The Book Venue Book Venue Forums









Category: Book-of-the-Month Discussions

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Memoirs of Geisha by Arthur Golden

The tale of Sayuri, a japanese girl born in a small fishing village, and her journey to becoming a successful geisha in Kyoto. This story spans her life from an impoverished childhood, through WWII as a geisha, to the elegant, aging woman relating her story from her New York apartment suite.

Discussion:Do you view Sayuri as the victim of a cruel and repressive system who can only survive by submitting to men? Or is she a tough, resourceful person who has not only survived but built a good life for herself?

Submitted by Sharon, posted on Wednesday February 21, @01:48PM

Over 100 comments listed. Printing out index only.
A very lucky one, but a victim nonetheless...

Original Post Tuesday, 16-May-00 23:29:09

I would have to say that she, as well as the other women in the story were victims of a repressive system. But I think that Sayuri was more so than Mameha and Hatsumomo. Both Mameha and Hatsumomo seemed to be aggressively scheming" their way to the top, whereas Sayuri seems to survive and flourish through a series of lucky circumstances, her unusual looks and being taken under Mameha's wing being the most important ones.

by Tulip on Wednesday February 21, @01:50PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha

I finally read this book earlier this year after having it sitting on a shelf for a long time. Once began I couldn't think why I had left it so long. I was completeley fascinated by the decription of life in Japan before and during WWII.Of course Sayuri was a victim of men but also of the women in the Geisha compound, and probably would not have survived the war but for the intervention of the Chairman, who I believe really loved her.However, Sayuri's own strength of will to survive everything that life threw at her including the loss of her son, was an uplifting message of hope for everyone.

by Maggie on Sunday November 16, @08:33AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Traxon on Tuesday November 25, @11:15AM
Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Alana on Monday June 28, @01:31PM
Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by karie on Tuesday July 20, @09:32PM
Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by vic on Saturday February 04, @12:49AM
Re: Memoirs of a Geisha

Loved it, loved it, loved it. I could not put this book down. It was a colourful vibrant and intriguing insight into the Geisha life. I have recommended it to all my friends. I have read a couple of other Geisha books but non of them come close.

by Kate on Friday October 01, @09:17PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha

I thoroughly enjoyed this book as I felt immersed in this aspect of the Japanese culture. Following this book I quickly bought Geisha by Dalby to continue my pursuit of knowledge of this topic. I love learning about new and interesting things and this book certainly did that for me!

by Lesley on Friday October 01, @09:18PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha

All I have to say is that I found this one of the most amazing books I have ever read. I couldn't put it down;I was totally mesmerized until I had finished it.I then read it again

by Sakia on Friday October 01, @09:21PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha

I like this book mostly for the insight it gives into the social structure of Sayuri's time and culture. It describes the Geisha system in a fascinating way. The storyline and characters were also engaging. Overall I found it to be an enjoyable book.

by Sharon on Friday October 01, @09:21PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

A great work!! I love it!! It covers a pristine ground, illustrating a vivid and compelling portrait of a woman who lives in a unique world and makes it her own.

by Alaine I on Monday October 04, @11:24AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I do not think that anyone should feel mislead by Arthur Golden as some people have said that they felt he wanted to sell more and mislead people into thinking that his novel was real and he should have put a work of fiction on the cover....but HE DID...it says "Memoirs of a Geisha: A NOVEL" and a novel is by definition a work of fiction whther or not it is based on historical realities....it is a historical novel, his descriptions of locale and setting are generally pretty accurate and one of the quotes on the book says written AS IF it were a memoir bictated by a geisha. So although it is ok to have thought it was real, that was part of its charm..i did too...but i dont think anyone should attack golden for it...except maybe for real geisha.

by Mike on Sunday October 10, @09:03AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I don't know if this thread is still alive but there is a good Q & A with the Author about this book.. Go here http://www.randomhouse.com/vintage/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=0679781587&view=qa

by Natalie on Thursday November 04, @02:28AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Has anyone seen or know any new news on the film based on memoirs of a geisha...?

by david on Friday March 04, @06:54PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I've heard the film is coming out in the US by the end of 2005. There are lots of set and cast photo's on the web if you do a general search.
As usual though, it is mainly filmed in the US!

I'm a couple of chapters away from the end, can't put it down! I'm now fascinated by Geisha and want to go to Gion!

by Laura on Wednesday March 23, @08:33AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I have to say I agree with Arthur (October posting). Don't you think that a person with the ability to get all of you so intrigued by the historical and trivial details of this book is quite ingenious? I must say that I do. The imagination is a wonderful thing and he really unleashed mine with his creative presentation of the life of a geisha. I'm no historian so I don't know just how accurate it is but I will read the other book recommended in order to see what a first hand account of the life of a geisha is. Don't get me wrong, I was as naive as the other who tried to find the painting of Sayuri in the sunset by Uchida Kosaburo, but instead of becoming angered by my discovery I just smiled and said, "Wow he really had me going!" Hope you all can find some appreciation and humor for this as well.

I really like the page and all of your comments!
Thanks,

Brianne

by Brianne on Sunday April 10, @06:17PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Well.... Im glad I wasnt the only one who couldnt wait to search for the famous painting??
I am a couple of chapters away from the end & its funny coz i kept thinking to myself how amazing this lady's memory was having remembered every detail so vividly!! But of course, its ficiton & I would be lying if I said Im not disappointed.. oh well, although i try not to feel a bit cheated I will however finish the book but with a little less enthusiasm... Having said that, i do plan to do more reading and research into the fasinating geisha world so, for that reason the book is certainly a success!

by Trina on Friday April 22, @03:21AM

"Memoirs of a Geisha" and other great books

Hello, all. I'm currently in the middle of reading this amazing book. Before it, I had read "Geisha, a Life" by Mineko Iwasaka, which was in itself an excellent read (and also quite the opposite of the upbringing of the fictional Sayuri). I enjoyed reading two different views of the life of a geisha.

I was wondering if anyone knows of anymore good books about the lives of geisha? Once I finish "Memoirs of a Geisha" I would like to have another good book to fall on. If not about geisha, then any other book that may relate to the struggles of women in the past, and their fight to overcome. I must say though, the lives of geisha greatly intrigue me.

Thank you.

by nikki on Monday July 04, @09:47AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I was fooled too! Uchida Kosaburo is not a real person just as "Memoirs of a Geisha" is a book of fiction.

As distressing as this is to those of us who loved the book, it does say on the back of the book "a unique and triumphant work of fiction" which I confirmed after being told it was a work of fiction. I was deeply upset at the writers betrayal.

