Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale

Rivalry: A Geisha's Tale


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Komayo is a former geisha who, upon the death of her husband, returns to the "world of flower and willow" to escape poverty. A chance encounter with an old patron, Yoshioka, leads to a potentially profitable relationship: Yoshioka believes Komayo can restore his lost innocence; Komayo uses Yoshioka's patronage to compete in elaborate music and dance performances. As Komayo considers Yoshioka's offer, she falls in love with Segawa, a young actor who promises to turn the talented geisha into the finest dancer in the Shimbashi quarter. Komayo is eager to become the lead performer among her peers. Her ambition even tempts her to assume a third patron known as the "Sea Monster," a repellent but wealthy antiques dealer. As she grows to realize a glittering career, Komayo becomes the target of her three lovers' bitter rivalry, which leaves her both thrilled and exhausted, brutalized and redeemed. Nagai Kafu's captivating tale moves from the intimate corners of the geisha house to the back rooms of assignation, from the dressing areas of the great kabuki theaters to the lonely country villa of a theater critic and connoisseur of Shimbashi women, detailing one woman's absorbing quest to find fame, affection, and financial security.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780231141192
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 09/20/2011
Series: Japanese Studies Series
Pages: 184
Sales rank: 478,784
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Nagai Kafu (1879-1959) was a Japanese novelist whose translated works include Autumn Wind and Other Stories, American Stories, and During the Rains and Flowers in the Shades: Two Novellas.

Stephen Snyder teaches Japanese language and literature at Middlebury College. He is the author of Fictions of Desire: Narrative Form in the Novels of Nagai Kafu and coeditor of Oe and Beyond: Studies in Contemporary Japanese Literature.

Table of Contents

Introduction     vii
Intermission     1
A Real Gem     8
Dayflowers     14
Welcoming Fires     22
A Dream in the Daylight     33
The Actor's Seal     43
Afterglow     48
Crimes in Bed     55
The Autumn Review     64
Box Seat     69
The Kikuobana     78
Rain on an Autumn Night     92
The Road Home     103
Asakusa     111
At the Gishun     119
Opening Day (I)     125
Opening Day (II)     131
Yesterday and Today     136
Yasuna     144
The Morning Bath     148
Turmoil     155
One Thing or Another     160

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