Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan’s Foremost Geisha (Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki) [Mineko Iwasaki] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Editorial Reviews. About the Author. MINEKO reached the peak of her career as a geisha in the Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan’s Foremost Geisha ( Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki) – Kindle edition by Mineko Iwasaki, Rande Brown. Mineko Iwasaki, the greatest of the legendary Kyoto geisha girls, was the kind of geiko (the Gion word for a qualified geisha) who came along.

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It became a worldwide bestseller.

James Kennedy

The truth, not that it matters at all, probably lies somewhere between these two books. You should read this book if – You’ve read Memoirs of a Geisha, but now want something more.

Put straightforward, Mineko Iwasaki is a bad ass, and I would love to meet her one day if possible. Wouldn’t a normal parent, realising they are bigger than the child, just lift her out of there?

Definitely seemed much more like real life than the novel! Book ratings by Goodreads. Or was it unique to Mineko?

American author Arthur Golden interviewed her for background information when writing his book, Memoirs of a Geisha. It was way too stilted to feel like a real, genuine account to me.

The entire time I read this, I thought fondly of Liza Dalby’s “Geisha”, written about the same period. Geisha, a Life is the first of its kind, as it delicately unfolds the fabric of a geisha’s development. She has a lot of foreboding premonitions that turn out to be spot on.


Iwasaki was the most famous geiko in Japan until her sudden publicized retirement at the age of Memoirs of a Geisha jameskennedymonash. That is something you could never say about Mineko.

Geisha of Gion : Mineko Iwasaki :

The main difference between Iwaeaki of Gion and Memoirs of a Geisha is that the former portrays a much more positive light on geisha industry. I started reading this as a memoir and realized my mistake because I was yearning for more emotion, more of an understanding of the narrator. The misconceptions about geiko are long lived and sad. By age 16, she had earned a reputation as Japan’s most popular maiko and finally became a geiko on her 21st birthday.

Mineko Iwasaki

A Life USA in Iwasaki unexpectedly retired at the height of her career, at the age of In April I was invited to an informal banquet for Prince Charles. A young oiran also underwent a ritual called a “mizuage” but hers consisted of being ceremoniously deflowered by a patron who had paid handsomely for the privilege. We are expected to be sharp-witted and insightful. Geisha, a Life is her story — at times heartbreaking, always awe-inspiring, and totally true.

Known for her performances for various celebrity and royalty during her Geisha life, Iwasaki was geishx an established heir or atotori to her geisha house Okiya while she was just an apprentice. She retired at the age of twenty-nine because, as she says in her introduction, the lifestyle eventually grew too restrictive and her efforts to implement change ggion ignored.

Mineko born Masako Tanaka joined the Iwasaki okiya as a child, due to some family issues.


It was a cold winter afternoon. View all 10 comments. She was such a precocious child and precocious adult and she can’t understand why she has no friends. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. The biggest confusion present is the use of mizuage– This book, like most non-fiction, had a bit of a slow reading pace.

She later sued him from breach of contract and defamation of character as she had wanted to remain anonymous and the acknowledgments specifically thanked her as a source.

With her permission, of course, it would have been fine. This really just highlights an issue that kinda bugs me. Also great introduction to Japanese culture. She takes this to such a ridiculous level that, at one point, she insists that she doesn’t fart.

Mineko Iwasaki – Wikipedia

Like Liked by 1 person. One sensational incident after another, with little insight to how in made her feel or how it affected her life.

Was this normal in Japan at that time? Iwasaki tried to make this part memoir and part history, and she ended up with poor excuses for either. Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. Jun 27, Lady rated it it was ok Shelves: