Kanzashi by Christopher Kincaid is an absorbing read about a maiko’s struggle to find her place in the world.
WHAT IS THE BOOK ABOUT
Geikos are women skilled in the art of entertaining men with dancing, singing, pouring drinks, and telling stories. Maikos are apprentice geikos.
Mameko is one such maiko, training to be a geiko under the stern guidance of her mother. Her calendar is choc-a-bloc with training, appointments, and other social demands of a maiko. Being a daughter of a prominent geiko family, everyone thinks life is easy for her. However, only Mameko knows how hard she works.
Amid all these, one of Mameko’s patrons, Mr. Funaki (who is also an important politician), is murdered with her hairpin stuck in his throat, thus, making her the prime suspect. She must resist the police’s effort to make her confess to the crime and find the true killer, or else her dream of becoming a geiko will never be fulfilled.Continue reading