Memoirs of a geisha
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  • If there is one book on a cultural setting that I like the most, it would be Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • Aside from the story, I enjoyed the way the setting of the story is described

    • by Jesselle Maminta
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      If there is one book on a cultural setting that I like the most, it would be “Memoirs of a Geisha” by Arthur Golden. Aside from its compelling story, its precise-to-detail description of the flower and willow world in Japan is superb. “Memoirs of a Geisha” is set in 1930’s Japan, the last part of the geisha ‘golden age’. It follows the story of a young girl named Sakamoto Chiyo, who was taken away from her family along with her sister Satsu to be sent at an okiya (geisha house) in Gion district of Kyoto.

      There she encounters different hardships under the grumpy house mistress “Granny”, the strict “Mother” and the haughty resident geisha Hatsumomo. Despite these, she found


      comfort and company through the sympathetic “Auntie” and her best friend “Pumpkin”. And upon Granny’s death, Chiyo’s life became much harder as Hatsumomo’s insecurity towards the little girl became more intense.

      She did a lot of schemes to get Chiyo in trouble and make her insecure. It even came to a point where Hatsumomo chose Pumpkin to be her geisha little sister and eventually be a maiko (apprentice geisha). But one day, someone knocked at the geisha house: it was Mameha, a highly-successful geisha in town.

      She was there to take Chiyo in her wings, and train her until she is ready to become a maiko as well. And indeed, after a few years, she became an apprentice geisha

      known as Sayuri. Since then, Sayuri caught the attention of many people, especially The Chairman, which she has known ever since she was a kid.

      But her hardships did not stop when her geisha career began. There were a lot of rituals and preparations to be done, clients and appointments to attend, and insecurities to deal with, especially that of Hatsumomo. Yet Sayuri crossed it successfully.

      The Second World War begun and Sayuri’s glorious life became grim as she worked in a kimono factory. But when chances would have permitted it, she got reacquainted with Mameha and her former clients, as well as the new ones. A lot of twists occurred before she was reunited with The Chairman, the ...


      • Memoirs of a geisha
      man that her heart desired for so long.

      Though the story seemed to be a sort of a Cinderella story in a Japanese setting, I personally believe that the novel taught a lot of lessons. For one, it showed that being the glamorous geisha that many people perceived is never as ‘glamorous’ as it seemed. The various preparations, rituals and issues that they encounter are never a walk in the park.

      Another thing, a Filipino proverb can be related to Sayuri’s love life: “No matter how long the procession can get, it still ends at the church. ” The same way, no matter how long it took and how hard it got, Sayuri and The Chairman were together in each

      other’s arms. Finally, it also emphasized that there is no room for insecure people.

      Aside from the story, I enjoyed the way the setting of the story is described. Perhaps it is the fact that the author used the journalistic approach while writing the story intensive research, data gathering and objective point of view. But it didn’t matter; it was described so well that it is enough to paint the whole picture in the reader’s imagination.

      The vivid description of each ritual and preparation also contributed to the cultural appeal of the novel, thus making it easier to understand at least one aspect of the Japanese culture. Overall, it is a god read for those who want fiction and culture-soaking rolled into one.




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Memoirs of a geisha
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Sukrita Saraswat says :

re : If there is one book on a cultural setting that I like the most, it would be Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
This book is undoubtedly a must read to understand a culture and less known facts about that part of Asia, also the intricate details about the tea room culture and the poise of woman. I loved the lead character and supportive characters. Depicts human behaviour in the best way.

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Sukrita Saraswat says :

re : Aside from the story, I enjoyed the way the setting of the story is described
It makes you live the reality, a beautiful, shameful reality, handles a delicate subject with such elegance that you can’t help but imagine a far off reality of those beautiful girls in kimono

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Katherine says :

Now, I’m obsessed with this movie I’m obsessed with a lot of movies, but this one is something else. I was hooked from the beginning, the story of a little girl who was sold to became in a geisha, and meeting the love of her life as a child,and all the hardships she went through to be with him, and how he planned everything to be close to her, it just drove me crazy I was mad at him because she had to experience horrible things, and I didn’t know much about them, but when I watched this movie it made me realize affections have no borders and women have been used as a sexual object in many cultures. For me it has a very deep message of survival, and that after all the storm there has to be something good. I loved the scenarios, Japan is a amazing The makeup, the music, the historical references made it an instant obsession for me

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