Geisha : A Life

3.9 (22,813 ratings by Goodreads)
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No woman in the three-hundred-year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story--until now."Many say I was the best geisha of my generation," writes Mineko Iwasaki. "And yet, it was a life that I found too constricting to continue. And one that I ultimately had to leave." Trained to become a geisha from the age of five, Iwasaki would live among the other "women of art" in Kyoto's Gion Kobu district and practice the ancient customs of Japanese entertainment. She was loved by kings, princes, military heroes, and wealthy statesmen alike. But even though she became one of the most prized geishas in Japan's history, Iwasaki wanted more: her own life. And by the time she retired at age twenty-nine, Iwasaki was finally on her way toward a new beginning. Geisha, a Life is her story -- at times heartbreaking, always awe-inspiring, and totally true.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 135 x 209 x 22mm | 304g
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0743444299
  • 9780743444293
  • 132,156

Review quote

Kirkus Reviews [A] valuable look at a little-known world, and an intimate glimpse into Japanese culture.
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About Mineko Iwasaki

Born in 1949, Mineko Iwasaki was Japan's star geisha until she retired at the age of twenty-nine. She now lives in a Kyoto suburb, with her family.
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Rating details

22,813 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 31% (7,055)
4 38% (8,659)
3 23% (5,253)
2 6% (1,342)
1 2% (504)

Our customer reviews

As many readers, maybe I watched the movie first, and the movie was based on another book. The story at the beginning is very similar, but at the end you realized that is a different story and with a main character very arrogant, that makes at the end, unpleasant the reading. Self-centred and saying all the time that she was the best, was pretty boring. Just read it because I like the Japanese more
by Angela Cortes
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