Memoirs of a Geisha

Posted: February 13, 2008 in Tahukah Kita?

This is really a long story so I am not responsible for any time wasted for reading this text. But tell you, this is an interesting story to share! Have fun reading it.. !!  

Memoirs Of A Geisha Double-sided poster

In 1929 Japan, nine-year-old Chiyo Sakamoto and her elder sister Satsu are sold into a life of servitude by their poverty-stricken parents. Because of her beauty and unusual blue-grey eyes, Chiyo is taken in by the proprietress (known as “Mother”) of the Nitta Okiya, a renowned geisha house that has fallen on hard times, while the less comely Satsu is sold to a brothel. Other residents of the okiya include “Auntie”, “Pumpkin”, a girl about the same age as Chiyo who is in training to be a geisha, and the only resident geisha, the beautiful Hatsumomo.

Chiyo struggles to adapt to life at the okiya, as Hatsumomo, jealous of Chiyo’s beauty, schemes and makes her existence miserable at every turn. Crying in the street after learning of the death of her parents, Chiyo meets Chairman Ken Iwamura, who buys her a treat and gives her some money wrapped in his handkerchief. Eternally grateful for this act of kindness, Chiyo resolves to become a geisha, in order to become a part of the Chairman’s world.

Chiyo is taken under the wing of Mameha, Hatsumomo’ bitter enemy and one of Kyoto’s most famous geisha. As an apprentice geisha, Chiyo is given the new name “Sayuri” and undergoes training in the traditional geisha arts of music, dance, and conversation. Throughout the years of her apprenticeship, Sayuri’s feelings for the Chairman continue to grow. Sayuri’s beauty and talent blossom and the mutual animosity and rivalry with Hatsumomo intensifies.

In the okiya tradition, Mother must adopt a daughter to eventually succeed her. Pumpkin is initially favored, although she would simply be a pawn of her older “sister” Hatsumomo. Sayuri must betray her friendship with Pumpkin and work hard to become the okiya’s most valuable asset and secure her own future. At the spring dances, the passion with which Sayuri dances attracts much attention, and creates a bidding war for her mizuage (virginity). A record amount is paid, and Sayuri becomes the most celebrated geisha in Gion, increasing Hatsumomo’s jealousy. In one of their fights, Hatsumomo knocks over the candle, starting a massive fire; she leaves the okiya, never to return.

Sayuri’s new status as the head of the okiya and the most famous geisha is short-lived with the outbreak of World War II. The Chairman provides Sayuri and Mameha with a place of safety, though they must go their separate ways and work as servants. After the war, the Chairman’s business partner Nobu approaches Sayuri for help – they are trying to rebuild their business and need American funding. Sayuri reunites with Mameha and Pumpkin and they become geisha once more. Sayuri is introduced to Colonel Derricks to convince him to invest in the Chairman’s and Nobu’s company.

Nobu tells Sayuri he wants to be her patron or danna, however, Sayuri still has feelings for the Chairman, and plots to prevent Nobu from becoming her patron. She asks Pumpkin to bring Nobu to a place where he will “discover” Sayuri and the Colonel together in a passionate embrace. Instead, Pumpkin brings the Chairman as an act of revenge for Sayuri’s interference with her becoming mistress of the okiya. The Chairman eventually reveals that he knew all along that Sayuri was once Chiyo, the little girl to whom he showed kindness. Only because he told Mameha to seek out the girl with the blue-grey eyes did Chiyo become the geisha Sayuri. The film ends with Sayuri and the Chairman embracing, sharing a kiss and then walking away together.

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