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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This is a worthwhile read if only to lose some of the misconceptions of geisha culture as a whole – a culture that is about art and beauty. I would have been able to follow along easier if it was told from a time line perspective rather than event perspective so to speak.

You’re considering reading Memoirs of a Geisha, but didn’t realise this was the true story. She seemed to do this out of a sense of economic responsibility to her parents–who, by the way, basically sold three of their daughters into Gion, though they hung onto all their male children. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. In this book you’ll learn about some japanese costums, what the world of the geisha or geiko, as in this book is like and how it is organized.

Iwasaki was a geisha she refers to herself as a geiko, a more specific term used in the area of Kyoto where she lived and trained starting in the ‘s, and was easily the most successful of her time – a feat which she accomplished by taking every single appointment available, not taking a single day off for five years, and sleeping three hours every night.

The beginning of the book is confusing; first we are told Mineko accepted adoption into the world of Gion because she just had to be a dancer; then we find out she was only about five or six when she left her parents to be adopted legally by the teahouse.

View all my reviews You can purchase Geisha: We have been constrained by unwritten rules not to do so, by the robes of tradition, and by the sanctity of our exclusive calling.

Other editions – View all Geisha: 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 whole virginity aspect was still very much a part of Geiko culture then. Is this the same book as Geisha of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki? To refuse would be discourteous and, if I were a visitor of state, it could even be construed as an affront to the nation, to say nothing of all the people who have worked so hard to prepare the meal.


The author of that, Arthur Golden, interviewed Mineko Iwasaki and twisted her tales into falsities, making it seem that geisha were high class prostitutes.

I 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. I recommend this book for anyone interested in Japan, Geiko or Maiko.

There were a few events that truly drew me into Mineko’s story, though my review is going to be mostly about about the comparison of this book to Memoirs of a Geisha. Other geisha certainly took time off, took vacations etc. At one point when shes a child she takes off her shoe and expects another little girl to scratch her toe for her!!

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

Iwasakl a history, it lacked description, and the author inserted too much of her annoying self more on this later into the story. The autobiography of Mineko Iwasaki, the most famous geisha in Japan until her sudden retirement at the height of her career. Known mlneko her performances for celebrity and royalty during her geisha life, Iwasaki was an established heir or atotori to her geisha lif okiya while she was just an apprentice.

Either it was to save face in front of her doctor, or she actually did believe that she hasn’t farted in her whole life. Her hard work throughout her life inspired my respect for her and the Geisha tradition even more than ever before. Why did the mother of the household hand her such an important responsibility over Mineko?

I really liked that book for much longer than I should have I remember hearing that they were making a movie version and being really invested in who they castand it wasn’t until I was in college that I learned some unpleasant truths about the creation of this book.

Geisha really are the real artist! Everything is described in great but iwaaski slightly clinical detail, and it’s worth it purely for the time Iwasaki spends describing every part of a geiko’s outfit, from shoes to hair ornaments, and the kimonos she describes are so gorgeous it’ll make your mouth water.


I was not familiar with geishas and the terminology and Japanese names were Otherwise, it could go either way.

Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki

BurnsElizabeth A. She acts like shes better than everyone around her and bosses people around from a young age. That is something you could never say about Mineko. If you’re readi I’d give this 2.

Oct 12, Elizabeth rated it it was amazing Shelves: I thoroughly enjoyed this memoir. You know, that book where a white American dude decided that he was the best candidate for writing a story about the secretive, all-female world of the Japanese geisha?

Mineko Iwasaki

I would love to have read more about how Mineko challenged the system like she claims she did, but never s Yeeah For the next twenty-five years, she would live a life filled with extraordinary professional demands and rich rewards. The bulk of the novel is spent discussing how beautiful, talented, and loved she is. Iwasaki spent her childhood living in the okiya as a sort of boarding school it was a super weird situation, honestly, because her parents were allowed to visit but barely saw her, and also she was five before she ultimately made the decision to be adopted by the okiya owner and live there full-time at the age of seven.

Iwasaki tried to make this part memoir and part history, and she ended up with poor excuses for either. Every time I picked this book up, I fell asleep. Mineko Iwasaki might come off to some people as being on a high horse or arrogant or anything Mineko Iwasaki takes you on lifw her world with her autobiography.

This page was last edited on 19 Octoberat For example, Golden chose to move his story back one generation Iwasaki was born iaasakiprobably in order to add WWII as a dramatic plot point.

BurnsElizabeth A. Yes, you ,ineko that right. The geisha are presented as artists in every sense of the word – in how they dress, how they portray themselves to others, their artistic and musical abilities.