“Memoirs Of A Geisha” – Arthur Golden

Original language: EnglishMemoirsOfAGeisha

First edition: 1997

Date read: November-December 2013

Plot summary: This is the story of how Chiyo, a girl from a fishing village, was sold and ended up becoming the most celebrated Geisha in Japan.

Opinion/Comments: According to historians, this book is very loosely based on the life and responsibilities of a Geisha -artist in Japanese. Although Chiyo/Sakuri spends half the book saying they’re women who simply entertain high-class men, in the end we can see that these women are nothing but escorts, glorified prostitutes or kept women.
They’re trained to entertain men by singing, dancing and dominating the art of conversation. In reality it looks more like they keep them company and give men a happy ending if they want to.
Although historians say Geishas didn’t sell their virginity to the highest bidder, I doubt this wasn’t the case.
The main objective of those women was to have a patron, ‘danna’ in Japanese, to support them financially. Well, if that isn’t being a prostitute, then I don’t know what is…

What I don’t like about this book is that the author tries to wrap the story in a typical bubblegum plot. The poor girl who is put under unfair circumstances and that cannot be with the man she loves.
Truth is, life has always been unfair for us women and over the centuries we’ve had to sacrifice a lot in order to survive.

Personal rating: 7/10

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