Education About Asia: Online Archives

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Feature Article

Teaching the “Geisha” as Cultural Criticism

The late 1990s marked an explosion in the popularity of the geisha icon in the United States and elsewhere, fueled by Arthur Golden’s 1998 best seller Memoirs of a Geisha. The novel has inspired spin off vodka ads and a specialty tea, and Steven Spielberg’s motion picture version, while repeatedly delayed, will reportedly begin production in 2001. Visually, the image of the geisha has become more and more prominent. An image of a woman in kimono appears on the dust jacket of the U.S. edition...