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Memoris of a Geisha

Essay by   •  June 10, 2011  •  Essay  •  269 Words (2 Pages)  •  2,355 Views

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Everybody heard some stories about traditions and culture of ancient Japan. What most people don't realize is that most of those traditions are still kept and Japanese people practice them in everyday life. "Memories of a Geisha" is a novel written by Arthur Golden. The novel tells a story of a geisha working in Kyoto, Japan, before and after WW 2.

The story follows the life of a young Japanese girl, Chiyo, as she is sold into slavery during the Great Depression. It begins in a small fishing village as the father sells her and her sister to a local businessman. Chiyo is then sold to a geisha house, while Satsu is sold into prostitution.

Chiyo initially rebels. But when she finds out that her sister has escaped without her and her parents have died she accepts her fate. She struggles to find independence in the strict world of geishas and manages to climb to the top of geisha society, only to crash during World War II. Eventually she finds independence through her patrons.

This book is surely different than any other book I've read, because of the storyline and the way it's written. It's characters are vivid and the language is easy to understand. It gives the reader a totally new perspective of history and a respect for the dramatic life of Japanese geishas.

However, the annoying thing about this book is the ending. It's obvious and simple. It undoes all of the sympathy I felt for the main character. She becomes very shallow and manipulative

Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to everybody who is interested in Japanese culture.

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