Saturday, January 05, 2008

New Year, New Kind of Geisha?

Visit Sayuki's Website

As I'm sure most geisha enthusiasts already know, Aussie social anthropolgist Fiona Graham made her formal debut as a geisha in Tokyo's Asakusa district on December 19th after a year of training, or "feild work", as she refers to it on her website. Just in time to begin the new year as Japan's first western, professional geisha, she is already planning to release a book entitled "Sayuki: Inside the Flower and Willow World" and a documentary that will be filmed throughout the year.

The maiko of Kyoto endure intensive training for 5-6 years before earning the honor of turning their collars and becoming full-fledged geiko.

Graham's professional name, Sayuki, comes from the Chinese character 紗 sa, meaning gossamer and 幸 yuki, meaning happiness, wish or fortune. This could be translated a number of ways: Delicate Delight, Ethereal Joy, or Sheer Bliss (^_^)v

Graham recieved her MBA in Psychology and teaching from Oxford before beginging her study of social anthropology. She has spent half of her life in Japan, graduating from a Japanese high school long before becoming the first western woman to graduate from Tokyo's Keio University.

Read the Telegraph's article: Westerner inducted into mysteries of geisha




8 comments:

hanako said...

... ど ん な 初 夢 を 見 た 。 ...
Donna hatsuyume o mita? ...

What was your first dream
of the new year? ...

Sera said...

I'd like to give it a try, I think I'd be good at it. :)

Lindizzy2u said...

there's hope for you yet!

peter01 said...

I went to see e
her in Tokyo but got some bullshit about being too expensive, here she is

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ARwi-ArpiCA

Jun-chan said...

The first foreign Geisha? Strange...wasn't that Liza Dalby? Still, I think that making this whole website and book is a little over the top. She makes the magic and the art of the Geisha look so...fancy...Besides there are already very good books about Geisha, written by real Geisha. Like the book of Mineko Iwasaki.

Anonymous said...

Jun-chan, are you saying that because Sayuki is white that she is not a "real" geisha?
What a terrible, prejudiced thing to say!
Is Obama not a "real" President because he is black too?
Sayuki grew up in Japan and has been accepted well enough to have debuted. You should be congratulating her, not making prejudiced comments.

singapore florist said...

nice story of you. thanks for keep me updated.

Anonymous said...

That other anonymous is right!I am personally getting tired and sick of seeing foregner women(mostly americans)saying that nobody non-japanese can become geishas.With what authority do they say that? Do they know that Japan copies everything from other cultures and nobody complains? There are even many Samba School there and i have never seen anyone asking us,brazilian people,if we get offended with that or not!

Congradulations to Sayuki and to anyone,japanese or not,who do their best to keep nice old traditions alive!

Yume