Also in the acknowledgements it says "although the character of Sayuri and her story are completly invented" the historical facts are not.

It's too bad that this "author" had to fool everyone in to believing that he was being honest in his writing and writing about true events when in fact it was only a ploy to get people interested. I now feel I need to be more careful about what I choose to read so I won't be fooled again. For me, I've read my last Arthur Golden book.

by Colleen on Sunday July 10, @10:27AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In thinking about it, it is a good read. I was up until 2am reading it last night, when I thought it was true. Unfortunatly, I got to the part where Uchida Kosaburo's famous ink painting was brought up and had to Google it only to discover it didn't exist. I must say, I enjoyed the book because I thought it was true. I wonder if I would have kept reading much after the first few chapters if I knew it were fiction? At this point my enthusiasm even to finish the book is deminished because there are parts of the book that seem far fetched but that I took in faith thinking it happened to someone. Now, it's just a book. Just another book. I'm interested in reading the others that were mentioned to see what a true geisha has to say. I think I'll check the acknowledgements first!

by Colleen on Sunday July 10, @12:15PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I really loved the book's elegance of language however...though i saw the "a novel" on the front cover, i didn't confirm that it was fiction until i was already intrigued. what bothers me is that a book of fiction could be written in such a deceptive way. the intro of how the conversations were transcribed and not printed until her death...i found touching and moving. i have also encountered this type of writing when i read what i thought to be a record of a slave girl's growing up- the book was written like a diary with dated entries and misspellings like any little child learning would do. since that was my first encounter with an "invented history" i was absolutely furious! i don't believe in burning books but...i just don't think anyone else should read it and get emotionally attached to the character or the vision of the world that is portrayed. this authur for Geisha could have left off the transcription part...okay the book is fiction but why tack on things to masquerade it as not!

by barbara on Thursday July 21, @04:04PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

When I first picked up the book, I understood it was fiction, because of the fact that it said "novel" on the front, and the fact that there was an author's name on the front, different from the fictional "translator". It was really pretty obvious. A lot of you are taking this too hard. I thought it was clever to make it seem like a real work, and it drew you in. The author was not attempting to deceive, but to create atmosphere. Try not to take things so seriously. I loved the book and couldn't put it down. Can't wait for the movie! Loved Mineko Iwasaki's book too. I recommend it, if you want to learn about real geisha life and not fiction, as Golden's was.

by Charity on Sunday July 31, @03:05AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I've almost finished reading -Memoirs of a Geisha- hut it's already my all time favourite book -!!!

I was just wondering, which of the characters actually existed, like, did Mameha really exist? or Hatsumomo? But especially who of the artists like Uchida Kosaburo and Arashino, the kimono maker,... ?

Please someone reply -!!!
My e-mail is :: me_so_vogue@hotmail.com

By the way, I saw there's a movie coming out this December on -memoirs of a Geisha- isn't it awesome ~!!!!!
Zhang Ziyi is playing Chiyo/Sayuri ~!!
I so Love he~!!

by Belle on Tuesday August 16, @02:41PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

HOLA!!! ME HA ENCANTADO EL LIBRO!!! CREÍ DESDE LA PRIMERA HASTA LA ÚLTIMA DE LAS PALABRA QUE LA HISTORIA ME CONTABA, TAL FUÉ MI DESILUSIÓN AL COMPROBAR QUE TALES PERSONAJES NO ERAN REALES!!! DISFRUTÉ CON CADA UNOS DE LOS DETALLES QUE EL AUTOR (arthur golden) HACÍA SOBRE Yoroido, Kioto, Amaima,... ADEMÁS DE LAS DESCRIPCIONES DE LOS KIMONOS, DE LOS PERSONAJES (Sayuri, Calabaza, Mameha, Uchida, etc...),ETC... HASTA DE LA CRUELDAD DE LA GUERRA. HOY ES 24/08/2005, EN ESTOS MOMENTOS PUEDE QUE USTED HAYA CONVERTIDO OTRAS DE SU NOVELA EN BEST SELLER, AUNQUE TODO EL MUNDO LE RECORDARÁ POR MEMORIA DE UNA GEISHA, SU TALENTO NO TIENE LÍMITES.

by grillo on Wednesday August 24, @06:24AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

If you want a different perspective on Geisha life, check out "Autobiography of a Geisha". It's not as 'fairytale', but it's definitely an interesting read and good from a different viewpoint. I've also just finished reading Mineko Iwasaka's "Geisha of Gion" - if you want fact, then there you go. However, "Memoirs" is by far the most entertaining!

by Jane on Sunday September 04, @03:39PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

At first, I was totally fooled by the translator's note. I got well into the book before really thinking about the "novel" portion of the title. By the time I realized it wasn't real, I was so completely immersed (I finished the book in 3 long evenings) that it didn't matter anymore. I agree with previous postings that truly the translator's note is atmospheric, and it's a common writer's technique. I didn't feel deceived later so much as amazed that a man -- and this is not a gender slur or anything -- had managed to capture so brilliantly the thoughts and emotions very likely felt by a young woman who experienced the things Sayuri did.

The book is spectacularly written, with glimpses of poetry woven into the fabric from which it is sewn, and true or not, a good book is rarely both entertaining, heartbreaking, soul-searching and fascinating all at the same time, which I found this one to be.

I am terribly excited about the movie, and even the trailer is spectacular; the buzz is that it is a sure Oscar contender, especially for Ken Watanabe (Chairman) and Ziyi Zhang (Sayuri), not to mention Michelle Yeoh as Mameha. I can't wait.

See you at the theatres, and I'd definitely read Arthur Golden again, if for no reason other than that the work that went into understanding this enough to write about it is a marvel in modern literature.

by Ola on Sunday September 04, @04:29PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

remember ? maybe because it's everyone's deep dark secret down under to do these things, or maybe not

by Me!me!me! on Thursday September 08, @12:37AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I absolutely LOVE this book. Even before finishing it, I decided it ranks as one of my all-time faves. It's just so entertaining, touching, comical, and... amazing! I, too, loved Golden's poetic style that incorporated Japanese culture! He did a great job on research and background. Like most others, I was also misled by the "Memoirs" part of the title! I seriously thought it was nonfiction. Boy, did the author get me there! I did feel a strong sense of betrayal, but after reading so many comments from all of you, I did manage to forget my anger at how Golden, in a way, "lied" to me and just try to remember that the book was phenomenal! And, to have a writer deceive me and so many other people so cleverly means that the writer is truly skillful. I love this book, and I have taken note in my calendar the movie date!! December '05, baby!!! If you get the chance, watch the trailer! (Don't agree that the Chinese Zhang Ziyi has to play the Japanese Sayuri, though!)

