jump to navigation

Review: Rivalry – A Geisha's Tale March 28, 2012

Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Foreign, Literature.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Rivalry: A Geisha’s Tale

by Nagai Kafu

Rivalry tells the story of the return of Komayo to the world of the geisha. Her former patron Yoshioka seeks to ransom her, but Komayo has fallen in love with the actor Segawa. In order to be with Segawa, she seeks the patronage of a despicable character known to her as the “Sea Monster”.

In this tale you are shown the real world of the geisha versus the romanticized version as shown in “Memoirs of a Geisha“. Komayo not only doesn’t want to be ransomed to Yoshioka because of Segawa, she also fears he will grow tired of her and abandon her once his ardor cools. Her one dream is to set up her own geisha house and be self-sufficient.

The politics of the geisha world is intricate and complex yet Kafu makes it easy to understand. I found myself enthralled in this tale as its events unfolded. There was the competition of the other geisha; the jilted geisha that Yoshioka abandoned in favor of Komayo and the other geisha in Komayo’s house were vividly brought to life.

This is not only a tale of the rivalry of the geisha in the novel, it’s also a tale of the rivalry between Komayo’s suitors. The men in Komayo’s life weren’t romanticized. They were very realistic and had very human faults thus making this tale all the more believable. You could see them faltering, lusting, and conniving for position.

In the end, I enjoyed this book a lot and I wished I could have remained in the world of the geisha for a little longer.



1. Laurie Brown - March 28, 2012

I’ll keep my eye out for this one. I’m fascinated by the world of the geisha and the traditions.

akamaireader - March 28, 2012

It was a surprisingly good book. I liked it much better then Memoirs of a Geisha. It felt much more authentic.

2. shewolfreads - March 28, 2012

I was one of those people who did not care for Memoirs of a Geisha. From what little I know of the Geisha world, it sounds fascinating. I will have to check this one out. Thanks for the recommendation!

akamaireader - March 28, 2012

You’re welcome!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: