Sunday, 14 February 2010

Day #4 - My favourite book.

A day late, but here it is none the less!

Memoirs of A Geisha by Arthur Golden. I haven't read this for a good while, but I remember being in love with it when I first read it, and the couple of times after that when I re-read it. (I never really read books more than once anymore, but I did used to... is anyone else the same?) Memoirs of a Geisha got me hooked on anything Japanese and geisha associated. I love it all. There was a time when I wouldn't read anything but books about geisha's, mainly biographies, but also fiction. I love the composure and beauty of geisha's. I love their history and their traditions... it all makes me crave a world with more beauty in it, whether it be in clothing or in our surroundings.

The film Memoirs of a Geisha... I was a more than a little disappointed with. I definitely agree with others in that it was a big mistake using Chinese actors for some of the main characters, as people majorly obsessed with Japanese cultures will know, there is such a diffence in the features, and this really let the film down. To me, the main character (Sayuri) did not even resemble a geisha much, and I put that down to her not being Japanese, it just didn't fit. That sounds really bad, but I guess it's just that as the world of the geisha is solely Japanese, and it relies so heavily on the image of the geisha, the actors being Chinese just took a little part of the character away. I also found the film a little too long, and nowhere near as spellbinding as the book. It was a real shame, though I would still recommend giving it a watch. Though to be honest, I would suggest you read the book first. At least then you can get the real taste of it, before seeing the 'Hollywood interpretation' of it!

However all that said, this scene is just so beautiful, I had to include it.

* Anybody who is interested in geisha, I would recommend the following books:

Geisha of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki
Geisha: The Secret History of A Vanishing World by Lesley Downer
Geisha by Liza Dalby
Autobiography of a Geisha by Sayo Masuda


  1. Oh my god, Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my all time favorite books. My nanny lent me her copy in high school and I fell in love so hard with the book, she ended up just giving it to me. The movie was not as good. And I'm pretty sure a girl I used to be friends with stole it from me last year before I moved away. I remember unpacking my books when I got to the house I live in now and it wasn't there. I'm still heart broken.

    Autobiography of a Geisha is beautiful too.

    I have a book recommendation for you. It's not about geishas but rather two girls in a well-to-do family in Shanghai in the late 30s that fall on hard times and the war and the book is just amazing. I was so sad when I finished it because I didn't want it to be over.
    It's called Shanghai Girls by Lisa See.

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  3. Will have to check that book out Ashley! Have definitely heard of the author before! x