by nadine on Saturday September 10, @02:47PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I love this book!!! Very entertaining and fascinating, I could not put it down. This site was the result of searching for Uchida Kosaburo's famous ink painting and came to found out that it doesn't exist. I laughed at myself for being sooo into the book and soo curios about what was mentioned that I forgot it was a fiction. But hey, I give Arthur Golden 2 thumbs up for capturing and and holding my attention throughout. Very clever.

by AGL on Sunday September 18, @07:07AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Okay, really guys, the cover says "memoirs of a geisha... a novel by arthur golden" novel meaning fiction. novels are fictious. i repeat: novels are fictious. also, the publishers synopsis on the back reads, "...a unique and triumphant work of fiction" so.....yea...fine print guys, lets pay attention...

by Ellie on Sunday September 18, @04:53PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

although i too would have like to have thought that this novel was real, it certainly written well enough to give you that feeling, i am very surprised as to how many people thought that it was fact. especially considering that in order to get the book you had to make a visit to the fiction section of the book store or library. that's fiction. think about it.

with that i have to say that this book is one of my all-time favorites. i cant wait for the movie to come out this winter. i know it wont be nearly as good as the book, but it will be nice to see the characters come to life.

and as for this book giving geisha the wrong image. i think that this book will give people enough curiosity to research the subject on their own. and i didnt feel as if he blurred the line between geisha and prostitute. i felt that he made the difference known with the existance of satsu, chiyo's sister. he also gives them a higher status by defining them as "artists" as oppose to "entertainer." geisha are not prostitutes, but the reality is that you wouldn't be to sharp if you believe them to be celebant.

all in all i thought it was very well written, the characters and images are everything you could want in a novel. and i could read it again and again.

by siobhan on Friday September 30, @02:47AM

dispelling myths that all golden's info is untrue

First of, I read this book for my coultural anthropology class to research if Golden's writings were true to real geisha life I also have read several other books about geisha, in two that I have examined mizuage is in fact the sexual initiation of an apprentice geisha and a danna is a male patron of a geisha or tayu...which includes some sexual acts...but of course that does not mean he was describing geisha as prostitutes, a tayu is clearly different from a geisha, one in that she wears her obi in the front, and apprentice geisha are made to look more appealing sexually by leaving part of their necks unpainted and so forth

Also, to those who did not know it was fiction it is stated on the back of the book "fiction/literature"

by Mandy on Thursday November 03, @12:27AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I find it funny that I just googled Uchida Kosaburo - because that's the point I'm at in the novel - and found this. I had no clue it was all fiction, it's disappointing. Golden shouldn't have thrown in all those 'references' to historical elements that never existed. If I hadn't come accross all these comments, I would have gone on believing everything in the story and somehow made an idiot of myself XP

by Jenna on Wednesday November 23, @04:49PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

i'm guilty of practically everything said here in this forum. but i did find some other books based on the life and times of geisha:

1)Geisha by Liza Crihfield Dalby
2)Women of the Pleasure Quarters : The Secret History of the Geisha by Lesley Downer
3)Geisha of Gion: The Memoir of Mineko Iwasaki by Mineko Iwasaki, Rande Brown
4)Madame Sadayakko: The Geisha Who Bewitched the West by Lesley Downer
5)The Tale of Murasaki by Liza Dalby
6)Die Geisha by Arthur Golden
7)Geisha by Jodi Cobb

enjoy!

by jadefox20 on Monday November 28, @12:16PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I am a bookseller at a large nationwide chain bookstore. People seem to have a problem understanding that books in the "Fiction" section are not completely true, but can be based on fact. Some of the events in this book may have happened to actual geisha, but not all of them actually did, and not necesarily to the same person. When a customer comes in asking for Memoirs of a Geisha, I always make it clear that it is fiction, and suggest that they also read Geisha, a Life by Mineko Iwasaki. The book I have this problem with the most is The Da Vinci Code. This book is based on IDEAS, that can't be proven or misproven, just like Memoirs is based on things that may or may not have happened. I see both Da Vinci and Memoirs as great works of fiction, but I realize that they are both things that someone came up with in their head. Not necesarily something that should be wholeheartedly believed in, but nevertheless beautiful works of art.

by Lorien on Monday November 28, @04:09PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

and another one bites the dust...yeah i read Novel in the title, yes it was in the fiction section....but the Translator's note at the beginning says it was based on conversations with Sayuri! Anyhowz back to reality when I tried to look for Uchida Kosaburo's posters!

Very well written book and I am loving it.

by kapie on Wednesday November 30, @03:07AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

A lot of posts in here are criticizing the fact that a lot of the names that have been looked up from the book are in fact not real, which is explained in the last page of the book, the day-to-day life of a geisha is the emphasis of the book, not so much the characters. Geisha life was always meant to be kept among themselves and those who worked with them to keep the mysterious appeal about them, it's great reading about something that normally would not be a topic thought of too thouroughly.

by Aub on Thursday December 01, @01:15PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

There was a post farther up that mentioned that Golden portrayed Geisha as prostitutes...Ive read the book once so far and with the movie coming out, I am going through it again because I know how movies tend to mess up good books. Anyways, Id like to say that while reading the book, I did NOT get the impression that Golden was trying to portray the Geisha as prostitutes. Did I miss something? Yes there was the "sale" of the whole virginity thing, but that means nothing. I honestly love this book and never got the impression that he was portraying the Geisha as prostitutes. I dont know where that person got the idea of that, but for some reason I took offense that someone would get that impression.

Anyways, I just had to get those thoughts out. No need to reply to my ranting anyone.

Oh and thanks for the recomendation of the other Geisha book. Im going to get that from my library right away and read that as well. Maybe my veiws on both Golden's book and the posts here will be cleared a bit after reading the other book.

by Kim on Saturday December 03, @03:22AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I find that parts of the novel seem to try and display that it was Sayuri's destiny to become a Geisha. However, I also think the issue of repression is ever-present within the book as well. In the end, Sayuri still told the story in a way that suggested the worst and best day of her life led her to an opportunity most would not have attained.

And while Geisha seem to be controlled by men in this novel, I think there are also hints that the Geisha have mastered an art of being able to make men fall in love with them. Suggesting that Geisha, in their own way, have a different kind of control over the men.

by Hadrian on Saturday December 03, @05:38AM

Re: Where does it say the novel is fictional

Try reading the acknowledgements at the back. Also, the word 'novel' should be a clue.

by R on Sunday December 04, @04:46AM

Oh damn!

