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Autobiography of a Geisha door Sayo Masuda
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Autobiography of a Geisha (editie 2005)

door Sayo Masuda (Auteur)

LedenBesprekingenPopulariteitGemiddelde beoordelingAanhalingen
3951548,337 (3.56)24
The glamorous world of big-city geisha is familiar to many readers, but little has been written of the life of hardship and pain led by the hot-springs-resort geisha. Indentured to geisha houses by families in desperate poverty, deprived of freedom and identity, these young women lived in a world of sex for sale, unadorned by the trappings of wealth and celebrity. Sayo Masuda has written the first full-length autobiography of a former hot-springs-resort geisha. Masuda was sent to work as a nursemaid at the age of six and then was sold to a geisha house at the age of twelve. In keeping with tradition, she first worked as a servant while training in the arts of dance, song, shamisen, and drum. In 1940, aged sixteen, she made her debut as a geisha. Autobiography of a Geisha chronicles the harsh life in the geisha house from which Masuda and her "sisters" worked. They were routinely expected to engage in sex for payment, and Masuda's memoir contains a grim account of a geisha's slow death from untreated venereal disease. Upon completion of their indenture, geisha could be left with no means of making a living. Marriage sometimes meant rescue, but the best that most geisha could hope for was to become a man's mistress. Masuda also tells of her life after leaving the geisha house, painting a vivid panorama of the grinding poverty of the rural poor in wartime Japan. As she eked out an existence on the margins of Japanese society, earning money in odd jobs and hard labor--even falling in with Korean gangsters--Masuda experienced first hand the anguish and the fortitude of prostitutes, gangster mistresses, black-market traders, and abandoned mothers struggling to survive in postwar Japan. Happiness was always short-lived for Masuda, but she remained compassionate and did what she could to help others; indeed, in sharing her story, she hoped that others might not suffer as she had. Although barely able to write, her years of training in the arts of entertaining made her an accomplished storyteller, and Autobiography of a Geisha is as remarkable for its wit and humor as for its unromanticized candor. It is the superbly told tale of a woman whom fortune never favored yet never defeated.… (meer)
Lid:Mikiniki001
Titel:Autobiography of a Geisha
Auteurs:Sayo Masuda (Auteur)
Info:Columbia University Press (2005), 216 pages
Verzamelingen:Jouw bibliotheek
Waardering:*****
Trefwoorden:Geen

Werkdetails

Autobiography of a Geisha door Sayo Masuda

  1. 00
    Sandakan brothel no. 8 : an episode in the history of lower-class Japanese women door Tomoko Yamazaki (SparrowByTheRailStar)
    SparrowByTheRailStar: The story of an anthropologist and a retired Japanese Comfort Woman, whose impoverished family left her little opportunity for a life outside servitude. Though she does not receive any of the training in the arts geisha do, her story is still an important part of the water trade.… (meer)
  2. 00
    Mijn leven als geisha autobiografie door Mineko Iwasaki (SparrowByTheRailStar)
    SparrowByTheRailStar: The memoirs of a Kyoto Geiko, and the parallel of an onsesan geisha.
  3. 00
    Dagboek van een geisha door Arthur Golden (whymaggiemay)
    whymaggiemay: Beautifully written story of a geisha who fares better than Sayo Masuda.
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1-5 van 15 worden getoond (volgende | toon alle)
Sayo Masuda was a good narrator, with humour and a lack of self-pity that made it easy to read. An unvarnished account of deprivation and prostitution. ( )
  RFellows | Apr 29, 2020 |
Not just a good book, but an important one.
Sayo Masuda's memoir gives an unembellished, unromanticized view of what it was really like to live and work as a geisha. It's a story of extreme poverty and oppression, but her resilience, spirit and humor shine through. It feels to me as though translator Rowley truly captured her authentic voice - the tale seems honest and sincere. The author never flinches from telling the bad along with the good, and the result is a story which truly shows the universality of humanity at our best and worst, regardless of time period or culture. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
This book is a thousand times better than Memoirs of a Geisha, partially because the story is much more heart-wrenching, mostly because it's true. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Masuda Sayo was a geisha in a rural part of Japan. Her story starts when she was six years old. Rejected by her mother as she was an illegitimate child, Masuda was sent to be a nursemaid at an age where she should still have been in the nursery herself. When she was twelve she was sold to a geisha house. Masuda relates her training years – then describes how she was sold to an elderly man when she was only sixteen. He had a wife and a mistress already.

This is a terrible story to read – in that it is not made up – it really happened. Masuda never went to school but related her story to expose the geisha industry from the fairytale status that the western world seems to hold it. She is frank, and hold nothing back. Geisha’s are an integral part of Japanese society, and yet the women who work in the industry are scorned by society when they leave the protection of the Geisha houses.

G. G. Rowley translated the story directly from the original Japanese in 2003 – she then was able to meet Masuda in 2004 when she was 81 years of age – and added an epilogue in 2005.

An interesting insight into another world.

  sally906 | Apr 3, 2013 |
Despite it is a very sad book, I liked to read it.
Not because I love to read about other people's misery, but because this autobiography gave a better look into the reality of a geisha's training.
It was not easy to read about the difficulties Matsuda faced as a child, being sent away again and again, lacking a loving family and, when she was a grown up, the circumstances of war. Reading about what she had to do to survive, how desperate she has been was not pleasant, but I am glad I did read this book, for it takes away a bit of the glamour & glitter that geisha-hood is surrounded with for foreigners.
Although I knew that the training is hard, that young girls are more often sold to geisha houses out of poverty than out of free will of the girl, I had no idea that there was a geisha world like the one described by Matsuda.
( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Wikipedia in het Engels (3)

The glamorous world of big-city geisha is familiar to many readers, but little has been written of the life of hardship and pain led by the hot-springs-resort geisha. Indentured to geisha houses by families in desperate poverty, deprived of freedom and identity, these young women lived in a world of sex for sale, unadorned by the trappings of wealth and celebrity. Sayo Masuda has written the first full-length autobiography of a former hot-springs-resort geisha. Masuda was sent to work as a nursemaid at the age of six and then was sold to a geisha house at the age of twelve. In keeping with tradition, she first worked as a servant while training in the arts of dance, song, shamisen, and drum. In 1940, aged sixteen, she made her debut as a geisha. Autobiography of a Geisha chronicles the harsh life in the geisha house from which Masuda and her "sisters" worked. They were routinely expected to engage in sex for payment, and Masuda's memoir contains a grim account of a geisha's slow death from untreated venereal disease. Upon completion of their indenture, geisha could be left with no means of making a living. Marriage sometimes meant rescue, but the best that most geisha could hope for was to become a man's mistress. Masuda also tells of her life after leaving the geisha house, painting a vivid panorama of the grinding poverty of the rural poor in wartime Japan. As she eked out an existence on the margins of Japanese society, earning money in odd jobs and hard labor--even falling in with Korean gangsters--Masuda experienced first hand the anguish and the fortitude of prostitutes, gangster mistresses, black-market traders, and abandoned mothers struggling to survive in postwar Japan. Happiness was always short-lived for Masuda, but she remained compassionate and did what she could to help others; indeed, in sharing her story, she hoped that others might not suffer as she had. Although barely able to write, her years of training in the arts of entertaining made her an accomplished storyteller, and Autobiography of a Geisha is as remarkable for its wit and humor as for its unromanticized candor. It is the superbly told tale of a woman whom fortune never favored yet never defeated.

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