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01 April 2009

Mizuage

In the book Memoirs of Geisha, the mizuage ceremony during which a geisha graduates from an apprentice (maiko) is depicted as an auction of the geisha's virginity. I found the description of Chiyo's clinical deflowering disturbing. Believing that the author had correctly researched the lives of geisha, I imagined that this was how the mizuage ceremony happened in real life. I was wrong.

I recently finished, Geisha: A Life, the story of Mineko Iwaski, one of Japan's most famous Geisha. There is a detailed description of her mizuage ceremony, and there is no sex involved. She further goes on to state that the sexual mizuage ceremony described elsewhere was not a geisha ritual, but the ritual of cortesan group of Kyoto.

I highly recommend Geisha: A Life. It is an easy, entertaining and educational read. In fact, I read it in less than a day :).

Image from theage.com.au

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3 comments:

SoHo Accessories said...

Since I read Memoirs of Geisha and loved it, I will read Geisha: A Life..to get a more real account.
Thanks !

WendyB said...

Sounds like my kind of book.

RhiannonM said...

I'll be glad to read that, as geisha have fascinated me for a long time. I read Memoirs of a Geisha back in 1999 or 2000, shortly after it was published. I was only enamored of the movie's visuals and nto necessarily its treatment of the story. I am glad to fidn something that will give me more insight in correct information. Thanks for the recommendation!