I just happened to find this site because I wanted to see some of Uchida Kosaburo's paintings; did a name search and happened to land here. Now that I know the story isn't true, it tears me up. Like finding out Santa isn't real, a few days before Christmas! Whaw!

Hehehehehe! Oh well, regardless the book has me captured and I'll still read the second half with the same interest.
Cheers, Annette

by Annette on Wednesday December 14, @04:33PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I also came across this site looking for the poster of Saryuri done by Uchida Kosaburo. Like everyone else, learned it didn't exist.

However the book taught me alot. Helped me understand more of what I saw living in Osaka in the 1980's. I lived in Japan many years with a well to do family. I see many similarities in the life of a "hostess" in Japan. I was an English teacher there, not a hostess. I did have opportunities to go to highclass bars to meet hostess's who were well dressed and owned several kimonos. In the eighty's
I eventually married into the family. I learned alot about the Japanese culture and language. I found the mindset amd cultre so different and compliicated. For foriegners to understand the submissiveness of Japanese women, you need to understand the honor they feel that goies with being a good wife or geisha in Japan. In Japan "honor and obedience go hand in hand. Also "Danna san" was used in those bars where the ladies hosted and poured drinks for men and entertained them.

Is there anyone out there that knows what I am talking about? What is the difference between being a hostess with a "Dannasan" and geisha in Japan. Is the difference the school training for the geisha? And having to live in a "okiya" Or are modern geish hostesses in the high class bars of Japan?

Look forward to your remarks.

Thanks.
lindalarsson@hotmail.com

by Linda Larsson on Thursday December 15, @07:48AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Wow, I seem to have made the same mistake as everyone else. That Translator's Note and actual facts in the book really fooled me. But now everything is coming together- the fact that the authors' names are different at the end of the note and on the cover and that Uchida's painting of Sayuri is not coming up on Google. Hehe. Anyway it is an amazing read and I cannot wait to see the movie!

Megan

by Megan on Thursday December 15, @12:29PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Hey doesn't it seem interesting that a Chinese actress will play a Japanese role in the movie? I know this has happened in many a film with other ethnicities, but as this is the first real portrayal of Japanese life, the audience should at least be able to distinguish between the two cultures. (it also doesn't help that many Americans think that all Asians look the same).

by kumiko on Thursday December 15, @07:11PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I think that any book that gets this kind of reaction out of people, and that has the power to suck you in and not let go until you are finished is a must read over and over and over! I also think that it was pure genius to create an atmosphere with such detail that allowed our imaginations to follow Sayuris tale with such emotion.... true or not, I will read this novel over and over and over! ENJOY!

by Mom2mason on Sunday December 18, @08:46PM

Who Does Iwamura (Chairman) Portray in Real Life?

I find the description of Iwamura Ken (the chairman) very similar to the real life of a great entrepreneur... who is none other than Mr. Konosuke Matsushita! Having worked in the company for three years, I came across a little bit of his background. As soon as i've finished reading the second page of Chapter 18, I searched the internet for more info and was all the more certain that the description was in fact about him except for the age and the years that differed by plus or minus 1. The website below tells the background of Mr. Matsushita. http://panasonic.co.jp/company/person/en/chapter1/story1-03.html I'm still in great shock as no one else has brought this up! At this point, I'm glad that this is in fact a fiction and none of the content in the novel is true except for the historical background as I very much respect Mr Matsushita. However, I am very much saddened by the fact that he is being used by the author who, so much confuses us into believing it is based on a true story (in his translator's note). I hope the fans of Mr. Konosuke Matsushita and those who also realised this will not be fooled. I have yet to finish the book and am very anxious in finding out what more is written about him as well as between him and Sayuri. I would also like to know whether or not there is an infringement caused by the author?

by Aquaries21 on Tuesday December 20, @12:49AM

Who Does Iwamura (Chairman) Portray in Real Life?

I find the description of Iwamura Ken (the chairman) very similar to the real life of a great entrepreneur... who is none other than Mr. Konosuke Matsushita!

Having worked in the company for three years, I came across a little bit of his background. As soon as i've finished reading the second page of Chapter 18, I searched the internet for more info and was all the more certain that the description was in fact about him except for the age and the years that differed by plus or minus 1. The fact that he was an apprentice in a famous electric company; the fact that he designed the two lightbulbs in a socket built for only one and that he couldn't convince the director to manufacture it which prompted him to start his own company. It also tells how the company, when on the verge of bankcruptcy being rescued by a new contract. The website below tells the background of Mr. Matsushita.

http://panasonic.co.jp/company/person/en/chapter1/story1-03.html

I'm still in great shock as no one else has brought this up! At this point, I'm glad that this is in fact a fiction and none of the content in the novel is true except for the historical background as I very much respect Mr Matsushita. However, I am very much saddened by the fact that he is being used by the author who, so much confuses us into believing it is based on a true story (in his translator's note).

I hope the fans of Mr. Konosuke Matsushita and those who also realised this will not be fooled.

I have yet to finish the book and am very anxious in finding out what more is written about him as well as between him and Sayuri.

I would also like to know whether or not there is an infringement caused by the author?

by Aquaries21 on Tuesday December 20, @12:57AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Haha, it seems that I came upon this site in the exact same way that everyone else has- I was trying to find the picture painted of Sayuri, and then after an unsuccessful search I found out that the book is fictional. I'm pretty bummed, but I have great respect of Golden for writing such an amazing book!

by christina on Monday December 26, @08:52PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

As the book warned in the preference, some names were changed. I was also, unable to find the artist Uchida Kosaburo. However there was an artist Ito Shinsui that produced several Geisha artwork in the 1930s using similar if not the same model(s). Linked to this Geisha or not, his work is beautiful.

by debee on Tuesday December 27, @09:49AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I am currently reading the book, and I am too shocked to find out that Sayuri/Chiyo is a fictional character! It seemed so real... It's a bit depressing though...

by Meifu on Wednesday December 28, @10:56PM

Memoirs of a Geisha

I too found this website like most everyone else, not paying close attention to the "fiction" part, but I must agree w/ someone else's previous comment....if a book can send so many people on a hunt for geisha information....then it has truly accomplished what it set out to do.

by Simone on Sunday January 01, @07:10PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Someone earlier commented that they lost interest in the book because they discovered it was fiction, I really can't understand this at all! I have great respect for Arthur Golden being able to create such a believeable story. This book is so addictive, i also was looking for Uchida Kosaburo's painting, it was described so beautifully in the book i couldn't help but have a longing to see it...I'm a little disappointed but not overly it's still a wonderful book even if it is fiction. Well, that's all i got to say...STARBUCKS TIME =^.^= Mmmmmmm Caramel apple cider =D

by Shorty on Monday January 02, @07:01PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

i completly feel the same as annette...i am about 250 pages into this book, thinking it is the most amazing and interesting story that i've ever read, partly because its TRUE!!!! and i was searching for uchida's paintings online and now im reading all of this that its not true.....i am soooooo sad!!!

