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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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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. The bulk of the novel is spent discussing how beautiful, talented, and loved she is.

I liked it but was not what I would call a great book. But even though she became one of the most prized geishas in Japan’s history, Iwasaki wanted more: Iwasaki Mineko is just a woman born and raised in Japan, who joined the geiko when she was a small child in the ‘s, and spent decades llife as a geiko in Gion; why would her account be more credible than Aruthur Golden’s?


The kimono itself can weigh pound! At some points she jumped forward in time then jumped back in time and it was hard for me to keep track of her age and what other things were happening at the same time.

I hope this story will help explain what it is really like and also iwasski as a record of this unique component of Japan’s cultural history,” writes Mineko Iwasaki.


The whole virginity aspect was still very much a part of Geiko culture then. And one that I ultimately had to leave. It became a worldwide bestseller.

Has any come out yet? Japanese cuisine is an acquired taste. I appreciated getting the first hand account of it.

She was fascinated by the dance, striving to reach perfection as the only way to make everything right. I would have been able to follow along easier if it I think if you have read Memiors of a Geisha this is a must read.

Once her decision to leave is made, she is quick enough to bail out and start her own business esusing the contacts she made as a geiko to ensure her own material sucess. There is not a lot of information out there, and I will read whatever I can get my hands on. She also wrote with passion on her love of dance. Ever since I read “Memoirs of a Geisha” I’ve wanted to read this one, as Arthur Golden mentions this book as being one of his inspirations.

Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki. In describing the need to be nice to people whom she found repulsive, she writes, “Sublimating one’s personal likes and dislikes under a veneer of gentility is one of the fundamental challenges of the profession. Geisha don’t sell their body.

Iwasaki relies heavily on anecdotes; her memory is precise, her language evocative, her personality changeable and occasionally smug. For example, in the novel the main character Sayuri’s virginity called mizuage in the novel is auctioned off to the highest bidder. And then I did some research and found out it had some very serious inaccuracies, and that Iwasaki whom the author interviewed had pressed charges for breach o Four stars! It’s also sad that their very own culture feeds the minneko with similarities between the geiko and oiran “ceremonies”.


At one point when shes a child she takes off her shoe and expects another little girl to scratch her toe for her!! The book starts with her childhood, when she was three years old and the owner of an okiya first started trying to recruit her.

I liked the insight to traditional Japanese culture, something I’ve been interested in geosha my youth. You should read this book if – You’ve read Memoirs of a Geisha, but now want something more.

Mineko Iwasaki – Wikipedia

She would enchant kings and princes, captains of industry, and titans of the entertainment world, some of whom would become her dearest friends. I personally believe this to have been a stylistic choice of the author. She takes up golf: Other geisha certainly took time off, took vacations etc. Recommended to anyone looking for a more realistic portrayal of the waning “flower and willow world” of the geisha.

Review of Geisha: A Life by Mineko Iwasaki

Iwasaki’s fame also made her the subject of jealousy and gossip, and she was sometimes faced with sexual harassment and assault. The author wanted people to know that geishas are not what they seem.

American author Arthur Golden interviewed her for background information when writing minekl book, Memoirs of a Geisha.

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