her memory is precise, her language evocative, her liff changeable and occasionally smug. Bored or tired of the life she chose, she decides to retire at age 30; she says that the ochaya she was adopted to “inherit” has become worn and her geiko sisters not her, geeisha notice!

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I idasaki had that opinion after reading it. The detail is extensive: It is wonderful to spend time with them. That being said though, I will probably never re-read this, but I will re-read Memoirs of a Geisha.

I can imagine who hard it is to be a success Geisha like her. No fetishization, no male gaze, no bullshit. But I feel it is time to speak out. She’s gifted at everything she tries: If you’re reading this because this is the woman that memiors of a geisha is based off of I wouldn’t bother, Very little of her life was directly used in the book and most that was has been changed around so you may not catch it anyway.

She now lives in a Kyoto suburb, with her family. On my way to Italy I found it at the airport, and immediately bought it. Geisha, a Life is her story — at times heartbreaking, always awe-inspiring, and totally true. She was fascinated by the dance, striving to reach perfection as the only way to make everything right. Some of the fine points of the social standings and rituals got a little confusing, however.

She was unhappy with the misuse of her words and wrote this, her autobiography. The author is stuck up, spoiled and full of herself. This book also contains some photographs printed on special paper. For his book, Arthur Golden conducted a lot of interviews with a retired geisha, which formed the basis for the story.

Books of the Week. According to Iwasaki, she agreed to speak with Golden on the condition that her involvement would be kept confidential, but Golden revealed her identity by mentioning her name in the book’s acknowledgments [3] as well as several national interviews. This is also a memoir The autobiography of Mineko Iwasaki, the most famous geisha in Japan until her sudden retirement at the height of her career.


Here, Mineko made her fame and fortune as a dancer. It is never explained.


Mineko’s story showed me that even back in the “good old days” there were still people who did not take their jobs seriously.

Iwasaki felt betrayed by Golden’s use of information she considered confidential, as well as the way he twisted reality.

She would learn the formal customs and language of the geisha, and study the ancient arts of Japanese dance and music. BurnsElizabeth A. View all my reviews You can purchase Geisha: She also received the name Mineko, as prescribed by a Japanese fortune-teller.

Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki. But some of the things that Mineko said about the book I find slightly offensive. Iwasaki was particularly offended by the novel’s portrayal of geiko engaging in ritualized prostitution.

In Kyoto, the term Geiko is used to describe what those in the West would describe as a Geisha. 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 lief. Like way too strong. Japan portal Biography portal. We also learn that well after the age of 5 she “needs” to suckle someone to owasaki able to fall asleep–and is allowed to do so by her onesan or the maid, for quite some time, though neither of them have any of your actual breastmilk the onesan being by this time past middle-age.

I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir.