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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She loves the dance and the culture, but in the end, teisha rules surrounding behaviour and choice for geisha are too limiting, not to mention the institution’s lack of forward thinking and willingness to change.

A straight white male American professor who it’s doubtful ever set foot in Japan? She was such a precocious child and precocious adult and she can’t understand why teisha has no friends. The author is a really amazing person. In Geisha, Mineko Iwasaki leads us through a fascinating profession. She hoped that her decision would shock Gion into reform; however, even after over 70 other high ranking geiko followed mibeko into early retirement, nothing was changed.

A Life USA in I could not handle such a career – the lack of good sleep for such a lon The culture Iwasaki reveals is more than enough for me to give her a pass on the somewhat stilted writing – she isn’t an author by trade, after all. Geisha, a Life is the first of its kind, as it delicately unfolds the fabric of a geisha’s development.

Open Preview See a Gelsha I was not familiar with geishas and the terminology and Japanese names were She had been chosen as the house’s atotorior heir. Also, I want to talk about the Mizuage tradition. My library Lifw Advanced Book Search. Return to Book Page. That is why it is fiction.


I know parts of Memoirs of a Geisha are fictional. If she did, she was robbed. But it’s a compelling effort, and especially valuable in a world where Memoirs of a Geisha is such a problematic and popular text. You know, that book iwasako 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? Iwasaki felt betrayed by Golden’s use of information she considered confidential, as well as the way he twisted reality.

From then on, Iwasaki worked full-time training to be a geiko before making her debut at age fifteen.

Many say I was the best geisha of my generation; I was certainly th “No woman in the three-hundred year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story.

Mineko does a brilliant job of taking the reader through the grueling daily schedule she had from a young age as well as giving a lot of historical background to her life and the life of a Geiko female artist. 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. You’ll see how something that is normal for us can be viewed as un-normal or unwanted in this culture like, signing a fan is not a good thing to do, as the geisha needs it for her performance.

Iwasaki unexpectedly retired at the height of her career, at the age of 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.

Geisha, a Life

After the publication of Memoirs of a GeishaIwasaki decided to write an autobiography, contrasting with the fiction of Golden’s book. And when it comes to this review, I have some very strong opinions.

I read the fictional Memoirs of a Geisha by Golden first which is based on Iwasaki’s life so was looking for some additional background reading when I found this autobiography.

Other geisha certainly took time off, took vacations etc.


No one could believe it” Whenever she visits Gion: The geisha has long been a mystery to those in the West. When she is sitting next to Queen Elizabeth II at a dinner Iwasaki notices that she doesn’t touch her dinner: Unfortunately, Iwasaki’s work suffers from the comparison. Want to Read Currently Reading Read.

Besides the fact that is has strings and is vaguely shaped like a viola, it’s nothing like a viola. You should read this book if – You’ve read Memoirs of a Geisha, but now want something more.

Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki

Remember that horrifying part in Memoirs of a Geisha where Sayuri’s virginity is iaasaki off to the highest bidder in a ceremony called a mizuage? But what really, really bugged me about this book is the author’s ridiculous arrogance. But some of the things that Mineko said about the book I find slightly offensive. Leave a Reply Cancel iwaskai.

Wouldn’t a normal parent, realising they are bigger than the child, just lift her out of there? The second thing was Mineko’s assertion that she doesn’t pass wind, or fart as we call it in these parts.

In Geisha, a Life, Mineko Iwasaki tells her story, from her warm early childhood, to her intense yet privileged upbringing in the Iwasaki okiya householdto her years as a renowned geisha, and finally, to iwasski decision at the age of twenty-nine to retire iwaasaki marry, a move that would mirror the demise of geisha culture.

For example, she tries to kill herself as a young girl, and the description plus the emotional turmoil she was feeling took up all of three sentences. For the next twenty-five years, she would live a life filled with extraordinary professional demands and rich rewards. There was also something a little off with the description.