Lesley Downer is the daughter of a Chinese mother and Canadian father. She is a journalist, author, Japan specialist and inveterate traveller. Her books on Japan include Geisha: The Secret History of a Vanishing World, Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha who Seduced the West and four novels, The Shogun Quartet, set during Japan’s mid-nineteenth century civil war.
She has written for the Sunday Times Magazine, Wall Street Journal and FT and contributes to the Spectator US and the TLS. Lesley gives frequent lectures plus TV and radio appearances and is consulted on all matters to do with Japan. She presented the BBC2 cooking series, A Taste of Japan, lectured on The World, a vast residential ship, and recently lectured in Japan in Japanese. She was the historical consultant for Northern Ballet’s spectacular 2020 ballet Geisha and features in the Netflix series Age of Samurai.
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