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Analysis Of 'Memoirs Of A Geisha'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1010 words Published: 9th May 2017

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But only Chiyo ends up in a geisha house, an okiya, her sister becomes a prostitute. Chiyo stays in the Nitta-okiya. Here lives the most successful geisha of Gion: Hatsumomo. She is a real bitch and she tries to make Chiyo’s life as miserable as possible. Chiyo’s only friend in the okiya is Pumpkin. Pumpkin has the same age as Chiyo and together they go to a geisha school. Chiyo tries to escape from the Nitta-okiya but she failed. Now she has to quit her school and work as a maid in the okiya. Mameha is another successful geisha and she’s the biggest enemy of Hatsumomo. She becomes Chiyo’s big sister and teach her to be a geisha.

c. Hope, destiny.

d. Sayuri is the I person in the book. She’s the narrator. You see the things through her eyes.

e. Hatsumomo: She’s the mean geisha from the Nitta-okiya. She’s very handsome but also very mean. Chiyo is a big rival for Hatsumomo and she will do anything to make her look bad.

Pumpkin: She’s Chiyo’s only friend in the okiya. She’s not very handsome but she’s not ugly at all. Chiyo named her Pumpkin because when she’s working on something, her tongue is hanging out of her mouth. Now everybody calls her Pumpkin.

The Chairman:

Chiyo meets the chairman when she’s only a child who is crying on a bidge because she misses her sister. The chairman says that the day is too beautiful to cry and he buys her an ice cream. He gives the change and his wiper to her. Chiyo keeps his wiper forever. Right at this moment Chiyo decides that she really want to be a geisha and that she wants to see him again someday.


Nobu is a weird person. He doesn’t want to know anything about geisha’s. He is the chairman’s business partner. When he sees Sayuri (Chiyo’s geisha name), he’s sold and want to see her more often. He is even thinking about become her Danna. A Danna is a protector of a geisha, the Danna pays everything for the geisha en she’s keeping him company instead.

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f. The story takes most of the time place in Japan. Most of this is in Kyoto and the area around Kyoto. At the beginning the story is in the little village Yoroido. The story also takes you to the south of Tokyo and islands in the south of Japan. In the end you end up in New York.

g. The story starts in the year 1929 and ends in the 1970’s. I know that because of some dates that were in the book and because of the age of the main character. The end date is a guess, I don’t know for sure. The story is told chronologically but in fact the whole book is a huge flashback because it is told after it happened. Sayuri/Chiyo looks back on her days as a Geisha.

h. The story is told in the ‘I-perspective’. You don’t get to know directly what other characters are thinking because you everything throughout Sayuri’s/Chiyo’s eyes. You do get to know what Sayuri knows and thinks. I like this way of writing because you get to know the main-character. When she’s happy I feel happy and when she’s sad, I feel sad too. It is a great way of reading.

i. The title is “Memoirs of a Geisha” because the book is a composition of Sayuri’s experiences and her life. It’s like a diary.

j. I think the author of this book wants to show the culture of Japan and that this must be kept.

3. Leesbeleving en evaluatie

a. I liked this book very much. I also have seen the movie. Then I could see a picture in front of me with every person in the book. I really like Japanese history and the land itself. Sushi and that kind of stuff! Geisha’s always interested me so this book was nice to read. The combination between the cruelness of Hatsumomo and the love between the Chairman and Chiyo is perfect! I really love this kind of books. The story is not boring at all. You would think that because it is about history! But really, it isn’t.

b. I would recommend this book to my classmates because it is a very interesting story. It has many pages so it would take a while to read it but it’s worth it!

c. The most touching parts of the book were where Hatsumomo does everything to make Chiyo look bad.

This is a part when Hatsumomo tells a lie to Auntie. She tells her that Chiyo stole her bracelet and sold it. This isn’t true. This is also the part that disappointed me the most because it is really cruel what she does to Chiyo.

Quote: ‘My jewelery !’ Hatsumomo said. ‘This stupid, stupid girl!’. And here she began to beat me. (…) ‘Oh mother,’ Hatsumomo said, ‘on my way back to the okiya this evening, I thought I saw little Chiyo at the end of the alleyway talking to a man. I didn’t think anything of it, because I knew it couldn’t be her. She isn’t supposed to be out of the okiya at all. But when I went up to my room, I found my jewelery box in disarray, and rushed back down just in time to see Chiyo handing something over to the man.’

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4. Achtergrond informatie en bronnen

Arthur Golden is an American writer. He’s a member of the Ochs-Sulzberger family. They are the owners of the New York Times. He’s born in Tennessee. He studied at Harvard University and graduated in history of the arts: Japanese art. He also studies at Peking University and he worked in Tokyo. ‘Memoirs of a geisha’ was two years of the New York Times bestseller list. The book has been translated into thirty-two languages around the world. Golden rewrote his book three times and finally chose for the I-perspective.

I found it on Wikipedia (I’m sorry!) and also on the back of my book.

5. Finally, roughly how much time did you spend reading the book?

About two and a half weeks. During the vacation I read now and then whole days this book and it has many pages.


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