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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Jun 14, Chelsea rated it it was amazing.

Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda

An interesting insight into another world. Sayo Masuda had a really challenging life,which sometimes would move me to tears. This unvarnished account, first published 45 years ago and still in print in Japan, does not paint auotbiography pretty picture.

The translator provides handy end notes for further historical study too. You are commenting auutobiography your Twitter account. She convinced her aunt to get her a job at the sawmill she worked at, but quickly decided to find a job that could pay better.

Her life story struck me as quite unique but also, sadly, probably all too common at the time. There was a problem adding your email address. When her brother contracted tuberculosis, Masuda intended to return to prostitution to pay for his penicillin, but he threw himself from the hospital roof rather than let that happen.


Autobiography Of A Geisha : Sayo Masuda :

At the age of sis Masuda’s poverty-stricken family sent her to work as a nursemaid. I have a lot less to say about Sayo Masuda’s personal account of her life as a country resort geisha in the days before WWII; in short, it’s less procedural than Iwasaki’s book, but s more touching, and I liked it much more. It’s much more compelling than a “woe was me” tearjerker. I will need to keep an eye out for this! The poverty after WWII is tangible. The book is a wr Masuda presents an account of her geisua, starting with her early indenture to a geisha house, and she details some of the more unsavory aspects of the job.

Iwasaki’s world was one of privileged luxury, consummate arts training, the glamour of Kyoto’s Gion Kobu district, and the wealth and prestige that came with being a high-class geiko. Abandoned by her family, she suffered as a victim of child labour and abuse practically a slave ; and to make matters worse, was taken to a geisha house to become a prostitute.

In the English version of the book, G. Reading about what she had to do to survive, how desperate she has been was not pleasant, but I am glad I did read t Despite it is a very sad book, I liked to read it.

A comfortless portrait of the flip side of the geisha world, where one is more slave than courtesan. By autobiigraphy on “Submit” you agree that you have read and agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

Zumal “Die Geisha” mein unangefochtener Lieblingsfilm ist. Sayo Masuda’s writing in excellent translation is amazingly clear, open and conversational.


Jul 22, Eric DeBellis added it. To call this book heartbreaking would be to reduce it to a disarming cliche.


Difficult as the narrative is to read, for its unflinching account of the rigors and tortures of geisha life during the difficult conditions of post-war Japan, I value this memoir for its emotional honesty. Strawberry Reviews rated it liked it Shelves: I suggest skipping it and going back to it at the end.

For those who like to romanticize about Japan, this book may serve as a good corrective to see that their is often an ugly underside to any culture, even if aspects of it are lauded. Autobiograaphy recently I read Mazuda Iwasaki’s Geisha: The author never flinches from telling the bad along with the good, and the result is a story which truly shows ot universality of humanity at our best and worst, regardless of time period or culture.

Her narrative voice is plain and clear, which is perhaps what makes her account so tragic to read. Learn how your comment data is processed.


geishx Masuda relates her training years — then describes how she was sold to an elderly man when she was only sixteen. She went to Chiba to find Karuta. Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: