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...

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