Memoirs of A Geisha (by Arthur Golden) is an amazing novel about the remote and shimmeringly exotic world of Sayuri, one of Japan’s most celebrated geishas. The novel tracks the journey of a girl from an impoversihed existence to becoming one of Japan’s most celebrated geishas (cortesan). 

I love this book not for the story it tells, but for the amazing and detailed insight into the Japanese world of the 30’s and 40’s it affords to the reader. One can almost see the cherry trees blossoming in spring time and the lovely japanese ladies adorned in beautiful and sensual silk kimonos… the life and times of the Japan that existed before the war, the beauty and delicacy of that world keeps one spellbound… Its a world and a culture lost to time…  This is the book that has drawn me to reading more books set in japanese culture. But none have touched the zenith that ‘Memoirs..’ did.

A must read.