Autobiography of a Geisha

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9780099462040: Autobiography of a Geisha

Sayo Masuda's story is an extraordinary portrait of rural life in japan and an illuminating contrast to the fictionalised lives of glamorous geishas. At the age of sis Masuda's poverty-stricken family sent her to work as a nursemaid. At the age of twelve, she was indentured to a geisha house. In Autobiography of a Geisha, Masuda chronicles a harsh world in which young women faced the realities of sex for sale and were deprived of their freedom and identity. She also tells of her life after leaving the geisha house, painting a vivid panorama of the grinding poverty of rural life in wartime Japan. Many years later Masuda decides to tell her story. Although she could barely read or write she was determine to tell the truth about life as a geisha and explode the myths surrounding their secret world. Remarkably frank and incredibly moving, this is the record of one woman's survival on the margins of Japanese society.

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Sayo Masuda’s Autobiography of a Geisha offers a story of unremitting hardship faced by a hot-springs geisha, a virtual indentured sex-slave in pre-World War II Japan.

Born in 1925, Masuda began work as a nursemaid at age 5 and suffered a childhood of emotional and material poverty. She was then sold to the Takenoya geisha house in Upper Suwa at age 12. While her food and clothing were provided for by Takenoya, she was subject to constant verbal abuse as an apprentice. At one point, she was heaved down the stairs by her "Mother" (the name she uses for the proprietor of the geisha house) and nearly lost a leg. During her recovery, she attempted suicide and further injured herself.

Eventually, Masuda mastered the art of seduction as a geisha. The middle portion of the narrative is taken up with stories of her successful campaign for a danna (patron), of her brother’s tragic suicide, and of her star-crossed love affair with a Japanese politician.

Autobiography of a Geisha, translated for the first time into English by G. G. Rowley, was published in Japan in 1957 and has been in print in Japan steadily ever since. The tale is rendered in a simple English prose to reflect Masuda’s own, untrained style (she did not have schooling and she only learned to write hiragana script later in life). For Western readers, Masuda’s autobiography is a gift: a glimpse into the dark reality behind one of the most shrouded institutions in Japanese culture. --Patrick O’Kelley

Book Description:

Sayo Masuda was a geisha at a hot springs resort, where the realities of sex for sale are unadorned by the trappings of wealth and power. Remarkable for its wit and frankness, the book is a moving record of a woman's survival on the margins of Japanese society―in the words of the translator, "the superbly told tale of a woman whom fortune never favored yet never defeated."

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sayo Masuda s story is an extraordinary portrait of rural life in japan and an illuminating contrast to the fictionalised lives of glamorous geishas. At the age of sis Masuda s poverty-stricken family sent her to work as a nursemaid. At the age of twelve, she was indentured to a geisha house. In Autobiography of a Geisha, Masuda chronicles a harsh world in which young women faced the realities of sex for sale and were deprived of their freedom and identity. She also tells of her life after leaving the geisha house, painting a vivid panorama of the grinding poverty of rural life in wartime Japan. Many years later Masuda decides to tell her story. Although she could barely read or write she was determine to tell the truth about life as a geisha and explode the myths surrounding their secret world. Remarkably frank and incredibly moving, this is the record of one woman s survival on the margins of Japanese society. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099462040

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Book Description Vintage Publishing. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Autobiography of a Geisha, Sayo Masuda, G. G. Rowley, Sayo Masuda's story is an extraordinary portrait of rural life in japan and an illuminating contrast to the fictionalised lives of glamorous geishas. At the age of sis Masuda's poverty-stricken family sent her to work as a nursemaid. At the age of twelve, she was indentured to a geisha house. In Autobiography of a Geisha, Masuda chronicles a harsh world in which young women faced the realities of sex for sale and were deprived of their freedom and identity. She also tells of her life after leaving the geisha house, painting a vivid panorama of the grinding poverty of rural life in wartime Japan. Many years later Masuda decides to tell her story. Although she could barely read or write she was determine to tell the truth about life as a geisha and explode the myths surrounding their secret world. Remarkably frank and incredibly moving, this is the record of one woman's survival on the margins of Japanese society. Bookseller Inventory # B9780099462040

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Sayo Masuda s story is an extraordinary portrait of rural life in japan and an illuminating contrast to the fictionalised lives of glamorous geishas. At the age of sis Masuda s poverty-stricken family sent her to work as a nursemaid. At the age of twelve, she was indentured to a geisha house. In Autobiography of a Geisha, Masuda chronicles a harsh world in which young women faced the realities of sex for sale and were deprived of their freedom and identity. She also tells of her life after leaving the geisha house, painting a vivid panorama of the grinding poverty of rural life in wartime Japan. Many years later Masuda decides to tell her story. Although she could barely read or write she was determine to tell the truth about life as a geisha and explode the myths surrounding their secret world. Remarkably frank and incredibly moving, this is the record of one woman s survival on the margins of Japanese society. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099462040

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Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: New. Not Signed; Sayo Masuda's story is an extraordinary portrait of rural life in japan and an illuminating contrast to the fictionalised lives of glamorous geishas. At the age of sis Masuda's poverty-stricken family sent her to work as a nursemaid. At the age of twelve, she was indentured to a geisha house. In Aut. book. Bookseller Inventory # ria9780099462040_rkm

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