by heather on Tuesday January 03, @07:49PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

i feel that same way as most of you do, i came looking for pictures only to find out that this book is fictional!!! i'm so disappointed!!! in the translators note i remember him saying that this is a true story, he had the tape player and all that stuff so now to read this i'm very sad, but i am going to finshin reading the book because it is wonderful, i can barely put it down. i can say this that when i get the chance i will go and see the movie!!! Happy new year!!!!

by Jennifer on Tuesday January 03, @11:36PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I ALSO was searching for the artist Uchida Kosaburo's work when I landed here! I don't feel as foolish now seeing how many others have done the same! I am halfway through the book and LOVE it regardless of it being real or not. I went ahead and saw the movie... it was really very good,though not as good as the book in detail. As for a Chinese actress playing the Japanese Sayuri- big deal! We have Australian Nicole Kidman playing American roles all the time! People have gotten so uptight and technical about it just because it's an Asain role. The actress did a great job at bringing the character to life!

by Rina on Wednesday January 04, @06:46PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

i do not feal foolish it just shows that people can be so captivated by a storie and in meny cases moved by it that we can not help but see reality in fiction i hope i do not confuse any one with this statement but i understand that in many ways this book shows lots of people a world they would never see unless they where to take on the challenge of being a geisha

by ken on Thursday January 05, @10:39AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

You know what has amazed me the most about this whole chain of comments is how we all think alike. I too went on-line to look for the paintings like so many others. And when I came upon this site and began reading the comments, I must admit I couldn't believe I had missed the part of it being fiction. I guess the translator's note really threw us all for a loop. I'm half-way through the book so I stopped reading because I don't want to ruin the ending. I'm trying to finish it so that I can go watch the movie. I've already heard mixed comments from both viewers who like the book more than the movie and vice-a-versa.

by LL on Thursday January 05, @09:39PM

the beautiful description of the painting

I too was bamboozled into thinking the story was true. but now that i see novel on the front i should have known better. i too tried to look up the painting of the young woman in a kimono standing in a rapturous state and with her eyes aglow - only to find this website.
i am a little disappointed but i think this book is wonderful. i have also heard mixed reviews about the movie. but even if it's not that great at least you will be able to see all the beautiful kimonos they wear.
and the book is wonderful - i can vividly see everything as the author is telling me about. i feel like i am right there watching everything.

i will have to read the other books. i am entranced by the lives of geisha now.

by jen on Saturday January 07, @09:55PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I have read that there is truth to the book, but not that it is completely based on one person, rather pulled from several different Geisha and melted into one.
Has anyone looked up the credentials of the translator?

by Jerilyn on Sunday January 08, @11:42AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

is this story true? the characters and all the setting? i know that this similar story happens to many girls in japan. If this is really a real story and characters. May i ask the author to tell me if Sayuri is still alive?

by Jason on Sunday January 08, @08:54PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Like most of the others who arrived at this post, I too was searching for Uchida's paintings. I, however, knew that the book was fictional. Authors will often use real side characters in historical novels, and I was hoping that Uchida would be one of those. Patrick O'brien's novels (Master and Commander etc.) are a good example of this blend of of real and created characters and events. The purpose is to tell a story of human lives, with a beginning, middle and end. If you will examine your own life, or those of your friends and family, you will find the same mix of comedy, tragedy, loss and love, but seldom will you hear those stories told as well as in the works of O'brien or Golden. That is what makes "Geisha" so compelling-the writing. It shouldn't matter whether you find out it "wasn't real". The emotions, plot, actions and reactions of the characters are true to life, and deftly handled.
I also liked the movie. Beautiful!

by Bob on Wednesday January 11, @02:01PM

Re: Wow I feel a little better...

To be honest I found the book after seeing the movie...which I know seems backwards, but I didn't realize the movie was based on a book until after I had seen it. So when I was in Target and saw it on sale for $11 and remembering how much I liked the movie and Japanese culture (i pick it up from anime i watch)...I jumpled at the opportunity...Then, like it seems a vast majority of others here have done, I googled for painting of Sayuri and came here only to find out the story isn't real. First of all, I would like to say that it makes me feel a great deal better that I was not the only person to fall into this trap and that a lot of people seemed to have been decieved by the style of writing.
Second, I think its wrong to harp on the people who are depressed by the revelation that Sayuri and her life story in fact did not really exsist because they did not realize the truth meaning of "novel" which was in smaller print. I think a reader shouldn't have any second-guesses of the authenticity of the material they are reading. The author should be blunt about his intentions. Though I must admmit I hold some admiration that Golden had the balls to put his readers trust on the line and potentially lose future readers with his decieption and was able to make a better book because of it...I personally think that he should have stuck with the 'Based on true acts/stories' because many reader (so I observed by reading many response feel so betrayed that they either don't finished the book or feel less enthused.
Well thanks for letting me vent if you made it this far, and thank you everybody that gave information leading to other sources of information about geishas. Also if you are not to disenchanted with the book I recommend going and seeing the movie!!

by Lacey on Wednesday January 11, @03:52PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Today (01/12/06) I have landed on page 259. I have found that Sayuri has been a muse to an artist. I googled Uchida Kosaburo's name and landed here.
I am just finding out that this is a work of fiction. Betrayal is foremost in my mind. I feel as though an emotional investment wasted on a work of fiction. I am most likely not finishing this book.
I understand that fiction can be nice. I have ready the series "Outlander" by Diana Gabaldon, as well as the "Shanara" series by Terry Brooks. I knew from the start these were works of fiction and the author did nothing to try and convince me otherwise.
To think that I would have wasted more time on this book only to find that at the end in the acknowledgements it was all a lie, I am glad I have found out now.

