Real Geishas I know Part 2【Beautiful stories from far away From Japan】
2022-11-20 ｜ TOSHI
❚ Stories of old Geishas, great memories
Continued from the previous part 1 (※I, this author is a Japanese woman)
Real Geishas I know Part 1【Beautiful stories from far away From Japan】
To be honest, after Tomoko’s funeral, I regretted it.
“She was the one who had such a turbulent life. I wish I had listened more to her.”
that’s what I thought.
But when I calm down, I thought,
“If she didn’t tell me about her past when she was a Geisha, I didn’t have to ask.”
I had a feeling.
When I was a university student, I personally researched Geisha, but the older they got, the more terrible stories they had.
I read many books in my time. However, I found it difficult to complete reading this book because of the shocking and grotesque themes. Sayo Masuda’s “Geisha”, a autobiography.『芸者』増田小夜著
She was born into a poor family, she had a bad childhood and was sold by her parents into becoming a Geisha in her childhood.
In this book, “The girls” easily die violently, and are subjected to all sorts of terrible things. “The girls” are the author “Sayo” and the Geishas around her at the time.
A girl even died after punishment because she ate just a sweet secretry, Sayo was born in 1925, so it’s a long time ago, but when I listen to Sayo’s story, I really don’t know what to say.
This is a free translation－－but what Sayo says that it is duty as a parent to protect their children until they are able to stand on their own, and that nobody must not repeat a life like hers. Who can deny it?
Actually, I bought this book when I was in high school, or maybe middle school, but I was so scared that I couldn’t finish reading it, but I couldn’t throw it away, so I kept it in my room for a long time.
In order to introduce her work this time, I researched and found out that Sayo, who had a turbulent life, opened a shop in her hometown and continued to work vigorously in her later years, which was a real relief for me.
Even in this online age, the book is highly rated by modern readers.
I also hope that the voice of Sayo will be heard farther, wider, and forever.
Another geisha memoir I recommend is “Edokko Geisha Ichidaiki” by Kiharu Nakamura. 『江戸っ子芸者一代記』中村喜春著
Born to a doctor’s daughter in Ginza, Tokyo (one of the beautiful places I love! ), she became a Geisha at the age of 16.
She was born in 1913, she learned English, and entertained Chaplin, Babe Ruth, Jean Cocteau. She married a diplomat, and lived to the age of 90 years old. It’s a upbeat story.
❚ Modern-day Geisha
On the other hand, I also have good memories. Due to the proximity, I have seen Geisha demonstrations with dinners in Kyoto.
They often see use red accessories. Taking a little bit of it, that day I used the bright red obiage and obijime with a kimono (the things that hold the obi, or “belt” for kimono in place).
In Kyoto, they are called Maiko or Geiko.
The young maiko who appeared that day was not even 20 years old, and she was beautiful and lovely. The kimono, obi, and accessories were wonderful, and she danced wonderfully.
Each customer was able to talk with her a little with them, and I was wearing red accessories with my kimono, and she saw them and said to me.
“Sister, (that’s how Geisha call their older female guests), are you taking dance lessons or something?” Maybe, this implied the question of whether I was a Geisha or not.
“It’s not like that, but… I was deeply moved by your wonderful dance! How beautiful! I know people might be surprised to hear me say this, but of all the women I’ve met in person, you’re the most beautiful. Please continue to practice hard!”
She was so happy that she had chosen me to demonstrate the game afterward.
All I can say is that they are really beautiful, might be most beautiful in the world. However, to be honest, I don’t know much about their real lives. It’s like a world full of secrets.
Nowadays, when working as a Geisha, there are place that offer a monthly salary and maternity leave. On the other hand, there were accusations regularly of different problems, and we don’t really know.
Anyway, there are still a few Geisha memoirs, some of which have been translated into other languages.
※TOSHI, I had been a writer who mainly focuses on food for around 5 years. I am looking for media that will publish my essays about Japan, gourmet Mystery novel (※) and #日本人が中華街でつぶやくJapanese tweets in Chinatown (serialized on X (Twitter) and this site), etc. Feel free to contact me via ClubRosy’s X (Twitter) DM. https://twitter.com/ClubRosy
The articles I wrote
(※)The casebook of Tokyo gourmet writer
[The case of Beautiful Girl Cooking Expert]
amazon TOSHI’s book（竹井夙 Toshi TAKEI’s book） [美しい人々 Beautiful people] etc.
The casebook of gourmet writer
[Mystery around Chinese tea]
Helpful feedback is always welcome!
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