Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden is the story of Nitta Sayuri, one of the most successful geishas of Japan. The book follows her rise from a simple village girl to a successful geisha in the great Japanese city of Kyoto. Throughout her life, Sayuri faces innumerable challenges, from a jealous geisha named Hatsumomo to struggles over who will become her danna. These challenges threaten to end her career and the life she has built in Kyoto. However, with the help of a famous geisha named Mameha, Sayuri becomes a popular geisha, desired by men in all the teahouses of Kyoto. All the while, Sayuri searches for meaning and hope in an aimless and dismal world. In the end, Sayuri survives the plotting and backstabbing that follow geishas, and even manages to find true love after all.
Memoirs of a Geisha was a great, interesting story. There was a lot of emotion throughout the book, and not the generic blend of emotions either. The emotions present in the story are ones that no story has ever had before. This gives the book a new, exciting flavor. The story told what it really feels like to be treated as nothing more than a business decision or an outlet for sexual relief. It is a story you can connect with, but at the same, you can never truly compare yourself to Sayuri. Throughout the story, Sayuri spreads bits of all the wisdom she has learned in her years, in an attempt to help anyone who reads her story. Overall, it was a great, memorable book.
Becoming a Geisha in Gion was a difficult task, Chiyo-chan had to be taken from her parents, her tipsy home on the edge of the cliff, and sold to the Nitta okiya, these steps were the beginning to her growth as a geisha. Arthur Golden’s vividly realistic book “Memoirs Of A Geisha” tells the story of a young girl’s way to her role as a “moving piece of art”. Transforming yourself into a Geisha isn’t a choice, in the words of Chiyo’s older sister Mameha “ We don’t become geisha so our lives will be satisfying. We become geisha because we have no other choice” (294). Living as a maid Chiyo didn’t have any hope in becoming a Geisha until a well-known woman named Mameha discovered her and decided to execute a sister ceremony with Chiyo. As she aged Sayuri had been through many experiences known for her striking blue eyes she had attention wherever she went, so finding men was no trouble, but growing up under the wing of Mameha, Sayuri (the new Chiyo) dreamt of love. Many men craved to be with her and spent so much money just to become her danna but in the end, she left Tokyo, living in New York still entertaining her one true love.
Rating: This is an amazing book and I rate it 5 stars!