Memoirs of a Geisha - Synopsis and Review

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  • Topic: Geisha, Memoirs of a Geisha, Japanese films
  • Pages : 4 (1694 words )
  • Download(s) : 31
  • Published : March 4, 2013
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Plot Synopsis of the Book
In this piece of literature, novelist Arthur Golden enters a remote and shimmeringly exotic world. The protagonist of this peerlessly observant first novel is Sayuri, one of Japan's most celebrated geisha, a woman who is both performer and courtesan, slave and goddess.

We follow Sayuri from her childhood in an impoverished fishing village. In 1929, at the age of nine, Chiyo Sakamoto is sold by her father along with her older sister Satsu to an OKIYA (geisha boarding house) in Gion. The representative of the geisha house is drawn by the child's unusual blue-grey eyes. From there she is taken to Gion, the pleasure district of Kyoto. Chiyo begins to live in the okiya alongside another young girl named Pumpkin, elderly and grumbling Granny, money-obsessed Mother, and Auntie, a failed geisha. Also living in the okiya is the famous ill-mannered geisha, Hatsumomo, who promptly takes to disliking Chiyo, who she sees as a possible rival. The feelings of sorrow due to the loss of her mother and betrayal of her father build as she tries to keep up with the life in the okiya. Homesickness and loneliness creeps over her as she remembers her sister(who is sold into prostitution) and her old life. Despite Pumpkin and Auntie's warnings, Chiyo plans to leave the okiya and escape the city with Satsu, but is caught when she falls off the roof and breaks her arm. Enraged at her for dishonoring the okiya, Mother stops investing in Chiyo and makes her pay off her increasing debts as a slave. Several years later, a destitute and downtrodden Chiyo is given money and a handkerchief in the street by a strange but kind man known as the Chairman. Chiyo is taken by the kindness shown to her by the chairman who lifted her in her moment of sorrow, something that no one did for her, at a time when she was nothing. She donates the money to the Yasaka Shrine in Gion, praying desperately to become a geisha in the hopes of seeing him again, keeping the handkerchief...
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