Watch a geisha's memoirs online dating
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When foreign VIPs came to Kyoto, it was Mineko who would be called upon to dance for them, pour their drinks and amuse them with the reverently witty conversation in which geisha specialise.Among British royalty alone, she has entertained the Queen, Prince Philip and Prince Charles, as well as "Lord...
What she didn't know was that he would tell the world that she sold her virginity for 0,000.
It has spent months on bestseller lists, and been praised by critics from Margaret Forster to Madonna.
It has inspired magazine covers and vodka advertisements; Steven Spielberg is due to turn it into a film.
Here she tells Richard Lloyd Parry why she wants her life back Even if you didn't know exactly who she was and what she had been, you would realise immediately that Mineko Iwasaki is an unusual Japanese woman.
Fashions among ladies of her age tend towards the frumpy, but Mrs Iwasaki's clothes - a black trouser suit and red sweater - are expensively simple.
Reviewers have compared its author to Dickens, and praised him for his skill in climbing inside the head of a woman from a culture so alien to his own.
But, according to Mineko Iwasaki, the book is "wrong, wrong, all, ALL wrong".It is Memoirs of a Geisha by the American writer Arthur Golden, and few first novels in recent years have had such sudden and global success.Since its publication in 1997, Memoirs has been translated into 21 languages and sold four million copies in English alone.For all her beauty, the woman within them resembles a creature from an earlier, lost age.So it is a shock and a thrill to look from the photograph to the woman holding them, and to realise that they are the same person - Mineko Iwasaki, the greatest of the Kyoto geisha.It is 20 years since she retired, but even today, in Gion - Kyoto's most famous and exclusive geisha district - Mrs Iwasaki is still remembered.