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Memories of a geisha in Mendoza

Sayuki passed through Mendoza and left us his experiences. What is a geisha? What do you think of us? An unmissable clash of cultures.

As we are
Memorias de una geisha

We met at the gym.  A woman with a white complexion and a frank look. Her European features and English accent confuse and distract anyone who comes to talk to her and learns that she is talking to a geisha . Break the stereotype one has of these characters.

“ Sayuki is my name of geisha and it means 'transparent happiness' . The character Yuki is from the name of my mother geisha, Yukiko. And I combined it transparent to make my name,” explains the woman who, being consulted for her age, explains that “a geisha never reveals her age.”

 Our interviewee was born in Australia, but settled in  Japan  at a young age. “I grew up partly in Japan since I was 15 years old going to Japanese schools and living with a Japanese family.”  He got the residency, which is essential to work in that country: “You need to have a permanent residence or Japanese nationality to be a geisha.  Geisha does not traditionally marries and it is very difficult for single women to obtain permanent residence .”

Sayuki has entered the history of Japan: “I am a geisha in Japan.  I'm the first white woman to become a geisha in Japanese history . People often ask me if that world is opening up now, but it won't really open soon because of the need for papers.” She knew how to get into the geisha world:  “I have been a geisha for 12 years and have my headquarters in Fukagawa District in Tokyo, Japan 's oldest geisha  district.   

 What is a geisha? 

 “ Geisha literally means' artist 'and all geisha are dancers or musics, or both . Geisha sometimes act on a big stage, but mainly our work is private entertainment.  It's kind of like calling a dancer to your private party, talking to her during a traditional dinner, and then being able to watch a private performance just for you  and your friends.”

About Argentina and the warmth of its people, he draws positive conclusions: “ Traveling alone, many people have strived to be helpful and pleasant to me .” And as for his favorite foods, even being abroad, he keeps on his personal tastes: “I love fresh fruit and all vegetables, and sushi, of course.  I was a little afraid that Argentina was such a carnivorous country, but Mendoza has some great lunch buffet restaurants with lots of vegetarian options.” 

Being consulted about our tourist places and landscapes,  Sayuki  confesses that, in large part, he came to Mendoza on the Aconcagua hill: “ The landscapes are very beautiful here. I went to Camp 3 in Aconcagua, almost to the top. The valley that comes down from base camp is so immense . I was walking almost all afternoon without meeting another soul, alone perfectly in the vastness of the landscape.”

However, about the experience of climbing the Aconcagua, it takes the memory of high prices: “ It is very expensive for tourists: too expensive, and too big a difference in the entrance price between tourists and locals .”

Currently, Sayuki travels around South America and is available to give talks about the world of geisha or to perform in Japanese restaurants or other places. Your contact is sayuki.geisha@gmail.com.

Publication Date: 07/04/2020

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