No one here ruined it for me. I would have found out anyway. I am just glad to have found out half way through rather then at the end.

by JMartin on Thursday January 12, @08:20PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I found a link to an interesting . They even discuss just how real the book makes it all seem. No wonder some of us thought this was a true story, and now that we know it wasn't a true story, still want to believe that it is.

by Hada on Thursday January 12, @08:53PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Just to point this out, the book cover states specifically that it is a work of fiction. I'll admit that the "Translator's Note" threw me for a loop and I thought it rather odd that they would include a translator's note for a work of fiction. Now, I've reached p.222 and also searched for Uchida Kosaburo. I understand now that the Translator's Note is actually another part of the fiction, which upon reflection I find to be very clever. After all, the cover says "a novel by Arthur Golden", novel implying fiction, and to further confirm it the back says "Fiction/Literature". If it were truly a biography, it would have read "a biography by..." instead. Not to mention the USA Today comment that the book is "Enthralling...written as if it were a memoir dicated by a geisha", the key words being "written as if it were".

by gundamaniac on Thursday January 12, @11:08PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Okay... haha, I have to say that I came back to work after reading the chapter that had Uchida Kosaburo in it too... jumped on Google to see the picture and this is the second link I clicked on... not only do I not get to see the picture... but the book is fiction.

Grrrr. Lol

by sarah on Friday January 13, @01:44PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Of course, I too am guilty of googling the artist Uchida Kosaburo and led me here. But after reading some of these posts, it's rather disappointing to me. Such a wonderful story is being told, fiction or non-fiction. People are self-admittingly rejecting the essence of the book and if I recall one person even dicontinued to read it! To me this is a little junvinile, don't you think? It's like when a 4th grader reads Huckleberry Finn and is later told these adventures didn't REALLY happen, c'mon people, aren't you reading this book for entertainment anyway? If you need exact historical facts, read the encyclopedia!

by Meg on Friday January 13, @04:10PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

An amazing book that everyone should read. Hope, dispare, failure
and success are all part of the book. You experience what Sayuri goes through.
This is a book that once you start to read, you will not be able to put it down!

by Jennifer on Wednesday January 18, @01:21PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

How funny, I too was searching for more ink paintings of Uchida Kosaburo, because as someone else said, "that's where I'm at in the book right now".

How amazing, Arthur paints a picture with his story that I truly fell in love with and thought was real. Amazing.

-Jeremy

by Lucidddream on Wednesday January 18, @04:22PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Kudos to Arthur Golden for writing such an intriguing look into the lives of Geishas. So, he fooled a lot of us, but then again, don't I feel silly for overlooking the obvious. I too am about mid-way through the story, and purchased the book after having seen the movie last week. Although the movie was lovely and entertaining, I found it frustrating because so much was not explained. Proving once again, that the written word always excels over the movies. I can't wait to pick up where I left off this morning.....

by Susan on Saturday January 21, @10:40AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

First, let me say it was a good read.
Ok, now that that's over...

I think a lot of posters here don't realise that not all of the 'MoaG' books have the word 'Novel' on the Cover or the Spine of the Book. e.g. Those published by Vintage 1998.

Another thing is, the book feels different if you had read it knowing vs not knowing if it was not a true story. I will admit that I picked it up cheap at a second hand bookstore having vaguely heard of it's fame. Reading the First page on, it has already put me into 'True Story' mode because of "translator's note".

Having a translator different than that of the the author's wasn't surprising because they are two different jobs after all. I Transcribe, you write. Simple as that.

Saying that, I'd guess that Arthur Golden was trying to make it interesting by introducing the 'Translator', but didn't think that people who jumped straight into the story without having scrutinised the back and the covers for the word 'Novel' would be misled.

However realising this, I've always been thinking, why put in 'Translator's Note' anyway? I suspect it IS because he wanted those readers who had no real Idea if it was a work of Fiction or not (Aside from the word 'Novel' appearing on the book) to read it while believing it was a true story, and by doing so the book is actually more engrossing to them.

Word of mouth is also important, there will be lots of readers who say, "Wow, Memoirs of a Geisha is a really good book, about this Geisha's Life in Gion!'

Their friend will go "Really?" and will be thinking , "A Geisha's memoirs huh, should be interesting." And pick it up without thinking if it's a true story.

If you read the Flap on the Hardcover print for MoaG, you'll see they're careful to use words that make readers think that it is actually based heavily on a Geisha's Confession, and that it's not a work of Fiction based on research and study.

The Soft Covers don't have these, but some of them have the Title as "Memoirs Of A Geisha", and some of them have it as "Memoirs of a Geisha : A novel"

This is not new information to many of you, but there are still Tons of people who are out there looking for this Info and the reasons behind the Name Change, the Issue regarding the way the book was marketed to have so many people believe it was a true story until the end of the book, (The section separated from the Ending by a few pages, so many people actually miss that).

I'm sure there are readers out there who wouldn't have picked the book up if they knew it was Fiction, even if it was Fiction based on truth. They would have picked it up if it was only a true Memoir of an actual living Geisha.

by Roki on Tuesday January 24, @10:49PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I can't believe this book isn't real. It's absolutly brilliant. What I find truly funny is that there are so many like me who tried to look for Uchida Kosaburo's picture and found out it wasn't real. A great pity, but I guess this way it leaves more room for the imagination.

by Myfanwy on Saturday January 28, @04:56AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Geisha means Artist
This is what Memoirs of Geisha has explained.
In no way, was a Geisha describes as a prostitue in Memoirs of Geisha...infact i believe the author has put in alot of effort to ensure the reader can distinguish a Geisha from a Prostitute.

by Sulz on Sunday January 29, @06:34PM

What does it matter?

You people are all talking about how great the book could have been if it weren't for the fact that it's fictional. But does it being fictional or non-fictional really matter? If the book was real and the events described in the novel really did occur, how will they affect you? Is it so you can find a picture of sayuri, print it out and carry it with you in your wallet? I read this book and was touched by it, but when I came across this webpage, I was dissapointed by how most of you are missing the main points of the novel and focusing on the surface of it. To me, the story of sayuri will remain in me not because I have a picture of sayuri to refer to, but because of the lessons I've learned from a life.

by icegekki on Friday February 03, @05:45PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

This thread is cracking me up! After reading some of the posts, then getting over the initial shock that the book is fake...I found all this hilarious!

I looked for the painting too!! LOL!I was sitting here thinking, "sure would like to see that, and maybe order it..so I can have a piece of history". Silly dollars, there IS no painting!

I was taking all of this reading seriously, and was really feeling bad for Sayuri's Mizuage!

I've seen the movie, and wanted to read the book to compare, seems to be following right along with it...but a bit more detail. Which is what I was hoping for. I was a bit confused myself, as to why they had a Chinese actress protray Sayuri, but that's hollywood, folks. They went for the hottest Asian actress out, instead of being worried about how the Japanese race would feel about it. Bad taste. But the movie was well done.

