by Liza Crihfield Dalby
Greenfield Open Stacks
Liza Dalby entered the world of the Japanese geisha to learn about the women, and Japanese culture, behind the painted faces. Research and literature on karyukai, the “flower and willow world,” often looks at geisha from the outside; as an anthropologist, Dalby focuses on the geishas’ points of view. Over time and learning by observation (a key element to geisha training), she went from American graduate student to Ichigiku of Pontocho, telling us all she discovered along the way. It’s a fascinating read about fiercely independent women who are well educated in music, dance, and theater.