Arthur Golden. Once in awhile there comes a story so completely transporting that, from the exhilarating experience of reading it, you emerge almost wordless. A review cannot fully describe what is indescribably beautiful.
The fact that a male American writer could so intimately elucidate a traditionally closed and secretive society was considered a major literary feat. How, many asked at the time, could this be? Breaking with long tradition, she agreed to be interviewed by Golden, who spent two weeks at her Kyoto home in
THE geisha who was the main source for Arthur Golden's best-selling Memoirs of a Geisha has hit back at what she claims are slurs on her profession by releasing her own memoirs. Mineko Iwasaki, now 52 and in retirement, published her book in Japan in order to dispel the idea that geisha are prostitutes, as she claims the original work had suggested. Memoirs of a Geisha portrays the struggle of Sayuri, a young girl, to become a geisha.
The outcome: a remarkable piece of sleight of hand, a novel disguised as a memoir, told in the voice of a geisha who grew up in pre-World War II Japan. How does a white, Ivy League-educated male pull off this act of ventriloquism? In his acknowledgments, Mr. Golden, who has a master's degree in Japanese history from Columbia University, notes that he did a lot of historical research, and also talked extensively with Mineko Iwasaki, one of the top geisha in Kyoto during the 's and 70's.
Many people in the West think of geisha simply as prostitutes. After reading Memoirs of a Geishado you see the geisha of Gion as prostitutes? What are the similarities, and what are the differences?
Inthe nine-year-old Chiyo Sakamoto lives with her ailing motheremotionally withdrawn fatherand older sister Satsu in a small fishing village in Western Japan. One day, the wealthiest man in her village, Mr. Tanaka sells Chiyo to an okiyawhich is a boarding house for geisha.
Memoirs of a Geisha is a historical fiction novel by American author Arthur Goldenpublished in The novel, told in first person perspectivetells the story of a fictional geisha working in KyotoJapanbefore, during and after World War II and ends with her being relocated to New York City. Ina film version was released.
Steven Speilberg just bought the rights to this novel, a wise move since the story is full of vivid images and brisk action. The story follows the life of a young Japanese girl, Chiyo, as she is sold into slavery during the Great Depression. It begins in a small fishing village as the 9-year-old's father sells her and her sister, Satsu, to a local businessman. Because of her unusual grey eyes, Chiyo is then sold to an okiya, a geisha house, while Satsu is sold into prostitution.
Even if you didn't know exactly who she was and what she had been, you would realise immediately that Mineko Iwasaki is an unusual Japanese woman. Fashions among ladies of her age tend towards the frumpy, but Mrs Iwasaki's clothes - a black trouser suit and red sweater - are expensively simple. She moves with the upright confidence of a trained dancer; when she talks, she looks you in the eye and holds your gaze.