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Memoirs of a Geisha (4/5)
Going to keep it brief for this one. It’s fiction. I checked because after reading it I looked up in google: “memoirs of a geisha real?”.
“ Geisha: a Japanese girl or woman who is trained to provide entertaining and lighthearted company especially for a man or a group of men”
Arthur Golden obviously did a great job in his research for this book. It depicts a super complete image of life in the Gion geisha district of Kyoto for the period from 1920s to 1950s. It follows the path of Chiyo as she is ripped away from her small fishing village and brought to Kyoto to start her training to become a geisha. You get access to all the rigours involved in this training. There’s a good dose of scheming involved between rival women which makes for some gripping reading; whose schemes will prevail? I think part of the reason I enjoyed it so much is that it really transports you to that district and that era of Japan. Arthur Golden drops in a few references to real characters (such as the sumo wrestler Miyagiyama Fukumatsu) which really helps to make you believe in the story.
I rated it a 4/5 on Goodreads as I’m trying to be a bit more selective in what I award 5 stars. I would still absolutely recommend it. It's quite a fascinating insight into a disappearing part of Japanese culture.