As a foreign exchange college student in Japan, Liza Dalby didn’t realize she would be setting the course of her adult career-studying geisha culture. While attending Saga University, Dalby’s host family arranged for her to learn nagauta-the Japanese music that accompanies kabuki theater-which ultimately led to her entrance into the geisha world. As a graduate student, Dalby not only did her dissertation on the geisha, she became one herself. Now the only Western geisha and expert on their culture, Dalby has written several books on the subject, including Fashioning Culture, which discusses the kimonos that are hugely important to geisha culture. On Tuesday, January 20, at 7:30 p.m. at UCSB’s Campbell Hall, Dalby will “give a visual presentation on the evolution of the kimono to demonstrate how clothing can illuminate our understanding of culture.” Call 893-3535 or visit for tickets.


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