The glamorous world of Kyoto's geisha is familiar to many readers but Sayo Masuda's tale tells a different story, one that bears little resemblance to the elegant geisha quarters frequented by illustrious patrons. Masuda was a geisha at a rural hot-springs resort where the realities of sex for sale were unadorned by the trappings of wealth and power. Sent to work as a nursemaid at the age of six she was then sold to a geisha house at the age of twelve to learn the geisha arts. When she made her debut as a geisha in 1940 she was sixteen. Although she had barely learnt to write Masuda was determined to set down her story, motivated by the desire 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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This account shocked Japanese readers with its bitter taste of grinding poverty and its revelations about the geisha world's dark side. A comfortless portrait of the flip side of the geisha world, where one is more slave than courtesan. Kirkus Reviews At once intriguing and heartbreaking. Publishers Weekly [Masuda's] endurance of adversity is admirable, as is the down-to-earth way in which she relates her story. She is witty, realistic, and forthright about her life, and readers will admire her courage and determination. -- Marlene Y. Satter Foreword Magazine Courageously, Masuda refuses to put white makeup on the unsightly aspects of her tale, inviting readers to take a long, hard look at the unadulterated face of geisha living. Los Angeles Times Book Review As I read this autobiography I cried for the women who live their lives as geishas...Thank you, Sayo Masuda, for revealing your life to us. -- Judy Helman Woman's Day Masuda's memoir is a must-read for those interested in the lives of geishas. Booklist Originally published in Japan in the 1950's, Autobiography of a Geisha is a remarkably fresh and personal account of a life that is a far cry not only from the Eastern exoticism of [John Ball's Miss One Hundred Thousand Spring Blossoms], but also from the upscale and at least sometimes glamorous lives depicted in [Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. Persimmon A much-needed corrective to the romantic myths spun around this profession... Superbly preserved and sensitively rendered... [Masuda's] gripping, heart-rending and humorous account is a gem, especially as it offers a view 'from below' of the untold social history of modern Japan. Times Literary Supplement Since the publication of Arthur Golden's bestselling novelMemoirs of a Geisha, there has been a spate of books that an unkind reviewer might label 'follow-ons'... While all of these speak to a greater or lesser extent of the hardships and occasional cruelties of the geisha's life, none provides as raw and unvarnished account as Sayo Masuda'sAutobiography. Monumenta Nipponica Autobiography of a Geisha is a compelling... gritty and at times bleak account, but one which is related with great pathos and humor throughout. Rowley is to be commended. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and AFrican Studies, University of London Her story is heartbreaking, but her indomitable spirit prevents it from becoming maudlin. -- Elizabeth Quinn BustFrom the Publisher:
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Book Description Random House Uk Ltd, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0099490773
Book Description Random House Uk Ltd, 2006. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0099490773