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A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice
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A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  279 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
This is the story of a contemporary Japanese teenager who, in a search for an identity, became fascinated with the world of geisha, and discovered in herself the will and the commitment to embark on the many years of apprenticeship necessary to become one.
It is also the story of a young Japanese photographer who grew up overseas, and who also was captivated by the traditi
Hardcover, 143 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by Kodansha
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Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur GoldenGeisha, a Life by Mineko IwasakiGeisha by Liza DalbyAutobiography of a Geisha by Sayo MasudaGeisha by John Gallagher
8th out of 28 books — 116 voters
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Kimono, Hanbok, Qipao
6th out of 79 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,917)
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Shay VanZwoll
Oct 17, 2014 Shay VanZwoll rated it it was amazing
A Geisha's Journey is the story of a young girl who dreams of becoming a maiko. Starting in China, we meet a Japanese girl named Ruriko, who travels to Miyagawa-cho, one of the five famous hanamachi districts in Kyoto. Ruriko is given the name of Komomo as she starts her journey as a maiko. Learning how to wear kimono, speak the hamamachi dialect correctly, and immersing herself in historical dance and music, Komomo's story gives us a beautiful insight into a disappearing world.

Full of gorgeous
Oct 10, 2008 Ad_blankestijn rated it it was amazing
Kodansha has published a beautiful photo book called A Geisha's Journey, My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice. The initiative for the book was taken by young photographer Ogino Naoyuki and its subject is a Japanese teenager and later young woman called Nasu Ruriko who was born in Mexico and after that lived with her parents in China. These foreign experiences awakened her interest in her Japanese roots and everything "wa" (traditionally Japanese). She especially liked to wear kimono and wanted to be ab ...more
Sabrina  Brawley
A Geisha's Journey: My Life as a Kyoto Apprentice is a photographic memoir offering a rare glimpse into the training of a geisha. This fabulous hardcover book focuses on the tale of one particular teenage girl, from her entrance into the hanamachi as a maiko through the completion of her training and her official transition to a geiko. The progression from a young girl filled with uncertainty and trepidation to a mature, disciplined young woman radiates from the full color photographs.

Komono's s
Wonderful photographs and an interesting and more modern look at the profession. It's so fascinating to read about Komomo's life and work that I wanted more text to get even greater detail, but it's still a great read.
May 05, 2015 TheFedoraMaster rated it it was amazing
I have not yet read this book, but I feel like it is a very interesting read. I like the cover, and the pictures. That is all
May 26, 2015 Natalie rated it really liked it
I always wanted to know about life as a young girl trying to become a Geiko.
Apr 29, 2008 Cone rated it really liked it
I definitely bought this book more for the photography than the text. Komomo's brief narrative does not give any further insight into the world of the Kyoto geiko than could be found in Iwasaki Mineko's autobiography or Liza Dalby's ethnography. However, it is worth picking up this book just to look at Naoyuki Ogino's stunning photography. The subject matter is already gorgeous, but I cannot think of another such complete example of a series of photos of one girl's transition from shikomi to gei ...more
John Lawson
Jan 06, 2015 John Lawson rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
Teen-age girl decides to begin geisha training. Photography ensues.

I didn't realize this would be a coffee table picture book. I thought it was going to be a nonfiction MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA. Unsurprisingly, this book was devoid of any real drama or story. The girl decides to be a geisha, trains to be a geisha, becomes a geisha. (Sorry, spoiler.)

The writing didn't draw me in, and I wasn't blown away by the photos. Oh well.
Jun 11, 2012 Glennis rated it liked it
I saw this listed on someone else's blog and since I had never seen it before I though I would check it out. It is mostly a photographic depiction of her life as an apprentice. The photos are beautiful but for the most part there is not a ton of info on her day to day life. The tone of the book is breezy and not scholarly. Nevertheless I still enjoyed it and wished there was more.
Sep 05, 2008 Juliet rated it liked it
Shelves: truestory, japan
Definitely some lovely pictures included in this book and a lot of information about what it's like to be a maiko/geiko. I also like how they didn't really airbrush any of the facts out and made the story more glamourous and magical being a geisha really is (like Memoirs or the Memoirs movie). Komomo was just a simple girl doing her job and that's that.
Kate Webster
The only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5 is because I wanted it to be longer! This is a beautiful photo book with short insights into the world of geiko. I would have loved an even more in depth story. The photographs are wonderful.
Mar 27, 2012 Erica rated it it was amazing
Until her recent retirement, Komomo-san was a favorite Geiko of mine. She was quite successful in her career and reading this account of her journey richened her story for me. I am sad that she has left Miyagawa-cho.
Dec 29, 2012 Katey rated it it was amazing
What a beautiful journey through a young woman's life as a geiko! I really admire Komomo for knowing what she wanted at such a young age. The pictures are gorgeous. This is definitely a book that will stay on my coffee table!
Feb 19, 2012 Martyna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, francais
J'ai beaucoup aimé le format de ce livre: en partie photographie et en partie biographie. Chaque partie pour elle-même n'aurait pas eu un tel impact, mais l'ensemble fait que ce livre est réussi.
Nov 11, 2014 Skye rated it really liked it
Beautiful, magical journey that is seldom captured in such detail and humour. Indeed, komomo san has light in her eyes- the pictures are stunning.
Aug 25, 2012 Brad rated it it was amazing
Love...Love... Love this book!! plus I got the book autographed by 子桃!!(KOMOMO) I'm so lucky to receive that memento from 子桃!!大好き日本!!ふるさと!! ...more
Feb 22, 2010 Stephanie rated it it was amazing
Shelves: japan-literature
a photo book about geisha, the first book i found that tells a story about 21st century geisha in real life
Apr 14, 2008 Heather rated it did not like it
I liked the Fiction version better...this book kind of dragged out. Slow read.
Carolyn Bruce
Dec 09, 2014 Carolyn Bruce rated it liked it
Told in a more historical voice than a story. Lovely pictures
Nov 26, 2011 Bianca rated it really liked it
Gorgeous photos that give an insider's view into life as a geisha
The photographs were outstanding.
Enchanting photographs.
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