NICA’S READING NOOK: MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA

Japan. One of the dream places written on my bucket list that I’d love to visit someday *sighs*. To learn from their culture, speak their language, eat tons of sushi, wear a kimono and see the cherry blossom trees are but a few of all the things I love in Japan. The Japanese are well-known for their deep love in preserving all natural and cultural things, in which I think we in the Philippines should follow suit. It is disheartening to see that not all of our historical and cultural heritages are being taken cared of. Nevertheless, I believe it isn’t too late to change our ways, especially now that technology in archaeology and preservation techniques are continuously enhanced.

Well, enough of the ramblings, let’s get down to the book written by Arthur Golden. The book is told via a first-person narrative. I find myself attracted to books written that way (attracted talaga eh noh??). They make you feel what it’s like to be in the heroine’s shoes, which is a type of an imaginary adventure for me. So the thing is, this book published in 1997 was actually controversial. When the Japanese version of it was released, lawsuits followed. You see, Mr. Arthur Golden here interviewed a real geisha in order to back up his novel and give justice to what a geisha’s life is. Being an American, it was a good thing he did so, hearing it first-hand from experience is way better. But the problem was disclosure of the geisha’s identity, defamation and breach of contract, lots of nasty court struggles and they finally settled on 2003. HEHE I did my research oh diba! *clap clap*
Geisha_0(1)

Geisha. I honestly thought that they were prostis but sosyal. Then when I searched Google, I learned that my assumptions were wrong *facepalm*. Sorry about that though. Anyway, a geisha is a female entertainer, who specialises in dancing, pouring sake, and engaging in lively conversations with their male patrons. There are occasions in which they pursue intimacy but a high-level geisha (one who underwent the proper education) particularly those with a danna (I’ll explain later what a danna is) prefer in accompanying the other men instead.

A danna is a man who can afford to have a mistress and sustain her finances, registries, kimonos, beauty stuff, housing, parties and events kung baga sa atin magiging official na kabit na sya, oh diba may ganun pala!?! Sounds surprising that wives would permit their husbands to take up mistresses and splurge on them as well. I have been wondering what do they feel on those situations. But don’t judge a geisha immediately, understand that most of them at a young age are struggling in poverty and being a geisha is one of their ways to reach their goal. On the case of our protagonist,  Sakamoto Chiyo a.k.a. Nitta Sayuri (geisha name) she was sold into it. In our modern times, we could call it human trafficking. However during those times these girls and some families consider themselves grateful for a chance of education in arts, a roof to cover their heads, and meals to fill their bellies, all in exhange for heaps of training. The training isn’t as simple as pouting your lips and seductively whooshing your lashes HAHA (I wonder if I used the right term), it takes patience and a good reputation to be a successful geisha. This book really informs you on what a life of a geisha is from the beginning up to its end. I’m glad that even though she ended up just being a mistress to the Chairman, at least she found love and had her own child.

My adventure with this book has brought me to Yoroido, Amami, Kyoto, Gion and New York! What else, can I say?? Hahaha. A good book to read and perhaps I should watch the movie itself eh?

Merci beacoup et à bientôt

P.S. A book with a one word title- Veronica Roth’s Divergent and its series. Happy Reading!

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