Mineko Iwasaki (岩崎 峰子, Iwasaki Mineko) also known as Mineko She denounced Memoirs of a Geisha as being an inaccurate depiction of the life of a geisha. Iwasaki was particularly offended by the. From age five, Iwasaki trained to be a geisha (or, as it was called in her Kyoto district, a geiko), learning the intricacies of a world that is nearly gone. As the first . An exponent of the highly ritualized—and highly misunderstood—Japanese art form tells all. Or at least some.

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Many say I was the best geisha of my generation; I was certainly th “No woman in the three-hundred year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to tell her story. I know parts of Memoirs of a Geisha are fictional. In fact, quite often the author made the distinction between traditional courtesan and Geisha.

She seemed to do this out of a sense of economic responsibility to her parents–who, by the way, basically sold three of their daughters into Gion, though they hung onto all their male children.

And yet, it was a life that I found too constrictive to continue. And I’m so proud of Mkneko because of those beautiful cultures!

I’m sure Mineko tells it the way muneko chooses to remember it, but how can such a young child make such a life-changing decision and really know what she is doing? It’s kind of upsetting to me to see so many people say they changed their view of the fiction novel because of this book.

The attribution of a certain ritual of the oiran courtesans to the geishas was probably what made Iwasaki upset. My gripes, in no particular order: A Novelbeing disappointed with the portrayal of the geisha life in that novel, and therefore, she had written geksha own memoirs. The French translation must be moneko than the English version, as there is quite a lot of self-deprecating humour included in the tales of her beginnings as maiko, and her bid for independence when she gets her first apartment at twenty-one and tries to learn to shop and cook for herself.

After the death of one of her most significant mentors inIwasaki became increasingly geishs with the tradition-bound world of the geiko, especially inadequacies in the education system. Falling in love may have had something to do with her decision as well.


Geisha, a Life

And one that I ultimately had to leave. Being groomed from a young age to be a heiress must warp your personality somewhat, I’ll admit.

Thanks for telling us about the problem. She acts like shes better than everyone around her and bosses people around from a young age. She takes up golf: She was loved by kings, princes, military heroes, and wealthy statesmen alike.

And then I did some research and found out it had some very serious inaccuracies, and that Iwasaki whom the author interviewed had pressed charges for breach of contract. When the book came out, this geisha was so horrified at the way Golden had twisted her words to fit his Western worldview of the geisha that she wrote her own memoir in response.

Although it’s an autobiography, Iwasaki’s account will undoubtedly be compared to the stunning fictional description of the same life in Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha. She claims to have an acute memory but it’s a bit too much to swallow.


This is also a memoir The autobiography of Mineko Iwasaki, the most famous geisha in Japan until her sudden retirement at the height of her career.

We also learn that well after the age of 5 she “needs” to suckle someone to be able to fall asleep–and is allowed to do so by her onesan or the maid, for feisha some time, though neither of them have any of your actual breastmilk the onesan being by this time past middle-age.

I know from experience, she had to be getting more than “one hour of sleep a night”. I have read a few books on Geisha’s and always found them interesting so when I saw this recommended on a forum Ljfe ordered it. You know, that book where a white American dude decided that he was the best candidate for writing a story about the secretive, all-female world of the Japanese geisha?

Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki

The minekko wanted people to know that geishas are not what they seem. I came to really like Iwasaki – she seemed honest about the blessings and shortcomings of life in Gion Kobu. Yes, you read that right. A very enchanting story. No woman in the three-hundred-year history of the karyukai has ever come forward in public to miheko her story—until now.


Iwasaki spent her childhood living in the okiya as a sort of boarding school it was a super weird situation, honestly, because her parents were allowed to visit but barely saw her, and also she was five before she ultimately made the decision to be adopted by the okiya owner and live there full-time at the age of seven. Mineko also covers the importance of appearance, describing the elements of beauty, including the kimono.

View all 13 comments. No fetishization, no male gaze, no bullshit. Mineko born Masako Tanaka joined the Iwasaki okiya as a child, due to some family issues. Also great introduction to Japanese culture. The book couldn’t decide if it was a memoir or a history of geisha in post-war Kyoto. Preview — Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki. This book was entertaining all the way through and I would gladly read it once more just for fun.

Geisha: A Life – Mineko Iwasaki – Google Books

She had been chosen as the house’s atotorior heir. She dispels much of the rumors of geishas being little more than pleasure companions. Born as Masako Tanaka, she left home at the age of five to begin studying traditional Japanese dance at the Iwasaki okiya geisha house in the Gion district of Kyoto.

Recommended to anyone looking for a more realistic portrayal of the waning “flower and willow world” of the geisha. She would have the reader believe that she worked and rehearsed nonstop for nearly ten years without a single day’s break–but again, no one was forcing her to work every night, she repeats several times that she was so competitive that she chose to do so.

This memoir is supposedly the real story of the geisha that Memoirs was based upon.