By Artur Hermann Landsberger

In einem Gebiet Japans, in das Anfang des vergangenen Jahrhunderts kein Ausländer je seinen Fuß gesetzt hatte, wuchs Hana Tatsumi auf. Als Waise struggle sie ihrem Onkel übergeben worden, der sich sehr um sie bemühte. So übergab er sie weiter an Omasan Mori, die ihre eine bessere Ausbildung garantieren konnte, als die kleine Hana sie in jeder höheren Töchterschule hätte genießen können. Hana entwickelte sich in den folgenden Jahren ganz ausgezeichnet und wird das hübscheste Mädchen des Ortes. was once heißt des Ortes? Selbst die Großstädte des Landes würde sie bezaubern, und so überzeugt Omasan Mori den Onkel, Hana in Tokio oder Osaka zu einer Geisha zu machen, einer Geisha für die gehobenen Kreise. Dort angekommen, sprengt Hana alle Erwartungen. Sie erfüllt die Sehnsüchte bekannter Persönlichkeiten, darunter des Amerikaner John Adamson und des Prinzen aus dem Kaiserhaus. Aber keinen second vergisst sie ihren Freund aus Kinderzeiten, Taizo Hodsumi, der sich in ihrem Heimatort zu einem Künstler des Töpfereihandwerks entwickelt. Gibt es für beide jemals ein Wiedersehen?

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I see her relationships with other people and it makes me see how I am with her. She makes me transparent, see-through to mysel( I don't like seeing myself the way I do her. She makes it harder for me to lie to myself, or she makes it harder for me to lie to myself without thinking about the implications. But then I think about this whole other life she lives when I'm not around and the comparison I'm making starts to make no sense. It's plain she has nothing to do with me. I'm back in my room.

It's another way of saying they know me. My father is watching television. There was just something on about the dead actor. My mother looks up from her Gameboy, over the top of her glasses and says that it's a shame that he's dead because he was young and had a promising career ahead of him. I don't think she's ever seen any of his films, but that's what all the people on the radio have been saying so I guess she got it from there. When Luke's father is cremated, will he look scared? Are dead people still afraid?

He says that it's a pain because when something is being delivered, the people delivering it don't give an exact time for their arrival; they just say expect us between these set hours, like that period is dead air on TV waiting for a test pattern. I don't think he's really justified in being angry about it, though, because I doubt he 39 would have gone out anyway. People look for things to blame. Our new neighbours are on their drive loading cardboard boxes out from the boot of a silver car that looks a lot like ours and into their porch.

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