Sayo Masuda. Translated by G. G. Rowley. The glamorous world of big-city geisha is familiar to many readers, but little has been written of the life of hardship . 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. (Image from Goodreads) As the title states, this is a true story of a Japanese geisha in the s and s. Beware though: it’s not the.

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She had little education and could barely read and write. Jun 21, Sally rated it liked it Shelves: At the age of sis Masuda’s poverty-stricken family sent her to work as a nursemaid. Not just a good book, but an important one. May 13, Amy rated it liked it. The author never flinches from telling the bad along with the good, and the result is a story which truly shows the univ Not just a good book, but an important one.

I’d love to know what you think, so please leave a comment below x Atuobiography your comment here When she has earned her “freedom” it becomes the story of how she attempts to escape the stigma of having once been a geisha.

Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda – Sam Still Reading

C To C Gender Studies: Non-fiction — paperback; Vintage Geisa pages; Masuda wrote her autobiography between the years of and in response to a magazine ad for a non-fiction women’s writing competition. Not that Masuda was a paragon of stoic resolve. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Despite the fact that Motoyama had married and had a child, they began regularly seeing each other.

It’s a story of extreme poverty and oppression, but her resilience, spirit and humor shine through. Going by the following description, she did not think much of him: Her old lover, Motoyama, had returned to nearby Suwa and was a city councilor; when he heard that she had returned, he sought her out and found her a place to live.

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Autobiography of a Geisha

She decided to bury him next to their father, so she returned to Shiojiri. The poverty after WWII is tangible. 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. Open Preview See a Problem? What makes Masuda’s telling of her own story so fascinating, though, is how normal it all was to her.

Agony, despair, and teeth-grinding misery are geishs words to describe Sayo Masuda’s autobiography.

She vehemently argued against the prohibition of prostitution in Japan. Sex is almost always implied, never overt.

Autobiography of a Geisha – Wikipedia

As she got closer to becoming a full-fledged geisha, her work became increasingly sexual in nature, and she began to get connected with a danna patron. Not all geisha were so well off as I learned by reading Sayo Masuda’s story.

At the time of the English translation’s publication inthey had declined Rowley’s request, saying that Masuda wished to keep as low a profile as possible. Review quote “This most recent geisha boom comes with a difference.

When contacted by a publisher, she wrote a longer version to help supplement her meger in This one’s depressing. Her life was very tough, she was constantly so poor that prostitution was her only way to survive and yet that really isn’t what the book is about at all. The way that Masuda relates the story of her life is very simple, and matter of fact. This page was last edited on 30 Augustat On June 8,Masuda found out she had liver cancerand she died a few weeks later on June 26, Most women like her could have never told their story, since most of the them would have been as illiterate as she started out.


Description Sayo Masuda’s story is an extraordinary portrait of rural life in japan and an illuminating contrast to the fictionalised lives of glamorous geishas. By clicking on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

She eventually recovered and returned to the okiya, where she debuted as an apprentice. Archived from the original on October 28, Masuda was born innear the town of Shiojiri in Nagano Prefecture.


Learn how your comment data is processed. May 20, Julie rated it liked it Shelves: Review Text “This most recent geisha boom comes with a difference. Mar 01, Monica Akinyi Odhiambo rated it it was amazing.

Masuda-san was sold by her parents to act as a nursemaid as a child- not much bigger than the children she was meant to look after and then again by an uncle to a geisha house. View all 5 comments. It isn’t, but pushing on after repeated blows that would crush geosha people is.

There she an As the title states, this is a true story of a Japanese geisha in the s and s. A small diamond ring sparkled on my finger. She tells her story without hyperbole or self indulgence. Not that suffering is inspirational. Maybe I am expecting something different since I am not a huge advocate of adding present thoughts on past events.

This sounds absolutely fantastic — and sad.

But life after being a geisha was harsh. For most of her life, Sayo Masuda could not read or write.