Sachi's Reviews > Geisha, a Life

Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
May 29, 2007

it was ok

This woman wrote her book in a response to Memoirs of a Geisha because she felt that the book gave the wrong impression. Unfortunately for readers, this book is story after story about how great and important the author was / is. It doesn't represent life as a geisha, it represents life seeking fame.
32 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Geisha, a Life.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

02/08 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Janice (new)

Janice I agree. It's a shame, it could have been so much more.

Rachel (Cullen House Reviews) True...
In my opinion, she came across as self-absorbed and arrogant.

Samantha Defensor Remember that her true words must have been lost in the translation. We must remember that Memoirs of a Geisha is historical fiction, and it must be treated as such.

Laura As a story, this book is rather lacking, but I take it as a single and personal accounting of her life. If she she comes across arrogant, that's probably what she must have been like. But there is evidence in her tale to suggest that her self-absorption was a product of her upbringing as a Geisha, or maybe even specifically the life SHE led.

Sparrowlicious I can't agree with any of this about her being 'self-absorbed' or anything. Just because she's not humble, does that make her arrogant? In my opinion no, it doesn't. She was famous so why not be proud of that? Usually it's the men who are boasting. For those of you who saw the movie: Well, durr, life was hard. That she excelled at the geisha arts was surely no easy feat.

message 6: by Lori (new) - added it

Lori Davis Samantha, Memoirs is NOT historical fiction.

message 7: by Adrianb (new)

Adrianb Lori wrote: "Samantha, Memoirs is NOT historical fiction."

Given the fact that Mineko Iwasaki was born after World War 2 and the war in the Pacific it's not really fact either is it? It falls into the category of 'Inspired by true events' - which at best is an ambiguous middle ground between fact and fiction. Interweaving a story partially based on fact (seemingly taking liberties with some facts for dramatic effect) and interweaving said facts with historic events from a completely different timeline - doesn't that make it Historic Fiction?

Perhaps the Historic Fiction genre has strict parameters I'm not aware of. (And I promise I say that without any intended sarcasm - I'm just not good at genres.)

message 8: by Lori (new) - added it

Lori Davis My own words weren't exactly clear, that's on me. The portrayal of geiko is what struck a nerve with me, added to the fact that this guy basically ruined her life when she trusted him with her story, which he was only to use as research. Very little about the geisha/geiko in this book and its movie are facts.

AlysaLazzarini I don't believe she boasts about herself more than she should. It is not her personal opinion that she was great, it was fact that she was one of the most successful geiko of her time, and that isn't something she declared and it became true because this book, she created that success on her own because she worked hard and had a great passion for dancing. She wrote this book because Arthur Golden sexualized and misconstrued the life and profession of geisha and she wanted her story to be told as it was, not as a white western man interpreted it.

Carolina Gonzalez Well, Golden's books was made to entertain you while Mineko's is an autobiography tough, more real.

back to top