Another "Well done" for Aurthur Golden..You got me, I thought this mess was for real! LOL! Beautifully written, flows just right, and is very classy.

by Dollars on Saturday February 11, @11:45PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Okay... I thought that it was made out to be fiction because of so many changes to the names of actual characters. I've read the Translator's note and it seemed to me that Sayuri was, at one point, a real person. What explanation should we think of as the truth? The Translator's note? Or the acknowledgments? I am so confused...

Despite the news of it being 'fiction', I think people should still read it. I believe a lot of research has gone into this book and deserves a chance to be read for generations to come. It is a classic that should not be forgotten. And though people have said that it misrepresents the life of a Geisha... do you have any proof? If you do... did you get it from a reliable source? The internet isn't always reliable...

I love this book no matter what anyone says. There are few who don't like it, and even more that do. So despite the bad things are said about it, it will not be enough to take it off the shelves.

by Dawn on Monday February 20, @08:45PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Okay... now I realize, (go figure... right after i just posted) as I scrolled up and read one particualr post, that the translator's note WAS only fiction as well. When i read that I was going "It all makes sense now". And it does, if you think about it. If you read the end of the book, and compare it to the events the 'translator' describes, it all fits perfectly. You have to have to think about it to understand. I believe he meant the novel as a way to get our minds going. This novel is based on true events, told through a fictional character.

And about the part where people have said that Arthur Golden made no attempt to explain that the Geisha is an entertainer not a prostitute... How can you say that? I think the way he explained Sayuri's MIZUAGE was a way of showing aspects of the different lifestyles of different Geisha. It may not be a Memoir of a real Geisha, but he has done his best to show what life was like for ALL the Geisha. Instead of concentrating on just one Geisha, it gives us a broader... understanding, for lack of a better word. It may also be true that most Geisha never experienced the type of Mizuage Sayuri went through, but as i've said, the story wasn't based on just one Geisha.

If you didn't understand what i was just trying to explain... i'm sorry... i just couldn't think of any better way to explain it.

by Dawn on Monday February 20, @09:14PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I cannot believe this is a fiction. I am usually attentive to the little details like the "fiction/literature' on the back of the book. I am so extremely disappointed that this is not based on actual events as I was led to believe. I suppose the disappointment comes mainly from the fact that I find myself becoming more attached to characters in novels that I know to be true. While reading this book, which I haven't quite finished yet, I felt like I knew Sayuri/Chiyo. When a book touches you this deeply it's sad to learn of it's true nature.

by Dimpel on Sunday February 26, @07:50PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

"Another one bites the dust..."
But I'm enjoying all the same.

by Melanie on Friday March 10, @07:16AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

yet another one fooled by the translator's note... it's scary too how most of us got here searching for the fictional Uchida Kosaburo's work.

by Jawahar on Saturday April 15, @08:14PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

hah yes I too was searching for Kosaburo. I wanted to se the picture! hah my copy doesn't say a novel and I was thinking my god that women remembers a lot I was also wondering whether I'd seen the picture of Mameha on the poster were it said "land of the rising sun".
Another book taht this this was The sorceress by Celia Rees and its prequel.

by Cat on Saturday April 22, @10:08AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

...............and another one here, caught hook, line and sinker that it was a true recount of a geishas life. But here I am googling for the artists work of the main character, like the rest of you !!!!!

One problem----my husband has seen my absorption with this book, asked me for a nutshell of it and is now looking forward to it, on my recommendation of it as a true story, before I landed here. Do I give him the truth before he reads it or let him go into it thinking it is fact ?????

And for all of you who criticise those of us who didn't realise it was fiction----------how did you get to this thread except by googling in the painters name, eh ??????



Fiona 26th April 2006

by fiona on Wednesday April 26, @08:36AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

The book is amazing! Though I don't understand why everyone is so furious with Arthur about "discovering" that the book is fiction. When you find the book in the fiction section, wouldn't you think the book is just that? I as a reader will sit and create this place in my mind to go to as I read. I find it a wonderful thing to have a place like this to escape to. I myself was hoping to have the Uchida Kosaburo painting to see a great picture of a geisha. And was disapointed that there really wasn't a painting. For an author to be so great as to carry someone away to a world they wish was real, it seems to me like an acomplishment, not a failure.

by tasha on Thursday June 08, @09:45AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I finished the book and it was one of the few books that is totally worth spending time with.

Like the rest I was fooled thinking that the great Uchida was a real person. Lol! Only to realize he was not just as Sayuri. Perhaps the real magic of this book is how Golden was able to make a characters to move beyond the two dimensional pages of the book. They were so real that we ended up creating images in our heads and wanting to see Uchida's painting...

I love the way how he used to allusions to describe events and how he was able to think like a japanese geisha of the 1930's.

Though one thing bothers me? Here in the thread it was said that Sayuri had a son? Did she or I haven't read well....

by jen009 on Friday June 30, @06:26AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Towards the end of the book Sayuri insinuates that she may have had a son without declaring it outright.

An excellent book. I've just read it again and also watched the film. I think you need to have read the book to get the film. The film is good but obviously not a patch on the novel.

by Lucie on Thursday July 20, @08:01AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Read the book guys. You can't trust anything you read on the internet. Nitta Sayuri was a real woman and that was her geisha/adopted name. Her name before she became a geisha was Sakamoto Chiyo. Just pick up the book and read the foreward. She isn't based on another person. She is her own person. You won't find her on the internet.

by Christine on Saturday August 05, @12:07PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I just tried to find the paintin of Uchida and came across this,is the booked based on a real person?i thought it really was because i read the authors traslation and goes on to say that she told him everything,but was this just another ploy?

by nicola on Monday September 11, @05:28AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

ah i too have been fooled. reading thru the book, i jumped on to my laptop and like everyone else googled Uchida Kosaburo. im quite disappointed the book is fiction. its been a lovely book... while under the impression it was true.... not sure if i can continue the rest with the same opinion..............

by Emily on Monday January 15, @08:09AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

In the beginning I actually did think it was fiction for some reason or another because I didn't read the translator's note, because you know, it's boring! But then I did read it and I thought "Wow! It actually is real!" I was then so totally fooled.

But then I tryed to Google that 'famous artist' and I got no results. It isn't really that I am really angry about it, but I am a little ticked off that he mislead us like that with the 'touching' record of Sayuri's 'real' experiences.

