ABOUT THIS GUIDE
The suggested questions are intended to help your reading group find new and interesting angles and topics for discussion for Mineko Iwasaki's Geisha, a Life.
We hope that these ideas will enrich your conversation and increase your enjoyment of the book.
Many fine books from Washington Square Press feature Readers Club Guides. For a complete listing, or to read the Guides online, visit http://www.BookClubReader.com Questions and Topics for Discussion
1) What were your perceptions of the life of a geisha before reading this book? How does the picture that Mineko paints of the world of Gion Kobu compare to your previous impressions of "geisha girls"?
2) Similarly, what were your views of Japanese culture before this memoir? In what ways were these views changed, if at all, after experiencing Mineko's story?
3) Among those unfamiliar with Japanese culture, geisha are often presumed to be well-born prostitutes. Why do you think Western audiences have relished this view of geisha and perpetuated it even though it's not true? Why is this view of geisha still prevalent even though more accurate information about geishas is available? What does this say about our culture? Why might the Japanese themselves have perpetuated this stereotype?
4) Although Mineko makes it very clear that entering the Gion was completely her choice, did you feel it was right for such a young