Another feature brought to you by the people of Urban75

18.11.05

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

This unusual novel is written in the form of an autobiography but is wholly fictitious; the author has spent many years studying Japanese culture and brings this to the reader in the form of a life story of a girl from 1920's Japan who becomes a geisha. The harsh conditions in which she grew up then onto the city to train as a Geisha are portrayed in rich detail with the main character really standing out from the pages. The grim struggle as a child and the intrigue of her early adulthood told in the narrative make a really good read and it's easy to forget that it is a work of fiction. The descriptive passages really show the detailed background work that has gone into the book as the author brings to the western reader the sometimes-closed world of Japanese culture especially in pre WW2 Japan before its dominance of late 20th century technology. Essentially the tradition of Geisha goes back hundreds of years accompanying the Teahouse as one of Japans more recognisable features. Often in the west Geisha are misunderstood to be prostitutes, throughout the book this is explained to be wrong as the name really means artist or artisan. There cannot be any doubt though that in many places the culture we are shown is abusive and exploitative. The young central character is sold into slavery really and her sister is sold as a prostitute, she is beaten and abused and lives a life of misery in her early years whilst training to be a Geisha. A Geisha that whilst shown in the narrative to be some kind of corner stone of Japanese culture really comes across as mental physical and sexual abuse of children for the entertainment of rich Japanese men. The matter of fact way the girls' virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder whilst she is very young - the winner being the rich dirty old man with the most money - and the price setting up the girls future life as a top Geisha. Throughout the novel the young Geisha vie for the attentions of frankly old men (rich old men) in Tearooms. The narrative attempts to draw a parallel between the western kept woman or mistress and the Geisha. For me as a reader the earlier western supposed mistake of thinking them prostitutes is actually closer to the mark. I found it more than annoying as a reader to read the characters endless intrigue to defeat other Geisha to get the attentions of men that had to be 20 years older just so they could get money to continue living the life of the Geisha; the fine silk kimono that feature throughout the book, the expensive perfumes and make up, all to perpetuate the Geisha culture and the training houses they support.

In all then a well written but frankly disturbing book that shows a ages old system of abuse as a cultural norm masquerading as tradition. It portrays well the struggle of women in a male dominated society but those same women then perpetuate the problem so it becomes a cycle. The book is set pre war and after the war much of this was swept away (I hope) with the integration of Japan into western spheres of influence. Worth a read for the quality of writing even if the subject matter leaves a bad taste.

3 Comments:

Blogger davidfrie69857227 said...

Make no mistake: Our mission at Tip Top Equities is to sift through the thousands of underperforming companies out there to find the golden needle in the haystack. A stock worthy of your investment. A stock with the potential for big returns. More often than not, the stocks we profile show a significant increase in stock price, sometimes in days, not months or years. We have come across what we feel is one of those rare deals that the public has not heard about yet. Read on to find out more.

Nano Superlattice Technology Inc. (OTCBB Symbol: NSLT) is a nanotechnology company engaged in the coating of tools and components with nano structured PVD coatings for high-tech industries.

Nano utilizes Arc Bond Sputtering and Superlattice technology to apply multi-layers of super-hard elemental coatings on an array of precision products to achieve a variety of physical properties. The application of the coating on industrial products is designed to change their physical properties, improving a product's durability, resistance, chemical and physical characteristics as well as performance. Nano's super-hard alloy coating materials were especially developed for printed circuit board drills in response to special market requirements

The cutting of circuit boards causes severe wear on the cutting edge of drills and routers. With the increased miniaturization of personal electronics devices the dimensions of holes and cut aways are currently less than 0.2 mm. Nano coats tools with an ultra thin coating (only a few nanometers in thickness) of nitrides which can have a hardness of up to half that of diamond. This has proven to increase tool life by almost ten times. Nano plans to continue research and development into these techniques due to the vast application range for this type of nanotechnology

We believe that Nano is a company on the move. With today�s steady move towards miniaturization we feel that Nano is a company with the right product at the right time. It is our opinion that an investment in Nano will produce great returns for our readers.

Online Stock trading, in the New York Stock Exchange, and Toronto Stock Exchange, or any other stock market requires many hours of stock research. Always consult a stock broker for stock prices of penny stocks, and always seek proper free stock advice, as well as read a stock chart. This is not encouragement to buy stock, but merely a possible hot stock pick. Get a live stock market quote, before making a stock investment or participating in the stock market game or buying or selling a stock option.

7:38 PM

 
Blogger edwilliams0119 said...

I read over your blog, and i found it inquisitive, you may find My Blog interesting. My blog is just about my day to day life, as a park ranger. So please Click Here To Read My Blog

10:36 AM

 
Blogger russeldewey said...

This book always comes to mind when I'm asked what my all-time favorite books are. I love a book that teaches me about history and cultures and customs of other countries. I agree, that was the best part of the book. Thanks for the great review! Made me want to read it again.

regards,
russel of DFW Spine & Joint Center

10:39 PM

 

Post a Comment

<< Home