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Madame Sadayakko

Madame Sadayakko

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1592400507
Pages: 321
Year: 2004
The author of Women of the Pleasure Quarters shares the story of the famous geisha whose life inspired Puccini's Madame Butterfly, from her training and participation in secret geisha traditions to her defection from her lucrative career to marry the penniless actor and political maverick Otojiro Kawakami and her rise to international celebrity. Reprint.
The Courtesan and the Samurai

The Courtesan and the Samurai

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1409095452
Pages: 480
Year: 2010-04-13
1868. In Japan's exotic pleasure quarters, sex is for sale and the only forbidden fruit is love ... Hana is just seventeen when her husband goes to war, leaving her alone and vulnerable. When enemy soldiers attack her house she flees across the shattered city of Tokyo and takes refuge in the Yoshiwara, its famous pleasure-quarters.There she is forced to become a courtesan. Yozo, brave, loyal and a brilliant swordsman, is pledged to the embattled shogun. He sails to the frozen north to join his rebel comrades for a desperate last stand. Defeated, he makes his way south to the only place where a man is beyond the reach of the law - the Yoshiwara. There in the Nightless City where three thousand courtesans mingle with geishas and jesters, the battered fugitive meets the beautiful courtesan. But each has a secret so terrible that once revealed it will threaten their very lives ...
The Shogun's Queen

The Shogun's Queen

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Corgi
ISBN: 055216349X
Pages: 400
Year: 2017-07-27
Only one woman can save her world from barbarian invasion but to do so will mean sacrificing everything she holds dear - love, loyalty and maybe life itself . . . Japan, and the year is 1853. Growing up among the samurai of the Satsuma Clan, in Japan's deep south, the fiery, beautiful and headstrong Okatsu has - like all the clan's women - been encouraged to be bold, taught to wield the halberd, and to ride a horse. But when she is just seventeen, four black ships appear. Bristling with cannon and manned by strangers who to the Japanese eyes are barbarians, their appearance threatens Japan's very existence. And turns Okatsu's world upside down. Chosen by her feudal lord, she has been given a very special role to play. Given a new name - Princess Atsu - and a new destiny, she is the only one who can save the realm. Her journey takes her to Edo Castle, a place so secret that it cannot be marked on any map. There, sequestered in the Women's Palace - home to three thousand women, and where only one man may enter: the shogun - she seems doomed to live out her days. But beneath the palace's immaculate facade, there are whispers of murders and ghosts. It is here that Atsu must complete her mission and discover one last secret - the secret of the man whose fate is irrevocably linked to hers: the shogun himself . . .
The Last Concubine

The Last Concubine

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1407033514
Pages: 624
Year: 2008-09-04
Japan, 1865, the women's palace in the great city of Edo. Bristling with intrigue and erotic rivalries, the palace is home to three thousand women and only one man - the young shogun. Sachi, a beautiful fifteen-year-old girl, is chosen to be his concubine. But Japan is changing, and as civil war erupts, Sachi flees for her life. Rescued by a rebel warrior, she finds unknown feelings stirring within her; but this is a world in which private passions have no place and there is not even a word for 'love'. Before she dare dream of a life with him, Sachi must uncover the secret of her own origins - a secret that encompasses a wrong so terrible that it threatens to destroy her ....
Across A Bridge Of Dreams

Across A Bridge Of Dreams

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1446465233
Pages: 448
Year: 2012-06-07
In the brave new Japan of the 1870s, Taka and Nobu meet as children and fall in love; but their relationship will test the limits of society. Unified after a bitter civil war, Japan is rapidly turning into a modern country with rickshaws, railways and schools for girls. Commoners can marry their children into any class, and the old hatred between north and south is over - or so it seems. Taka is from the powerful southern Satsuma clan which now dominates the country, and her father, General Kitaoka, is a leader of the new government. Nobu, however, is from the northern Aizu clan, massacred by the Satsuma in the civil war. Defeated and reduced to poverty, his family has sworn revenge on the Satsuma. Taka and Nobu's love is unacceptable to both their families and must be kept secret, but what they cannot foresee is how quickly the tables will turn. Many southern samurai become disillusioned with the new regime, which has deprived them of their swords, status and honour. Taka's father abruptly leaves Tokyo and returns to the southern island of Kyushu, where trouble is brewing. When he and his clansmen rise in rebellion, the government sends its newly-created army to put them down. Nobu and his brothers have joined this army, and his brothers now see their chance of revenge on the Satsuma. But Nobu will have to fight and maybe kill Taka's father and brother, while Taka now has to make a terrible choice - between her family and the man she loves ...
Geisha

