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Memoirs of a Geisha

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Jose Cardenas

on 26 May 2015

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Transcript of Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha
Chiyo Sakamoto was sold at the age of nine, and was forced to move from the small fishing village of Yoroido, to the most lively geisha district in Kyoto, Japan known as Gion. Here she began training in the arts to become a geisha under the Nitta okiya. However when her plot to run away failed, all opportunities for Chiyo to become a geisha were taken away. Chiyo was now obligated to work as a maid to repay her debt to the Nitta okiya. Chiyo's hope to leave Gion was abolished because she would never pay the okiya back by only working as a maid. Luckily Mameha, a successful geisha, was stricken by Chiyo's beauty, and decided to make Chiyo her apprentice. After several years of being disciplined, Chiyo became a prominent geisha. Upon the start of her career, Chiyo followed geisha tradition and changed her name to Sayuri. As a thriving geisha, Sayuri was quickly acquainted with upper class individuals. The head of the Nitta okiya saw Sayuri's growing success, and adopted her. Now Chiyo's official name was Sayuri Nitta. Unfortunately, during World War II Gion was shut down by the Japanese government. Sayuri was forced to seek haven working under a former kimono maker to help sew parachutes that would go to the war effort. At the end of the war, Sayuri returned to Gion, and soon gained the popularity of a wealthy business man. Sayuri became the mistress to the business man. They both moved to New York City, where Sayuri opened a tea house and entertained Japanese guests. She had an illegitimate son with the wealthy businessman. The son took over the business, and Sayuri and the former businessman reflected on their lives until their deaths.
Significant events in Sayuri's Life
I personally only see two significant events in Sayuri Nitta's life. The first was when her father sold her to pay for her dying mother's kimono, and the second was when she first met the businessman when she was twelve. I chose these two events because these events signify the maturing of Sayuri. When her father sold her, Sayuri no longer saw the world from the eyes of a child. She was now able to see the true nature behind the way people operated. Additionally, I chose the meeting between her and the businessman because this gave hope to Sayuri. Although her father selling her helped her mature, after a couple of years, Sayuri began to live her life seeing most things as corrupt. But the moment she met the businessman, she felt the mix of benevolence and hatred intertwined into the world. Moreover, these events were what gave Sayuri the power to become a successful geisha and the prospect that one day she would reach true beauty.
Interesting Facts
1)Sayuri had blue-gray eyes.
My first impression of Memoirs of a Geisha, is that it's a fascinating, and riveting story. I was quickly drawn into the book. What I found most interesting about the book is the main character, Sayuri Nitta. The most intriguing thing about her, was that she was never really in control of her life. The fact she had no control, made me densely consider my life. This book really helped me feel appreciative of my life, and my dad at a time where it was imperative that I should be.
Favorite Quotes
“It was what we Japanese called the onion life, peeling away a layer at a time and crying all the while.”
― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
Arthur Golden
“Even stone can be worn down with enough rain.”
― Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha
This book is for...
Sayuri Nitta
I picked the book because...
2)Sayuri gained success after finding a
3)Sayuri was given a cement block.
I chose to read Memoirs of a Geisha because I wanted to challenge myself. Usually I read something that seems easy, but now I wanted to gain knowledge about real life struggles. I told the librarian that I wanted to challenge myself, then she recommended that I read Memoirs of a Geisha along with Black, White, and Jewish: Autobiography of a Shifting Self. I then spent two weeks deciding on which book to read for my quarter three book. Finally, I chose Memoirs of a Geisha because in History class my teacher was teaching about World War II, and I frivolously thought it would help to gain interest in studying.
I would recommend Memoirs of a Geisha to anyone that enjoys history mixed with an empowering story. The enjoyable thing about the book is the world where beauty is needed to succeed, and love is illustrated as a waste. Similarly, the need for money, and what people will do for it thoroughly has the power to excite readers. With these wonderful ingredients, the story will perfectly captivate it's audience. Furthermore, I believe that Memoirs of a Geisha is for anyone that enjoys relishing into an eloquently written story.
Presentation by Jose Cardenas
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