Truthfully, with all those descriptions and references to the female body like seeing them naked or how their bossom is wrinkley, I think the dude is just a dirty closet pervert.

by Madyson on Wednesday April 18, @07:33PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

i think both because she is under a horrible system where she is forced to be submissive to men in order to make a living but she is also a resourceful girl because if she wasnt as bright as she was, she wouldn't have lived as nice as she did. even though her lifestyle is not 'nice', it is better than what it could have been.

by karla on Saturday April 21, @08:24PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

i just finished reading it and i loved it. i started looking for that painting of sayuri in the sunlight but then i came across this website and some others that said it didn't exist. and other people were reading other geisha books to follow up on the subject but i think that's all for me. i'm just gonna stay with how i feel about this one. i dont kare if its fictional i like to pretend that's how things actually happend. maybe if we were more like sayuri it would be for the better.

by Frank Munoz on Monday April 30, @11:20PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Google Arthur Golden, Book reviews, Memoirs Of A Geisha. Golden (who is a good looking man, btw) explains everything you want to know about the book. And he did indeed interview a Geisha.

by Barb on Sunday February 17, @03:18PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Sorry, should have said Arthur Golden, interviews, biography....

by Barb on Sunday February 17, @03:20PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I am disgusted and appauled. I am half way through and also came looking for the painting. What a liar the author is. Shameful

by Am on Tuesday April 29, @05:49AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I am about half way through this book and have been reading it with interest and understanding into the lives of Geisha. I am disappointed to hear that Sayuri is a made up character, I too looked for pictures half way through but what gets me is that the author, Arthur Golden writes in his translator's note how much of a friend Sayuri was to him and how it was her wish for the book to be published after her death. I do feel slightly betrayed as I have been absorbed in what I thought was the real life of Sayuri. However, this book is fantastic and fictional or not, it does seem to give a good insight into the life of a Geisha.

by Becky on Sunday August 31, @04:54PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Yes i do. But, It was their way at that time. I LOVE THIS BOOK....and yoy too DEAN KOONTZ...ROCK ON

by david medley on Sunday October 26, @06:11PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Yep another one bites the dust, searching for a picture that does not excist!!!

by fiona on Saturday November 15, @12:19AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Alright, so I ended up here because I was naive enough to google Uchida's painting as well...

I knew the book was fiction, but the story is so well written and so realistic that I completely forgot its fictional status. But I think it's the author's talent to make the reader forget that they're not reading a story but a memoir...if anything, it makes me respect the writer even more and it makes me want to finish the book, not put it down because I've been 'tricked'.

by Sara on Thursday November 27, @10:53PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

i have absolutely no idea why most of you have gotten so worked up over the fact that this story is not real. i respect arthur golden for being able to write such a fantastic and intriguing story. A person writing a book is supposed to make you believe in the story, make you feel like you are there, make you feel like the character is, and arthur has done that splendidly. i congratulate for him for it. And as for the movie, i think it was pathetic. They left out so many things and changed things as well, i much rather the book.
people who complain about how arthur golden has written this book need to grow up.

by ashley on Monday December 01, @12:32AM

I'm curious...

Anyone know how old this forum is? As in what year it was started?

by Loorolili on Sunday April 05, @07:43AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I have to laugh too because I ended up here looking for the painting by Uchida Kosaburo as well. I just finished reading the chapter where she mentioned the painting and I instantly hopped on the laptop to see if I can find it only to learn that the book is a work of fiction. It is a little annoying to think that the characters in this book are not real, but it doesn't make it any less valuable and thus far it has been a fantastic novel. Plus, when you think about the universe being infinite and anything you have thought of - somebody has already thought of it or will think of it, can also be applied to organisms living so in my opinion: the story told here is as real as any other I might have experienced in reality.

by David on Monday May 25, @12:04AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I really fell into the world of this bk yrs ago, when reading! Glad I didn't really live in that time! I was surprised at how good the movie turned out, too! I very much enjoyed this read!

by Julie on Saturday August 08, @11:35AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

It seems that I am not the only one to have stopped the book halfway and looked up the painting. I wish I hadn't, and had carried on beleiving that Sayuri was a real geisha, because for me it kinda spoiled the magic. Why the heck put about how lovely she was in the authors notes, saying she was real?!?? But then I guess how could she possibly have recorded it all on a tape recorder? No-one could remember all of those tiny details! Great book however, i loved it!!

by Kat on Friday January 22, @03:11PM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

I to, stopped in the middle of the book to look up the painting as one very interested in Japanese art. I do understand that "novel" means fiction BUT the words on the back of the hardcover are so carefully crafted "A literary sensation and best seller, this brilliant novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha." With that and the translator's note it could easily be mistaken that Sayuri was a real person.

However, if fiction can be written from historical fact, then can not a character be written from someone's real life experiences? How many books have you read that a character is often like yourself and their stories could have been scripted from your life? Geisha are women of mystery and perhaps the interview really did happen, maybe not all the events were factual but some could have been, but to maintain some privacy of the speaker... Perhaps the names of other characters mentioned are made up completly but some of Sayuri's stories could have come from a real life interview.

Clever of the author and the people marketing the novel.

by A on Thursday June 17, @07:34AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Though it's a little too late,I hapenned to come by this book in my school's library and finally decided that maybe I should get a bite of it too.
I like this Chiyo girl and how she perseveres in life's vicissitudes,in a difficult time when women were just decorations in men's world.

Yeah,I've to admit there IS a little disappointment in finding out that the painting doesn't exist....Í'm still expecting some fairy tale,ya know,that demure,innocent Japanese girl in kimono,with startling gray blue eyes[though I did suspect whether this could possibly be true],standing with her arms outstreched in the waning sunlight
OMYGOSH OMYGOSH @O@ until...

It's like:
1) I notice the BIRDS CHIRPING then there's bird DROPPINGS

2) I could smell the FRAGANCE of flowers then there's the STALENESS of unwashed hair

I am soso angry #^#,but dear Arthur Golden:
it's actually a magnificent book.I guess you're forgiven@~@

by Siodenesse Lorenzo on Friday October 08, @08:51AM

Re: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

It seems i wasn't the only one fooled. At first when i got the book i doubted it was real but as i read the translator's note and kept reading up until the part of the painting, i thought, wow this woman remembers everything like if it was yesterday.
Then i had to search the painting and to my disappointment, i find out it's not real at all!

But to be honest, i was curious to know if Sayuri would end up alone, married or whatever. With a book based on real life events, the author can't change anything but in a fiction book the author.... well makes up the story. So I've been worried this whole time about how sayuri will end up since a Geisha's life is so unpredictable to me.

ok then, i'll go back to my reading. Although i now know the book is totally unreal, i'm still excited about the rest of the story.

by kuroitenshi on Wednesday November 02, @11:15AM

Search For Books:

(in association with Amazon.com)


This site is made possible by:
Powered by Zope  Squishdot Powered

"Any system that depends on reliability is unreliable." -- Nogg's Postulate
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies.
Comments are owned by the Poster.