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My rating: 4 of 5 stars
To think that a world exists very near to ours, where women are treated as mere commodities is quite an unsettling one. I chose this book because I wanted to learn about the mysterious world of the geisha. Knowing the kind of facts revealed, I was still appalled by how low a woman was worth back in those times.
Young Chiyo, orphaned from her mother’s untimely death, sold by a horrid father “so she may always be taken care of”. A place where girls are trained to be a successful geisha so they may “repay their debts” like the cost of their own purchase, their training and to reap profits. Where the virginity of a girl is awarded to the highest bidder so she may one day earn herself a ‘danna’. She will remain a loyal mistress to her ‘danna’ who will pay for her expenses and in return “deserve certain privileges”. There is no room for something as fleeting as love. It is scorned and so to say, not something a geisha can afford to nurture.
Nitta Sayuri may be a character from fiction but there have been countless girls who were condemned to the life of a geisha. I’m sure this story will stand out in my mind for quite some time. Heart felt, compelling and sad, it will definitely tug at your heart. A must read I would say.