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Wed Dec 18th, 2013

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10:22 pm - Wednesday meme
What have you just finished reading?
Mineko Iwasaki, Geisha, a Life, fun and informative about the geiko world, though still just echoing everything I learned via Kurotsubaki. Alas, the protagonist doesn't come off as a terribly nice person. If you don't like the fact that the Queen of England isn't eating anything at the banquet where you, my dear, are no more than the entertainment, suck it up. She probably had stomach flu and was soldiering on in spite of it. It's not for you to go flirting with Prince Phillip in order to piss her off and then smugly say, 'Bad manners are bad manners, no matter who it is.'

What are you reading now?
Ysabeau Wilce, Flora's Fury. Been three years since I read Flora's Dare and clearly retained nothing of it. I like the books in spite of Flora being predictable and tiresome: but then, I'm not the intended age range.

What will you read next?
Larissa Lai, When Fox is a Thousand is on its way to me, as is Flora's Dare for rereads.

Also what he said, especially his reaction immediately post-read. We're obviously of the same generation.

(6 comments | post comment)


[User Picture]
Date:December 19th, 2013 02:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you for sharing that lovely essay on retreats. I agree with him too. Maybe not so much a generation as a different world we lived in then. ^__^

Thank you also for my partridge in a pear tree. It is indeed a most beautiful partridge!

and those Flora books and that Fox one sound delightful.

By the way my mother in law read the 'Points' that you gifted me with, and found them wonderful reads. Thank you once again.

[User Picture]
Date:December 19th, 2013 02:41 pm (UTC)
You're welcome!

I'm still looking for a copy of Point of Dreams to send you. May have to go with the Evil Book Empire.
[User Picture]
Date:December 20th, 2013 03:23 am (UTC)
Ohh, I like his commentary. It's thoughtful and worth thinking about. Thank you!
[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2013 12:15 pm (UTC)
Weird, I just read that geiko book myself. The main thing I took away from it all was how rude and cruel men could be to a geiko; dropping lit cigarettes down the backs of their kimono, ganging up on them and groping them in public - not as respectful as I had imagined they would be. The dancing sounds amazing though, and she seemed incredibly hardworking and dedicated, so that was refreshing. I had honestly expected it to be along the lines of Memoirs of a Geisha, which I'm very glad it wasn't!

Having said all that, I am a little bit weirded out by her childhood - hiding in the cupboard, being breastfed up until age 11 and being treated like a princess for all her young life must had have more of an impact than she's telling us on her behaviour in later life. Not to mention the incident with her cousin when she was 15... *shudder*
[User Picture]
Date:December 22nd, 2013 02:33 pm (UTC)
The way the guys acted surprised me too. Boors are boors, I suppose, even in Kyoto. I mean, they'd probably treat bar hostesses like that, but geiko are different. And on the street too- that's amazing.

The breastfed thing was- oh well, shrug. I know people even here who breastfeed their four year olds, so I'm not surprised if she wasn't able to sleep without nursing. That her foster mother and sister kept on indulging that for so long is something I'm just going to have to put down to 'another country-- they do things differently there.'

I can understand the closet thing though. Suppose you're an introvert (cough cough like me cough) who just has to get *away* from people every so often to recharge the emotional batteries-- but where do you go to in a house where you don't have your own room? In a Japanese house, closets are it; cause there's only one toilet and other people need it.

The other thing is that she's obviously slightly psychic; and even sensitives can get overwhelmed by too much energy from too many people over time.
[User Picture]
Date:January 21st, 2014 08:32 pm (UTC)
-- but where do you go to in a house where you don't have your own room? In a Japanese house, closets are it; cause there's only one toilet and other people need it.

Hmmm, that's a good point. I'd forgotten that Japanese houses were so very lacking in private space. Mind you, UK houses often aren't much better! (especially when you're one of five kids in a small post-war house).

I know what you mean by the sense of 'too many people; too much energy' - I get that myself sometimes, but rarely enough to feel the need to retreat away entirely. I guess I just like my own space now and again?

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