Rivalry: A Geisha’s Tale

rivalry

Kafu Nagai’s Rivalry: A Geisha’s Tale presents a world that seems more realistic that Memoirs of a Geisha, which was the rage 10+ years ago. In Rivalry, Komayo is a former geisha. She left the profession when she married. Unfortunately, her husband dies. There’s no reason to stay in the countryside up north with rude in-laws for the rest of her life, so she returns to Tokyo and her geisha house.

One of her first “patrons” sees her and takes up with her. He’s just a little bit older than she is and spending time with him is far better than with the fat, bald, ill-mannered middle-aged customers. Life’s not so bad.

Then Komayo meets an attractive actor and they have a dalliance. Then they have another and another. Her first patron was going to buy Komayo’s contract. He proposes marriage and Komayo isn’t sure. The patron hears some gossip about Komayo and the actor so he buys the contract of a fleshy, jovial but uncouth geisha. So there! (Talk about biting off your nose to spite your face.)

Komayo’s life spirals and shame haunts her. At times the story meanders, but generally the realistic tone which describes geisha life (without getting as flowery as Arthur Golden sometimes did) makes for a pleasant read.

The ending seemed to pat and undeserved, but forgiveable.

About these ads

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. chava61
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 09:10:32

    Sounds like it might be an interesting book to read!

    Reply

  2. smkelly8
    Aug 09, 2014 @ 20:26:29

    I am glad I read it. For the most part it’s a fast read. There’s a few spots where the narration goes off tangent, but I’m told that’s a valid Japanese technique.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Disclaimer

Dear Fellows, The State Department has requested that any Fellows who maintain their own blog or website please post the following disclaimer on your site: "This website is not an official U.S. Department of State website. The views and information presented are the English Language Fellows' own and do not represent the English Language Fellow Program or the U.S. Department of State." We appreciate your cooperation. Site Meter
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 836 other followers

%d bloggers like this: