Memoirs Of A Geisha Review

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate August 2001

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BOOK REVIEW: "MEMOIRS OF A GEISHA" BY ARTHUR GOLDEN Poetic Masterpiece On Infinite Beauty In an interview with the author, Arthur Golden, he mentioned that he had learnt Japanese in college and at graduate school then went on to work in Tokyo. While he was there he had met several acquaintances and then became more engrossed in the life of a Geisha. He finally had the opportunity to meet up with a retired Geisha and this is what sparked him to write this extraordinary novel.

This book captured me with its real images and beautiful metaphoric language distinguishing from the other books I've read. It captured my attention in the beginning and I enjoyed it. I was going through a believable struggle with Sayuri.

Each description throughout the book brings the reader to a place of beauty and peace. The descriptions of kimono and scenery transport the reader to a peaceful, yet troubling place in history.

The reading is fast and smooth. Transitions from early childhood to later adult life flow with grace and continuity.

The book tells the story of Japanese girl named Sayuri who was sold by her father into the Geisha society. It is told through the eyes of an aged woman reflecting back on the struggles and joys of her difficult journey to find happiness. Her story not only tells of her own loneliness, hardships, love, and joys, but that of the other geisha and businessmen she traveled through life with. It's a story about the days of decadence before World War II, and the hardships that followed. "Memoirs of a Geisha" provides a compelling story to serve as a backdrop to relate the historical facts of a geisha's day-to-day life in the 1930's and 1940's.

The sense of honor and position in Japanese society...