Jacket for 'Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha who Seduced the West'


UK - Review / HodderHeadline
US - Penguin USA
Spain - Mondadori
Portugal - Bertrand Editoria
China - Yunnan People's Publishing House
Japan - Shuei-Sha
Romania - Vivaldi
Poland - Bertelsmann

Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha who Seduced the West

By Lesley Downer

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.