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Nagai's Udekurabe, translated as Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale, may not be as famous in the West as Snow Countryor Memoirs of a Geisha, but it is just as powerful as Yasunari Kawabata's story and far superior to Arthur Golden's. Set in the entertainment district of Shimbashi, Tokyo, during Taisho-era Japan, this work, originally serialized in 1918, follows the varying fortunes of Komayo, a talented geisha who must navigate the complex world of rival geisha houses and their patrons. Nagai writes with surprising frankness and an impeccable eye for detail, drawing outsiders into the ritualized and esoteric world of the geisha while simultaneously showing the degradation the women must suffer for their profession. This new translation by Snyder (Japanese, Middlebury Coll.) successfully transforms Nagai's Taisho-era Japanese into flowing modern English. Based on an unexpurgated version of the Japanese text published in the 1950s, this version contains passages and scenes not previously available in English. Unfortunately, general readers will have some trouble because the book lacks a glossary defining specific Japanese terms that Snyder does not translate. Nonetheless, this is a good choice for literature in translation or Asia collections at larger public and academic libraries.