Memoirs of Geisha Book Review

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  • Topic: Geisha, Memoirs of a Geisha, Mineko Iwasaki
  • Pages : 3 (1239 words )
  • Download(s) : 124
  • Published : June 10, 2006
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Published in 1997, Memoirs of a Geisha portrays a geisha's rise from a Japanese fishing village to life in high society. In this fictional history novel, Arthur Golden strives to provide his readers with the basic knowledge of the Japanese history in the years between 1930 and 1940. Westerners usually think of geishas simply as prostitutes, but the book attempts to right the misconception that geishas are simply prostitutes by showing the reader various trainings the geisha undertakes to perfect her art. The book tells a story from the eyes of Chiyo, a young, innocent girl from a poor fishing village, Yoroido, who is sold by her parents to a renowned geisha house. Little Chiyo lives her life in agony because she has no family left and she has to serve a notorious geisha named Hatsumomo. One day while running an errand for the house that she lives in, Chiyo falls down on a stone near a river and starts to cry for she can no longer endure the pain and hardships she is going through at such a young age. Luckily, the Chairman of a wealthy electric company comes across her. He takes notice of her and is marveled by the beauty her eyes posses. He then goes to a well-known geisha by the name of Mameha and asks her to adopt Chiyo as her younger sister so she can train her to become a geisha too. After she becomes an apprentice geisha, her name is changed to Sayuri. During this whole time Sayuri is in love with the Chairman but he never seems to pay attention to her. Finally, the Chairman and Sayuri tell each other how they feel towards one another and he becomes her danna, somewhat like a husband. The main conflict is between Sayuri and Hatsumomo. The underlying reason of the conflict lies in a certain aspect of a typical geisha. Some geishas in Japan would do anything to ruin the reputation of others because the fewer geishas there are and the more popular they are, the more money they will make. So Hatsumomo, as "people knew how jealous she felt" [122], sets out to...
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