Real Geisha, Real Story

Feb. 15, 1965, was the first day of Mineko Iwasaki's life as a geisha. Wrapped in a turquoise-and-orange satin kimono, hair piled atop her head and secured with red silk bands, face covered in a wash of white makeup, the young maiko, or novice geisha, was ready—and she wasn't the only one. When Iwasaki stepped outside her home, she was greeted by applause and congratulations from a swarm of admirers who had come for a glimpse of the young geisha's debut.

Almost four decades later, Iwasaki is having a new debut—and this one has been just as anticipated....

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