Memoirs of a Geisha - worth seeing?

By panda_eyed
Just too see what all the fuss was about, I read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. I didn't expect to be blown away, but I absolutely was, and I read the whole thing in a few days. If you haven't read it, you really should.

The book is written in the perspective of a poor fisherman's daughter, and follows her transformation into one of Tokyo's most famous Geisha. I can't explain why this book was so good, or so hard to put down, but it was truly enthralling. I guess, part of it was seeing the differences in Japanese culture and eroticism from our own (in my case, being a British-born Chinese). Golden succeeds in making Sayuri's character believable and lovable. What amazes me is how he manages to cross so many divides: male to female, Western-Japanese, modern day-1930's Japan in his writing.

Has anyone seen the film? It didn't get many great reviews, but I'm dying to see how all the characters were portrayed by the actors, and if they managed to get all of Sayuri's thoughts and emotions across on the screen. Not to mention seeing the aspects of 1930's Tokyo and comparing them to the picture I've built up inside my head.

Will I be disappointed?

14 comments so far.

  1. Anonymous 3:56 pm, October 26, 2006
    Oh my best friend was saying about renting that tomorrow but I didn't really want to see it. Maybe now I will and give you the verdict!
  2. panda_eyed 4:41 pm, October 26, 2006
    Ooh yes pls!
  3. Anonymous 4:42 pm, October 26, 2006
    Thanks for stopping by my blog! Obviously I am biased about my baby girl, but I too think she is gorgeous! :o)
    Sounds like Memoirs of a Geisha is worth a read then. Reading the book before watching the film is always a must-do.
    ~*Gems*~ xx
  4. panda_eyed 4:53 pm, October 26, 2006
    Hey Gems, yep Memoirs is a must-read, and I agree with you about reading the book before the film. I wish I'd read About a boy before I'd seen the film - it spoilt it a bit for me, although the film was good.
    And your baby girl is gorgeous :)
  5. Jia Li 7:04 pm, October 26, 2006
    I didn't see it, I did read it
  6. Youngmum 8:17 pm, October 26, 2006
    I've never read the book or seen the film... perhaps I will :o)
  7. Olivia 9:36 pm, October 26, 2006
    I wanted to see the film just for interest's sake. I haven't read that particular book, but when I was at school, I did read The Tale of Genji. It is about a courtier who rose in rank in 11th century Japan. Yes, I did say 11th century, and considered the first novel, AND written by a woman.

    From what I remember, it was full of eloquent descriptions of impressions and snatched conversations and flashes of people through windows. Voyeuristic is the word, but also charming. Well, that could be me, I mean I read it way over 10 yrs ago, and I was so naive then...


    Also, my friend Haruko and I were having the oddest conversation last month about the erotic zones in different cultures. She said for the Japanese it is the nape of the neck, which is true because I've seen enough Japanese prints in my time to notice a focus on that, much more than the face.
  8. Boso 9:50 am, October 27, 2006
    My wife and I saw it, and we both loved it. Which is rare.
  9. panda_eyed 3:21 pm, October 27, 2006
    JL, did you love it too?

    YM, when the girls are in bed perhaps, and you have a quiet moment :)

    Livvy, interesting. I might see if I can get a copy of that.
    Re cultural eroticism, I'm glad I don't live in China when little feet were considered erotic. Ouch.

    Boso! Finally someone who has seen the movie! I might have to go rent it - I usually get my DVDs from Hong Kong/China, but I can't wait til xmas!
  10. Jia Li 1:57 am, October 29, 2006
    I love the book
  11. Flighty 9:56 am, October 29, 2006
    This isn't my kind of book or film.
    However I'll do a book review entry on BookBuffs mentioning, and linking, to this entry during the week.
  12. panda_eyed 2:11 pm, October 31, 2006
    JL, It's great isn't it? :)

    Flighty, thanks! I keep meaning to visit Bookbuffs, thanks for reminding me!
  13. Anonymous 6:06 pm, November 24, 2006
    read my take on 'memoirs of giesha'
  14. panda_eyed 2:09 pm, November 27, 2006
    Hi Jaypee, thanks for the link. I still haven't seen the film yet, but it sounds good and I definitely intend to!

Something to say?