Geisha

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher:
ISBN: 0747264260
Pages: 434
Year: 2001
Ever since Westerners arrived in Japan, we have been intrigued by geisha. This fascination has spawned a wealth of fictional creations from Madame Butterfly to Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. The reality of the geisha's existence has rarely been described. Contrary to popular opinion, geisha are not prostitutes but literally arts people. Their accomplishments might include singing, dancing or playing a musical instrument but, above all, they are masters of the art of conversation, soothing worries of highly paid businessmen who can afford their attentions. The real secret history of the geisha is explored here.
The Tale of Murasaki

The Tale of Murasaki

Author: Liza Dalby
Publisher: Nan A. Talese
ISBN: 1400032784
Pages: 448
Year: 2002-08-13
The Tale of Murasaki is an elegant and brilliantly authentic historical novel by the author of Geisha and the only Westerner ever to have become a geisha. In the eleventh century Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji, the most popular work in the history of Japanese literature. In The Tale of Murasaki, Liza Dalby has created a breathtaking fictionalized narrative of the life of this timeless poet–a lonely girl who becomes such a compelling storyteller that she is invited to regale the empress with her tales. The Tale of Murasaki is the story of an enchanting time and an exotic place. Whether writing about mystical rice fields in the rainy mountains or the politics and intrigue of the royal court, Dalby breathes astonishing life into ancient Japan. From the Trade Paperback edition.
On the narrow road to the deep North

On the narrow road to the deep North

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN:
Pages: 280
Year: 1989-05-01

Geisha

Geisha

Author: Mineko Iwasaki
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 0743444299
Pages: 320
Year: 2003-09
A Kyoto geisha describes her initiation into an okiya at the age of four, the intricate training that made up most of her education, her successful career, and the traditions surrounding the geisha culture. Reprint.
Women of the Pleasure Quarters

Women of the Pleasure Quarters

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Broadway Books
ISBN: 0767909720
Pages: 304
Year: 2002-01-08
From critically acclaimed author and Japanese scholar Lesley Downer, an enchanting portrait of the mysterious world of the geisha. Ever since Westerners arrived in Japan, they have been intrigued by Japanese womanhood and, above all, by geisha. This fascination has spawned a wealth of extraordinary fictional creations, from Puccini's Madama Butterfly to Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. The reality of the geisha's existence, though, whether today or in history, has rarely been addressed. Contrary to popular opinion, geisha are not prostitutes but, literally, "arts people." Their accomplishments include singing, dancing, playing a musical instruments; but above all, they are masters of the art of conversation, soothing the worries and stroking the egos of the wealthy businessmen who can afford their attentions. It is this which imbues the geisha with such power—and which makes absolute secrecy such a crucial aspect of their work. As denizens of a world defined by silence and mystery, geisha are notoriously difficult to meet and even to find. Lesley Downer, an award- winning writer, Japanese scholar, and consummate storyteller, gained more access into this world than almost any other Westerner ever has and spent several months living among them. In Women of the Pleasure Quarters, she weaves together intimate portraits of modern geisha with the romantic legends and colorful historical tales of geisha of the past. From Sadda Yakko, who dined with American presidents and had her portrait painted by Picasso, to Koito, a modern-day geisha who maintains her own website, geisha throughout history step out of the pages of Women of the Pleasure Quarters to become living, breathing creatures. Looking into such traditions as mizuage, the ritual deflowering which was once a rite of passage for all geisha, and providing colorful depictions of the geisha's dress, training, and homes, Downer, with grace, elegance, and respect, transforms their reality in a captivating narrative that both informs and entertains. At once a symbol of a bygone age and an institution more quintessentially Japanese than any other, geisha are a society at a crossroads, struggling to reinvent their place in the new millennium while honoring the traditions of the past. Both instructive and evocative, Women of the Pleasure Quarters is an enthralling portrait of a world unlike any other. From the Hardcover edition.
A Geisha for the American Consul (a short story)

