Sakuran is a seinen manga written by Moyoco Anno and serialized in Kodansha’s Evening magazine from 2001-2003. It was published in English by Vertical, Inc. this past July.
The Gist: Kiyoha is sold as a child into a brothel. There she is required to work as a maid to earn her keep. Her determination to escape from the brothel and her future life as a courtesan leads her to constant punishment. But it is her strong-willed spirit that carries her through situations that would break others. As she comes of age she must learn to deal with the destiny she has been given, and determine what defines who she really is.
I don’t give this rating very often, but I feel that Anno’s work is a great period piece that deserves high praise. A realistic glimpse into the life of an orphaned courtesan.