Mineko Iwasaki (岩崎 峰子, Iwasaki Mineko) also known as Mineko due to the book, along with certain inconsistencies and fallacies about Gion which were mentioned in Memoirs of a Geisha. Mineko Iwasaki, the greatest of the legendary Kyoto geisha girls, knew According to Kaoru Yoshimura, owner of a Gion tea house, she was “a. Eventually, in , Golden’s publisher settled with Iwasaki out of court for The main difference between Geisha of Gion and Memoirs of a Geisha is victimised protagonist in Memoirs of a Geisha, Mineko demonstrates her.

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The bulk of the novel is spent discussing how beautiful, talented, and loved she is. She was not allowed out of the quarter or to socialize with servants or untouchables – so pf were these friends?

The biggest confusion present is the use of mizuage– instead of being about income, in Memoirs it follows the form of mizuage which is used for the high-end prostitutes and courtesans, where they are ceremoniously deflowered by the highest bidder as explained by Mineko.

It’s a fast read, and quite focused on the material aspects of living as a geisha: These are tallied and reported to the Kabukai. There again, a new incoherence arises; first we are told she “left to get married”; then that she didn’t meet Mr Wonderful until after she had already retired. Not the sensationalist story you might expect, Geisha, A Life is actually a gentle look at a world most people know little about. I think it was incredibly fortunate this book was written.

An understanding of such relationships in particular systems can suggest novel solutions to complex real-world problems such as disease prevention, stock-market prediction, and data mining on the Internet.

James Kennedy

However, Golden listed Iwasaki as a source in his acknowledgments for the novel, causing her to face a serious backlash, to the point of death threats. She describes how when she first agreed to go to the okiya it was simply some kind of trial which she could have ended at any time – a special arrangement because the okiya mother was so desperate to have this child as her heir because she was so very beautiful.


At one point when shes a child she takes off her shoe and expects another little girl to scratch her toe for her!!

View all 8 comments. Read more Read less. Furthermore, Iwasaki has mentioned that she had lost some friends and relationships due to the scandal of her being known due to the book, along with certain inconsistencies and fallacies about Gion which geksha mentioned in Memoirs of a Geisha.

This is a worthwhile read if only to lose some of the misconceptions of geisha culture as a whole – a culture that is iasaki art and beauty.

Geisha of Gion : the memoir of Mineko Iwasaki | yomisugi library | TinyCat

Iwasaki was the most famous Japanese Geiko in Minekko until her sudden publicized retirement at the age of It imneko clear that Iwasaki wishes to correct some of the impressions left by Golden particularly in two respects: Showing of 60 reviews. Why did the mother of the household hand her such an important responsibility over Mineko? How long ago that died out, is not clear. When the book came out, this geisha was so horrified at the way Golden had twisted her mmeoir to fit his Western worldview of the geisha that she wrote her own memoir in response.

For instance, once she was adopted she suckled her elder sister’s breast to go to sleep That geisha, as you can guess, was Mineko Iwasaki, and this book is the real Memoirs of a Geisha.

She debuted as a minarai, or apprentice geisha, at an unusually young age and worked herself nearly to death for the next few years.

Mineko Iwasaki

The mizuage or coming of age ceremony for the two types of women is different, for both it occurs when the geisha first menstruates and at both her best clients receive small pink cakes with a tiny red nipple on top, representing a breast. Keeping the house running was important to those who lived and worked there, and to all the craftspeople who depended on it, but she had no qualms about the craftspeople, and history when she shuts hers down passed on from her adopted mother – the house owner.

I could not handle such a career – the lack of good sleep for such a long period alone is enough to make me cringe sympathy. This is also a memoir in its own right. The overwhelming sense that she is special was no doubt encouraged by her father and by her being given the place of atotori – or heir to the okiya – at such a young age she was wanted by the okiya because she was so breathtakingly beautiful even as a three year old doncha-know?


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.

Most of the book was set before World War 2. I loved the book. But it’s all wrong.

Mineko does a good job of telling about the life of a geiko geisha from her personal perspecive. She was legally adopted by the okiya’s owner, Madame Oima, and began using their family name of Iwasaki. Many think that one time Geisha were like the high class courtesans that would be kept by one rich man after another. The attribution of a certain ritual of the oiran courtesans to the geishas was probably what made Iwasaki upset.

I just can’t do it anymore. The text states that a Shamisen is played like a Viola I’ve been an Arthur Golden fan for many years, and didn’t realize his book was partly based on the life of Mineko Iwasaki. Mineko Iwasaki takes you on into her world with her autobiography. I enjoyed this book and read it in two large chunks and the photographs included really added to the images formed. My fascination with the Japanese water trade started decades before Golden’s memoirs, but Mineko’s biography is one of the only that is actually written by a geisha who can be verified as one.

Buy the selected items together This item: Mineko says herself that geiko is a dying art for various reasons, economic not being the least of them. Prostitutes exist, Iwasaki informs us, but they are oiran courtesannot geisha entertainer or artist.