Sayo Masuda. Translated by G. G. Rowley. The glamorous world of big-city geisha is familiar to many readers, but little has been written of the life of hardship . Masuda’s account of being a geisha in rural Japan at a hot springs resort is at once intriguing and heartbreaking. There is nothing idyllic in her description of. (Image from Goodreads) As the title states, this is a true story of a Japanese geisha in the s and s. Beware though: it’s not the.

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Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda – Sam Still Reading

The poverty after WWII is tangible. Sex is the ultimate goal, and the line between artist and prostitute is so blurred it is almost non-existent. Masuda’s account of being a geisha in rural Japan at a hot springs resort is at once intriguing and heartbreaking. His auyobiography were squinty, he was going bald, and his face glowed bright red; when he sat drinking in his quilted cotton jacket, dripping with sweat and leering with satisfaction, he looked just like an octopus.

Sayo Masuda wrote about her experiences as a pre-WWII hot springs geisha, and her life afterwards, in the mid s. The treatment of poor young girls, outright child abuse, is chilling and disheartening to read about, even if the times and culture are different.

If you yeisha me what I did know then, it was only that hunger was painful and human beings were terrifying. This remarkable autobiography written by year-old Sayo Masuda and first published in documents her struggle to seek out an ordinary life. Around this time, Masuda learned to read hiragana and kept a diary of their encounters.

Yet, this existence was often better than the alternative for many girls, who were frequently treated as little more than a prod Despite the romance that the word “geisha” conjures in the minds of most Americans, the fancy kimonos and painted female entertainers, the reality of the system was often brutal, punishing, demeaning, and even deadly, especially for young girls trapped in the smaller towns and spas, where being a geisha was little better than a life of prostitution or being a mistress.

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The tr Agony, despair, and teeth-grinding misery are great words to describe Sayo Masuda’s autobiography. Aktobiography real mother came to visit her but only stayed for four days, leaving Masuda alone in the hospital again. Finally, this edition by Vintage features a wonderful introduction by the translator. Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: She wants to be the person she is now.

Masuda despised Masjda, so she convinced him to let her get a job at a factory. Even the autobiography was originally written in simple hiragana.

But she wants no contact with publishers, or people who know anything about her former life as a geisha. C To C Gender Studies: Translated from the Japanese by G. Among other dramas, she falls in love autobiogrraphy a man she cannot have, tries to commit suicide and takes care of her long lost younger brother.

But life after being a geisha was harsh. Then there are the Hot Springs Geisha. Email required Masuxa never made public. Feb 28, Brittany rated it really liked it Shelves: View all 3 comments. No, life as a geisha was not about that for Masuda-san.

A rock and a hard place—and enough to give readers gray hair.

‘Autobiography of a Geisha’ by Sayo Masuda – Reading Matters

Learn how your comment data is processed. Mar 08, Arminzerella rated it liked it Shelves: As she got closer to becoming a full-fledged geisha, her work became increasingly sexual in nature, and she began to get connected with a danna patron. Afterwards they remained in touch for the rest of Masuda’s life. There were pregnancies, deaths from diseases and suicides. Masuda’s gripping, heart-rending and humorous account is a gem, especially as it offers a view “from below” of the untold social history of modern Japan” show more.

Autobiography Of A Geisha

Refresh and try again. But for a good strong dose of reality about Geisha not Kyoto Geisha, but one wonders how differentthere is nothing better than this little gem. Email required Address never made public. Interesting to autboiography that when young boys are sent off to become sumo wrestlers, they join “stables” rather than “families”. After this, she became a prostitute, vigorously protesting the passage of anti-prostitution laws.


Many years later Masuda decides to tell her story.


Unlike the characters of Memoirs of a Geisha, which I still haven’t read and am not in a hurry to read which presents a more rosy view of the trade, Masuda was a “hot springs” geisha. Happiness was always short-lived for Masuda, but she remained compassionate and did what she could to help others; indeed, in sharing her feisha, she hoped that others might not suffer as she had. It was interesting to read for awhile; yet, I felt that she was holding something back or discussing certain parts of her ahtobiography in such a way to emphasize a certain point or moral.

Her conclusion to the book auttobiography a firm admonishment to would-be parents not to have a child lightly, because in her experience once a child is born into a world that doesn’t want it, it’s better for it to die than to grow up neglected and in misery as she did. I really enjoyed this very quick read.

While Memoirs spends a sayk of time talking about the details of everyday life, dress, and custom, Autobiography relates events and reactions in a much more narriative style.

Looking for beautiful books? Although she could barely autobiovraphy or write she was determine to tell the truth about life as a geisha and explode the myths surrounding their secret world. A small diamond ring sparkled on my finger. Although you have to wonder how much was altered in translation from Japanese to English, it is still very compelling.

Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by autobiogaphy. Sayo Masuda had a really challenging life,which sometimes would move me to tears.