Posted by: suzudayoyo | November 28, 2011

Beauty of Japan

I am not a very fast reader and I hated thick English books. But I was able to read this memoir “Memoirs of Geisha” written by Arthur Golden in less than a week. Also this was a first English book that made me want to read and really enjoy reading.

In 1929, a young girl named Chiyo lived in a poor fishing village. When she became 9 years old, she and her older sister was sold to a geisha house in a place called Hanamachi. At first all she wants to do is go back home with her sister. But one day she meets a nice man. He buys Chiyo an iced sorbet and gives her his handkerchief and some money in it. By his kind act, Chiyo falls in love with this man. But all Chiyo knew about him was that he was being called “Chairman” by his geisha companions. From this day Chiyo decides to become a geisha to meet the Chairman again. Being bullied by famous and beautiful geisha named Hatsumomo, Chiyo grows up to be a beautiful geisha. And finally she meets the Chairman again. Chiyo tries to draw Chairman’s attention but Chairman’s business partner, Nobu, falls in love with her instead…

The story is very interesting and fast paced. I recommend this book to everyone, even the people who think they do not like reading. Even though the book seem really long, a lot of events happen that you will be able to finish it without noticing that you have actually read that much. This book also expresses the beauty of the geisha culture in Japan. You might enjoy it even more if you have interest in old Japanese culture. And even if you don’t have any interest, this might give you a chance to know a little about the geisha culture.

Also, there is a Hollywood movie of this book titled “Sayuri”. I saw this movie right after I read the book. The childhood of the main character, Sayuri, and Chairman are played by Japanese actress and an actor. The movie expressed the world of geisha beautifully and artisticly. I really liked the movie and I recommend both the book and the movie to everyone.



  1. I really enjoyed this book. There are several “real” memoirs of geisha in the C.C., and we just got a DVD of _Sayuri_, the movie based on this book, so have a look before you leave!

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