‘I can identify the exact moment when things began to change. It was a cold winter 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.
Many readers of the book have left their reviews — just scroll down the webpage once you click on the Amazon link.
A very extensive review is available at Suite101.com.
I read with some interest a claim that Mineko Iwasaki was as publicized in the 1970s as maybe Victoria Beckham is today. I say that, because I was in my 20s throughout the 1970s — I turned 20 in October 1969 — and I have no recollection of ever seeing her or any Geisha doing advertisements or whatever else. I certainly don’t remember the name, either. So I think I have to challenge that statement.
A good short review of the book is available at Medieval Bookworm. It is actually more of a critique.
I’m not sure if the U.K.’s Amazon has different reviews of the book than the American Amazon website — I think maybe it does — but that link is below:
Another longer — and good — review is at Jo’s BookShelf.
I am editing this post on September 15, 2012; here are a few further related references:
http://medievalbookworm.com/reviews/review–geisha-of-gion-mineko-iwasaki/. Link to a review of ‘Geisha of Gion‘. I bought a copy of this book from a charity shop last summer, after an unfortunate meeting with an ex at the …
Publish Date: 07/26/2012 6:13
Book Review: Geisha of Goin by Mineko Iwasaki. This weeks [long winded] review is Mineko Iwasaki’s Geisha of Gion… Mineko Iwasaki’s autobiographical work Geisha of Gion has been on my to-read list for a long time.
Publish Date: 06/06/2012 13:09
Title: Geisha of Gion Author: Mineko Iwasaki ISBN: 074343059X Publisher: Pocket Books First Published: 2002 No. of pages: 334 Rating: 4/5 Synopsis: ‘I want you to know what it is really like to live the life of a geisha, a life …
Publish Date: 02/13/2012 7:13
200 word review: ‘Geisha of Gion‘ by Mineko Iwasaki. I added this book to my Amazon wish list after reading ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’ – I was intrigued about geisha culture and wanted to find out more. While I’m aware that …
Publish Date: 07/12/2008 6:05
Book Review: Mineko Iwasaki – Geisha of Gion. I picked up this book in summer from a boot market and saved it in my winter stash for when I don’t have time to go to the library. The first thing you think of when looking at this …
Publish Date: 02/12/2009 0:33
Books Title: Geisha of Gion Author: Mineko Iwasaki Review: This is the autobiography of the most famous and well known geisha in Kyoto. She tells us the story of her life, something that doesn’t seem too special what with all …
Publish Date: 11/14/2005 5:28
The Truth about being a Geisha…according to Mineko Iwasaki. A true encounter of her ascendancy into fame and her untimate decision to leave the professions he found so constricting. Very similar.
Publish Date: 03/25/2006 2:38
She is to become first a maiko, an apprentice Geisha, and then a real geiko, which is the name of a Geisha in Gion, the best known Geisha district not only in Kyoto but Japan. … Review: Blizzard of Glass by Sally M. Walker …
Publish Date: 11/24/2011 13:39
It’s impossible to bring up the subject of geishas without mentioning “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden, but fascinating and beautifully written though that book is it would be a shame if.
Publish Date: 07/03/2009 15:48
It shows the life of a geisha (real story), not a story that protrayed the geisha world as cruel but the real life of geisha after the war. Very interesting.
Publish Date: 12/25/2006 8:58
Review: “Geisha, A Life” by Mineko Iwasaki. I just finished “Geisha of Gion” by Mineko Iwasaki (but also titled “Geisha, A Life” in the United States) and loved it. I’ve read some other works, both fictional and anthropological, …
Publish Date: 02/17/2012 7:33
Geisha of Gion: Mineko Iwasaki. Mineko is the first Japanese geisha to shed light on the geisha tradition. … REVIEW “This is an interesting book as it serves as a rebuttal to Arthur Golden’s “Memoirs of a Geisha.” Mineko Iwasaki was the primary source for “Memoirs but felt that Golden abused her information by using it to depict the underbelly of the geisha world- a world that Iwasaki insists did not exist.” Goodreads. Prisoners of the East: Allan Corbin A biographical …
Publish Date: 07/04/2012 0:28
The Secret Life of Geisha – NBC
Uploaded by aikohime on Feb 13, 2006
In December 2002, NBC played a spot featuring an interview with Mineko Iwasaki in relation to the Memoirs of a Geisha novel.