A Geisha for the American Consul (a short story)

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448168104
Pages: 58
Year: 2012-12-06
Two cultures. One man and one woman. One moment in time. Cultures collide when Okichi, a beautiful geisha, is sent to work for the American envoy in Japan. Age and pride meet youth and grace. How will she survive in a home where no one speaks her language, where she understands nothing and she must submit to a strange barbarian's will?
Asian American Fiction, History and Life Writing

Asian American Fiction, History and Life Writing

Author: Helena Grice
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0415384753
Pages: 156
Year: 2009
The last ten years have witnessed an enormous growth in American interest in Asia and Asian/American history. In particular, a set of key Asian historical moments have recently become the subject of intense American cultural scrutiny, namely China's Cultural Revolution and its aftermath; the Korean American war and its legacy; the era of Japanese geisha culture and its subsequent decline; and China's one-child policy and the rise of transracial, international adoption in its wake. Grice examines and accounts for this cultural and literary preoccupation, exploring the corresponding historical-political situations that have both circumscribed and enabled greater cultural and political contact between Asia and America.
Japan's Modern Theatre

Japan's Modern Theatre

Author: Brian Powell
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134241941
Pages: 250
Year: 2013-12-16
This book endeavours to unravel the complicated skeins of Japanese theatre in the modern period and offers an appreciation of the richness of choice of presentational and representational theatre forms. Since the end of world War II there has been continuing but different conflict between the major theatrical genres. Kabuki continues to defend its ground successfully, but the 'new drama' (shingeki) became firmly established in its own right in the 1960s. It was a vigorous and exuberant 'underground' theatre which exploited anything and everything in the Japanese and western theatre traditions. Now, thirty years on, they too have been superseded. The youth theatre of the 1980s and 90s has thrown aside the concerns of the angry underground and developed a fast-moving bewilderingly kaleidoscopic drama of breath-taking energy.
Win

Win

Author: Vera Nazarian
Publisher: Norilana Books
ISBN: 1607621509
Pages: 930
Year: 2017-07-12
The Games are Forever! It's one thing to Qualify and Compete… Now she must Win. Gwen Lark, nerd, geek, and awkward smart girl, is among the lucky ones. She's one of several million teenage refugees to escape the extinction-level asteroid barreling towards Earth and reach the ancient colony planet of Atlantis. But Atlantis is a strange new world with higher gravity and a blazing white sun, where nothing is as expected. The new arrivals from Earth will now belong to the majority class of non-citizens who face a lifetime of hard work and limited rights. To make matters worse, Gwen's rare and powerful talent, her Logos voice, is viewed as a potential weapon to be exploited by the Imperator, as well as a threat to the Kassiopei Imperial Dynasty and its uncompromising control over the people of Atlantis. A last-minute heartbreak prior to arrival turns to joy, when Gwen receives a declaration of love from an unexpected source. The Wedding date is set, but before she can be joined with her true love, she is forced to compete in the brutal and deadly Games of the Atlantis Grail to save herself, her family, friends, and everything she cares about. Once again, her intelligence, quick thinking skills, resilience, and creativity are challenged to the breaking point. The Games are monumental, intricate, lethal . . . and the Games are Forever. This time Gwen must fight and figure her way through the most difficult and sophisticated contest she has ever faced. Terrifying Ordeals and impossible Challenges, ruthless skilled Competitors, vicious secret assassins, and dubious teammates she must work with but cannot trust, are just the beginning. . . . Meanwhile, as the Games rage, the fate of two worlds is at stake as a new alien threat looms over Earth and Atlantis. But Gwen Lark has a secret weapon of her own. It's not her Logos voice and its untapped power to control orichalcum technology and perpetuate change. It is Gwen herself. WIN is the third book in The Atlantis Grail series.
A Geisha for the American Consul (a short story)

A Geisha for the American Consul (a short story)

Author: Lesley Downer
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 1448168104
Pages: 58
Year: 2012-12-06
Two cultures. One man and one woman. One moment in time. Cultures collide when Okichi, a beautiful geisha, is sent to work for the American envoy in Japan. Age and pride meet youth and grace. How will she survive in a home where no one speaks her language, where she understands nothing and she must submit to a strange barbarian's will?