Books: Sad Gay Ladies of Japan

THREE GEISHAS (253 pp.)—Kikou Yamafa—John Day ($3.50).

The Japanese judge the private life of a geisha by the discretion of her indiscretions. Occidentals have been known to ignore her rigorous dance and song training and to lump her with the common prostitute, but this is patently unfair. Together with the hetaerae of ancient Greece and the courtesans of France, the geisha belongs to the aristocracy of dalliance.

Author Yamata (Lady of Beauty) is quick to admit that some geishas are merely beautiful dumb brunettes. But the trio whose authentic life stories she tells in...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!