Each group of students takes charge of one chapter. You can vary the sources within each category if you find something more interesting to you. Each group will work with primary sources (novels, films, paintings, for example) and secondary sources (academic essays, reviews, histories, for example). I use the time frames here as rough divisions but each group will come up with a title and a sharper focus on your own. You can do the detective work to find the most interesting sources! This is meant as a start.
19th Century Geisha
Possible sources: Impressionist paintings; Gilbert & Sullivan's 1885
musical, The Mikado; Sidney Jones 1894 musical, The Geisha;
travelogues; newspaper reports.
20th Century Madame Butterfly
Associated with the "geisha girl" and first created by Pierre Loti in his
1887 novel, Madame Chrysantheme, Madame Butterfly had a long life
in 20th century fiction and fantasy. You can find a novel, a play,
an opera, six movies and contemporary tourist sites in Nagasaki.
Several secondary sources are easily available. The play and film
titled M Butterfly
and the musical Miss Saigon put a different
spin on the story for late 20th century audiences.
Books by and about Japanese
Women in the 1920s and 30s
Cold War Geisha
Late 20th century Geisha