'I can identify the exact moment when things began to change. It was a cold winter ... more
afternoon. I had just turned three.' Emerging shyly from her hiding place, Mineko encounters Madam Oima, the formidable proprietress of a prolific geisha house in Gion. Madam Oima is mesmerized by the child's black hair and black eyes: she has found her successor. And so Mineko is gently, but firmly, prised away from her parents to embark on an extraordinary career, of which she will become the best. But even if you are exquisitely beautiful and the darling of the okiya, the life of a geisha is one of gruelling professional demands. And Mineko must first contend with her bitterly jealous sister who is determined to sabotage her success ...Captivating and poignant, GEISHA OF GION tells of Mineko's ascendancy to fame and her ultimate decision to leave the profession she found so constricting.
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Product Information for "Geisha of Gion - Mineko Iwasaki, Rande Brown" »
Manufacturer's product description
I want you to know what it is really like to live the life of a geisha a life filled with extraordinary professional demands and richly glorious rewards. It is a life in which I was a pre-eminent success; many say the best of my generation. And yet it was a life that I found too constricting to continue. And one that I ultimately had to leave. It is a story that I have long wanted to tell. My name is Mineko.' For more than four decades Mineko Iwasaki has lived within the confines of powerful but invisible constraints. Bound by an ancient unwritten code - 'by the robes of tradition and the sanctity of our exclusive calling' - she and thousands of other women over the course of three centuries of Japanese history have shielded their extraordinary lives from public view. In Geisha of Gion Mineko is the first Japanese geisha to shed light on the fascinating and arcane geisha tradition. Captivating and poignant Mineko's book captures her earliest memories beginning with her move to the geisha house at the tender age of four and her initiation into the profession that she would perfect. As we follow Mineko's gradual blossoming over the years from 'Little Princess' to the brightest of stars we learn all about the intricate training and rigid education system by which girls become geishas the specific duties and performances required of the women and the extraordinarily vast foundation of wealth upon which geisha culture rests. Filled with moments of great strength and delicate beauty Geisha of Gion is a brave and luminous revelation.