Autobiography of a geisha

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Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book. Sayo Masuda's memoir gives an unembellished, unromanticized view of what it was really like to live and work as a geisha. It's a story of extreme poverty and oppression, but her resilience, spirit and humor shine through.

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Sayo Masuda G. Americans are familiar with a romanticized view of geisha life in Japan, one that includes art and music, poetry and social status. Not all geisha, however, live such a life, as this poignant, compelling tale relates.

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Masuda's account of being a geisha in rural Japan at a hot springs resort is at once intriguing and heartbreaking. There is nothing idyllic in her description of geisha training or life between the world wars. Born inMasuda was sent to work for a wealthy landowner when she was five.

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Thank you! Some work the high-end world of Kyoto and Tokyo, and others work out of cheesy hot-spring resorts, their fare a stream of small-time businessmen, factory owners, and petty gangsters. Such was Masuda's lot back in the s, when this rudimentarily trained geisha served more as an indentured servant and prostitute than an artful consort.

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National Library of Australia. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Masuda, Sayo.

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Geisha seem to provide endless fascination for foreigners, and with good reason. Demireps who hide their faces behind chalk but flaunt seductive napes rising from exquisite robes, they exist only for the pleasure of men, yet appear above the thing that nails most intimate relationships: sex. Sayo Masuda's autobiography, however, brings the women of the flower-and-willow world down a notch.

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Non-fiction — paperback; Vintage East; pages; Translated from the Japanese by G. This remarkable autobiography written by year-old Sayo Masuda and first published in documents her struggle to seek out an ordinary life.

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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. Please choose whether or not you want other users to be able to see on your profile that this library is a favorite of yours.

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It was first published in Japan inand the English translation by G. Rowley was published in Masuda wrote her autobiography between the years of and in response to a magazine ad for a non-fiction women's writing competition.

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