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Friday, December 02, 2005



I was disturbed by it too--I couldn't make up my mind how to feel about it. I did find it very curious that it was written by a man, and I imagine that if it had been written by a woman it would have been quite different; on the other hand, I think it is important to read books about women by men, to understand how women may be perceived. I also find this period of Japanese culture fascinating, since it seems so extremely different from all my experiences with Japanese culture. And really, what do we Westerners hav e to go on? Movies--hmm, Karate Kid? Exchange students--we had one, but she barely spoke. Commercials? Products? I feel it is odd how little we really know of Japan, despite it's major role in our country's history and present state. I kind of doubt I will see the movie, despite how much I like those actors (who are all Chinese or Tawainese, aren't they?)


I agree. Although I found it an entertaining read...I, too, found it disturbing that it was written by a man who was trying to glamorize it. And if we thought Golden was trying to do that...I can only imagine what Hollywood will do with it.


I rather liked the book, and though it was, as you said, sort of depressing, I think that it is important to read books like this and learn about the way other cultures treat their women. It's actually not very different from a lot of Western cultures, long ago.


Well-written review! Thanks for saving me from wasting my precious, limited reading time on this one! My initial response when I first saw the book was "hmm, maybe one of these days..." & when I saw the previews for the movie, I thought maybe the time had come - but thanks, I'll pass!


I have read it many years ago and I love it-I was drawn to reading it because of how it was written and the story itself. I remember tha I can't wait to finish it- out of curiousity. The japanese have left a bad mark in our country during the world war and the women were treated so badly and even during the last many years and until now where entertainers still go there to work. I was a bit cold towards embracing the growing popularity of their presence sometime in the past....And yet, I am destined to have a japanese friend and a very wonderful person even. I have told her about the book during that time but she didn't say anything. Anything that happened in the past or still maybe happening until now is a topic she never want to talk about. Fine. But she mentioned that most japanese women for so many years now are not marrying anymore and have become more independent.

Great review Diane and by the way, feeling a bit better now, thanks.


I loved it, but you're right--it doesn't paint a very pretty picture of traditional Japanese society. I didn't think it glamorized it much, but I read the book many years ago. I know that it's also one of the favorite books of our Japanese teacher at school; she's the one who recommended it to me.


Great review, Diane.... I haven't read the book myself, but it sounds like it pretty much covers the plight of many Japanese women. Things have improved over recent years for the younger generation, but many of the old customs still exist.

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