Japanese Hybrid

Decades before a white-faced Ziyi Zhang performed her electric dances in Hollywood's Memoirs of a Geisha—and years before the Arthur Golden novel of the same name ushered millions worldwide into the private corners of Kyoto's geisha quarter—an anthropologist from Stanford traveled to Japan's ancient capital to become the first foreigner to live and work along its narrow streets as a full-time geisha. Liza Dalby's experiences inspired several books, including her memorable and elegant Geisha, published in 1983, a book on kimono and a novel about Japan's first novelist, Lady Murasaki, and her adventures of a thousand years...

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