Geisha

( 9 )

Overview


In this classic best seller, Liza Dalby, the first non-Japanese ever to have trained as a geisha, offers an insider's look at the exclusive world of female companions to the Japanese male elite. A new preface examines how geisha have been profoundly affected by the changes of the past quarter century yet?especially in Kyoto?have managed to take advantage of modern developments to maintain their social position with flair.
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Overview


In this classic best seller, Liza Dalby, the first non-Japanese ever to have trained as a geisha, offers an insider's look at the exclusive world of female companions to the Japanese male elite. A new preface examines how geisha have been profoundly affected by the changes of the past quarter century yet—especially in Kyoto—have managed to take advantage of modern developments to maintain their social position with flair.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Provides an important window on the arts practiced by geisha, a history of their profession, and their reception in modern Japan through the mid-1970s."--Southeast Review of Asian Stds
Southeast Review Of Asian Stds

“Provides an important window on the arts practiced by geisha, a history of their profession, and their reception in modern Japan through the mid-1970s.”
Rachel Taylor
With sharp insight into Japanese social customs, she describes a lifestyle that no other Westerner has experienced.... — Brill's Content
Lesley Downer
[The book] is a meticulously researched work of scholarship, but is also a delightfully personal account fo Dalby's year among the Geisha...the bible of Geisha studies to this day.
Times Literary Supplement
Rachel Taylor
With sharp insight into Japanese social customs, she describes a lifestyle that no other Westerner has experienced....
Brill's Content
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
An engrossing account of a society shrouded by centuries of mystery....Dalby brings us the real women behind the white face paint and silk kimonos. Her patient exploration of the nuances and ambivalences inherent in geisha life leaves the reader with a new understanding, and respect, for these hardworking often lonely...curators of tradition....She has given us an unprecendented perspective on a fascinating society.
San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
An engrossing account of a society shrouded by centuries of mystery....Dalby brings us the real women behind the white face paint and silk kimonos. Her patient exploration of the nuances and ambivalences inherent in geisha life leaves the reader with a new understanding, and respect, for these hardworking often lonely...curators of tradition....She has given us an unprecendented perspective on a fascinating society.
Donald Rich
The authoritative work on the geisha.
The New York Times Book Review
Heather Harlan
More than just a history and analysis of geisha as a unique social phenomenon, Geisha is also a personal account of [the author's] relationships with these women and the closed society she shared with them for a while as their "sister and daughter."
AsianWeek
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520257894
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 12/10/2008
  • Edition description: Anniversar
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 374
  • Sales rank: 636,190
  • Product dimensions: 8.20 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author


Liza Dalby is the author of East Wind Melts the Ice: A Memoir through the Seasons (UC Press), The Tale of Murasaki: A Novel, and Kimono: Fashioning Culture.
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Table of Contents

Preface: Geisha and Anthropology
Preface: Twenty-Four Years Later
Pt. 1 Relations
1 Sisters 3
2 Kyoto 17
3 Ties that Bind 35
4 Pontocho of Long Ago 49
5 Geisha Renovation 77
6 The Beginning of Things 97
7 Generations 119
8 Geisha Parties 139
Pt. 2 Variations
9 The Elusive Geisha 165
10 The Rise of Akasaka 177
11 Downtown Geisha 191
12 Art and Life 211
13 Country Geisha 229
Pt. 3 Sensibilities
14 Three Strings 251
15 Geisha Chic 269
16 Kimono 281
17 Exotics and Retrospectives 303
Notes 314
Glossary 329
Bibliography 337
Index 341
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2010

    A must read for fans of Japanese culture

    I bought this after I watched the extras on the Memoirs of a Geisha dvd. Liza Dalby was the one who helped all the actresses really get into the character of a Geisha. This book provides excellent insight into the world of the Geisha and I highly recommend it for anyone who is interested in Geisha or just in Japanese culture in general.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2005

    Highly recommend

    This book is written by an anthropologist who lives the life of a geisha and shares her experience and observations. It was used in my cultural anth class as a text. It is meant to be an interesting academic work, not an entertaining novel. Still I didn't think it was a difficult read. It is definitely more authentic than a fictional account written by a 50 yr old White male from Tennessee with a Harvard degree in Japanese art history. I'm referring to the novel written by Arthur Golden which is basically 'Pretty Woman in Japan'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2005

    An engrossing personal account

    I think some of the readers are mistakenly picking up Geisha thinking it is a fictional tale like Memoirs. Geisha is Liza Dalby's account of her personal experience amongst Geisha's. I was engrossed in the details of their daily lives and fascinated with the traditions that these women uphold and pass on. I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for something more than just a fictional story about Geisha's.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2004

    Geisha Vs Memoirs of a Geisha

    I would recomend 'Memoirs of a Geisha' more so then this book...'Geisha'. 'Geisha' was a lot harder to follow, it was a slower read for me vs. the 'Memoirs...' which I thought was excellent.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2001

    BORING

    The chapters are scattered and unorganized. The pictures are dull, and the story is hard to follow. good if you are planning on writing a research paper on giesha, but for entertainment purposes i give this book a thumb down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2001

    Very Intriging Geisha Story

    I've read Geisha by Liza Dalby, and I find that she definately makes you feel as if you're right in the middle of Pontocho with her. If you're fascinated with the life of the Geisha, this is definately well worth a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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