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The extraordinary, bestselling memoir from Japan's foremost geisha.
'A glimpse into the exotic, mysterious, tinged-with-eroticism world of the almost mythical geisha' Val Hennessy, Daily Mail
'[An] eloquent and innovative memoir' The Times
'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 mesmerised 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 profession, 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 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. After centuries of mystery Mineko is the only geisha to speak out. This is the true story she has long wanted to tell and the one that the West has long wanted to hear.
It's also common for foreign dignitaries and important customers to be invited. For the general public, the best place to see geisha and maiko is the streets of Gion as they rush to and from work.
Highly recommended building block toward a well-rounded understanding of Japanese culture.
MINEKO reached the peak of her career as a geisha in the Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan's Foremost Geisha (Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki) - Kindle edition by Mineko Iwasaki, Rande Brown. Mineko Iwasaki, the greatest of the legendary Kyoto geisha girls, was the kind of geiko (the Gion word for a qualified geisha) who came along.
Located in the Higashiyama area, Gion is Kyoto's most famous geisha district.