Geisha of Gion

by Mineko Iwasaki | Biographies & Memoirs |
ISBN: 0743469003 Global Overview for this book
Registered by okyrhoe of Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on 12/10/2009
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
6 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Thursday, December 10, 2009
An autobiography by the woman whose life story inspired Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha.

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Most readers come to Iwasaki's memoir after reading Memoirs of a Geisha, and the controversy that ensued following the publication of Golden's novel.
As I was reading Iwasaki's autobiography, however, I was constantly reminded of Amélie Nothomb's satirical novel of the Japanese ethos, Fear and Trembling. There is certainly much that made Mineko tremble with fear and frustration in her life and, despite the dry tone of her memoir, my heart goes out to her for all that she endured in order to become the "number one" geisha of her generation. With the benefit of Nothomb's insight, I understoon exactly why Iwasaki's attempts at reforming the rigid system failed, and why she eventually turned her back on her cultural upbringing.
As a memoir, the narrative is not particularly revealing. Iwasaki's point of view is limited mostly to her own experiences, and there is little 'dialogue' exchanged with her counterparts. Obviously the professional competitiveness within the geisha milieu, as well as the lack of close communication with her colleauges & her immediate family, make this story one-sided. But still, Iwasaki does manage to discuss painful emotional aspects of her life, and in this she transcends the usual stoicism of Japanese culture, making this book an engaging read after all.

Edited 04.04.2010 to add:
I was somewhat troubled by the discrepancy between Mineko and her sister's view of geisha life. In Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda one can understand better why Mineko's sister was so aggressive and spiteful over the physical and emotional betrayal she felt all her life.

Journal Entry 2 by okyrhoe from Athens - Αθήνα, Attica Greece on Thursday, December 10, 2009
If you are new to BookCrossing and found this book and this site, Welcome!

You have in your hands a free gift. This book is yours to do with as you wish...read it, share it, keep it, pass it on!

I've registered this at BookCrossing.com so that I can keep up on where it goes, who reads it, and what they thought of it. I'd love to see an entry letting me know it is safe with you.

To get started, just enter the book's BCID number (you'll find it inside the book) at the BCID field (top left of this webpage) and press Go!

If you like the BookCrossing concept, you might want to register yourself with a screen name. (but you can remain anonymous also and still journal this book), so that you can follow this book as it travels, and maybe release other books. It’s all confidential (you’re known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your e-mail address), fascinating, and fun!

Thank you for picking up this book. Do with it as you please... read it, give it to a friend, keep it, release it in the wild - it's up to you.

Enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by okyrhoe at By Post, By Post -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Released 10 yrs ago (2/17/2010 UTC) at By Post, By Post -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

The book was selected by ApoloniaX from round 3 of the Contemporary Asian Literature VBB, and so it is travelling now to Germany!

Journal Entry 4 by wingApoloniaXwing from Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin Germany on Monday, February 22, 2010

Received this today, thanks a lot for adding it to the VBB, okyrhoe!

And thanks for the Japanese cards, too!

Journal Entry 5 by wingApoloniaXwing at Bremen, Bremen Germany on Tuesday, June 08, 2010
I picked up a copy of this book at a sale, so this one can go travelling while the other one is waiting to be read. I know the perfect destination and occasion...

Journal Entry 6 by wingApoloniaXwing at Summer Gift, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases on Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (6/9/2010 UTC) at Summer Gift, A RABCK -- Controlled Releases

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:


Summer Gift for you!
Travelling to UK along with a few little goodies.
Happy reading!

Journal Entry 7 by BGQ-488500 at Birchington, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, June 12, 2010
Received from ApoloniaX this morning, what a lovely suprise! Thank you!

Journal Entry 8 by BGQ-488500 at Birchington, Kent United Kingdom on Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Finished this quite a while ago, and somehow forgot to journal!

I love Japanese culture, and I enjoyed this book. Iwasaki went through a lot (though she had some good times too), and I sympathised with her the whole way. All in all, I'd recommend this book to someone interested in Geisha life.
The photo pages inside were an interesting bonus too!

I will send this book travelling again soon (either by BB or RABCK, not sure yet). =]

Journal Entry 9 by BGQ-488500 at Birchington, Kent United Kingdom on Saturday, February 04, 2012
One of those random moments when you're sending someone a book & have a little peek at their wishlist... and then discover that for once you actually have something someone else wants!

This will be travelling soon ;)

Journal Entry 10 by jaynereader at Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, February 23, 2012
Thanks so much for this surprise from my wishlist! I look forward to reading it very soon

Journal Entry 11 by jaynereader at Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Monday, March 26, 2012
A fascinating if a little dry read for anyone interested in Japanese culture and geisha life in particular. I will keep an eye out for Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda (thanks for the tip, okyrhoe!).

Journal Entry 12 by jaynereader at Sheffield, South Yorkshire United Kingdom on Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Sending as a RABCK to someone who had this on their wishlist. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 13 by MiuM at Turku, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Friday, April 13, 2012
Thank you very much for this book and the beautiful postcard that came with it! :)

Journal Entry 14 by MiuM at Kaarina, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I think this was a fascinating biography. Japanese culture sort of demands perfection and that can make people very lonely. And that is kind of absurd that when a Master (like the dance teacher in the book) makes a mistake and every one knows it, it still can't be made known. Mineko didn't make the mistake, but she still needed to apologize the mistaken teacher. . The lovely thing about the japanese culture though is the loyalty that people value for those they have promised something (most times).

I think Mineko's life turned out good even though there were really hard times too.
Mineko was strong-willed and proud. It seems she got to decide a lot about her own life and she certainly was no courtisan, but a dancer. I have also read Arthur Golden's 'Memoirs of a Geisha' and Amélie Nothomb's satirical novel 'Fear and Trembling'. One has to remember that Golden's book is fictional, but still Mineko's life went a whole lot better than life in those books.

Journal Entry 15 by MiuM at Kaarina, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Thursday, July 04, 2013
I reserve this book for my birthday rabck on the Finnish forum.
http://www.bookcrossing.com/forum/30/495757

Journal Entry 16 by MiuM at Kaarina, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Thursday, July 11, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (7/13/2013 UTC) at Kaarina, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland

CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:

Piiku won the book in my birthday RABCK, so the book package travels to her.
Congrats!

Journal Entry 17 by wingPiikuwing at Parainen, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Tuesday, July 16, 2013
The book is here, thank you MiuM!

Journal Entry 18 by wingPiikuwing at Parainen, Varsinais-Suomi / Egentliga Finland Finland on Sunday, September 08, 2013
A fascinating story about a very different culture.

Journal Entry 19 by wingPiikuwing at Punta Prima in Orihuela, Alacant/Alicante Spain on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Released 6 yrs ago (9/16/2013 UTC) at Punta Prima in Orihuela, Alacant/Alicante Spain

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

I left the book on a table in the entrance of Dinastia restaurant.

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