Published Jan 2010
Sadayakko was the most celebrated geisha in Japan, so beautiful that the prime minister of the day paid a fortune to deflower her. Coming to the USA and Europe, she created a storm of excitement. Audiences thrilled to her mesmeric and exquisite dancing, including the Prince of Wales and Tsar Nikolai II. She was painted by Picasso, and Puccini modelled his famous Madame Butterfly on her.
Sadayakko’s story plays out against the background of the beguiling era when Japan and the west were meeting for the first time – and Sadayakko was on the cusp of this collision of cultures.