• Mineko Iwasaki
  • Mineko Iwasaki on a postcard-- Japan
  • Geisha of Gion, by Mineko Iwasaki.
  • Mineko Iwasaki during her last day as a maiko.

Geisha of Gion: The True Story of Japan's Foremost Geisha

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With "Geisha : A Life," Mineko Iwasaki lifts some of the veils of this fantasy world and shows that, underneath the make-up and fancy hairstyles, Geiko are just women, with the same thoughts and feelings and pride and emotion as everyone else. In some ways, this destroys the fantasy, being able to see "behind-the-scenes." The life of a Geiko is very difficult and somewhat...boring. Like a dedicated ballet dancer, the bulk of their life is training and practice, trying to achieve a near-impossible idea of body and movement.

"I am indebted to one individual above all others ... Mineko Iwasaki," he wrote in his long list of acknowledgments. "She became, and remains, a good friend. To Mineko, thank you for everything."


Mineko Iwasaki (Author of Geisha, a Life)

Mineko Iwasaki was a queen among the geisha of Kyoto, Japan, in the 1960s and 1970s, the kind of girl, connoisseurs said, who comes along once every 100 years.