History Literature / MemoirsOfAGeisha

16th Nov '17 1:41:14 PM darkemyst
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* CaliforniaDoubling: The movie was filmed mostly in California as present-day Kyoto was judged to be too modern-looking for the period. The Gion district seen in the film was an elaborate set built specifically for the movie.
23rd Sep '17 4:39:56 PM iamconstantine
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* PetTheDog: In the film version. Mameha is not cruel to Sayuri, but as in the book, she both cares about her and uses her as revenge on Hatsumomo. Mameha sets up the bidding for Sayuri's ''mizuage'', and the Baron bids the highest. Mameha arranges for it to go to Dr. Crab instead, as the Baron had assaulted Sayuri before.
-->'''Mameha''': It was my fault. I could not protect you.
23rd Sep '17 4:27:56 PM iamconstantine
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* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: [[spoiler:Averted. Mameha has aborted three children she conceived with the Baron. Dialogue among characters implies that this is common with ''danna'' and their geisha. In this book, at least--see HollywoodHistory below.]]
23rd Sep '17 3:22:13 PM iamconstantine
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* AdaptationalAttractiveness
** In the book, Nobu's face is so terribly scarred and disfigured that Sayuri thinks it cruel to try and describe him, and he's missing an arm. In the film, his face is only somewhat scarred, and he's actually fairly handsome. He also has both arms.
** In the book, Mother and Auntie are described as quite ugly--one of them with yellow teeth and red eyes, the other with skin ruined from bad geisha makeup. In the movie, they look like perfectly normal older women.
26th Aug '17 4:46:38 PM K
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* AgeLift: In the novel, Mameha says she's three years younger than Hatsumomo (and at one point, falls back on this when she needs something nasty to say to her). In the film, Mameha is portrayed as older and more womanly, while Hatsumomo looks younger and more like TheVamp.
16th Jul '17 10:49:27 AM nombretomado
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* MayDecemberRomance: The Chairman is in his 40s when he first meets Sayuri when she is a pre-teen, and yet she pines for him. Likewise, Nobu has one-sided affection for Sayuri and is about the same age as the Chairman. In the novel, Chiyo and Satsu's mother is implied to be a lot younger than their father because he remarried after his first wife died. In fact, Sayuri's one night hook-up with Yasuda (who is in his 20s) when she is 19 and brief fling with a man during WW2 are some of the only examples that avert this trope.

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* MayDecemberRomance: The Chairman is in his 40s when he first meets Sayuri when she is a pre-teen, and yet she pines for him. Likewise, Nobu has one-sided affection for Sayuri and is about the same age as the Chairman. In the novel, Chiyo and Satsu's mother is implied to be a lot younger than their father because he remarried after his first wife died. In fact, Sayuri's one night hook-up with Yasuda (who is in his 20s) when she is 19 and brief fling with a man during WW2 [=WW2=] are some of the only examples that avert this trope.
3rd May '17 12:36:26 PM Noraneko
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[[note]] Arthur Golden caught a good deal of flak for naming his sources. As noted in the 'translator's note' prologue, geisha ''are'' expected to be discreet, regarding what they know and who they know it about, and about their own trade in general. One of Golden's primary sources, former Geisha Mineko Iwasaki, specifically asked to be kept anonymous, and Golden went and thanked her in the author's note anyway. She herself netted criticism (and even ''death threats'') for opening up in such a way, and eventually ended up publishing her actual memoirs, ''Geisha of Gion''. She also said that either Golden downright lied about the geishas and their lives for creative purposes, or [[ValuesDissonance showed experiences that were beneficial to Iwasaki and Co. in a negative light.]] [[/note]]

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[[note]] Arthur Golden caught a good deal of flak for naming his sources. As noted in the 'translator's note' prologue, geisha ''are'' expected to be discreet, regarding what they know and who they know it about, and about their own trade in general. One of Golden's primary sources, former Geisha Mineko Iwasaki, specifically asked to be kept anonymous, and Golden went and thanked her in the author's note anyway. She herself netted criticism (and even ''death threats'') for opening up in such a way, and eventually ended up publishing her actual memoirs, ''Geisha of Gion''. She also said that either Golden downright lied about the geishas and their lives for creative purposes, or [[ValuesDissonance showed experiences that were beneficial to Iwasaki and Co. in a negative light.]] Though some controversial details were not inaccurate, the fact that the novel was supposed to be based on her life thus made Iwasaki feel that she and others were watered down to being little more than prostitutes when her focus was always on art. [[/note]]



* TruthInTelevision: A maiko often did sell her virginity to the highest bidder as a coming-of-age ritual, though this was done very discreetly and tastefully, not like an auction. This was not necessarily required, as Iwasaki (who the book is based on) did not, which is why she got irritated when Golden made it seem inevitable.
** Some geisha did prostitute themselves to American soldiers, leading to the early American image of the "geisha girl," a cheapening and oversexualization of the geisha.



* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Let's just say that]] Golden took a ''lot'' of [[RuleOfDrama creative]] [[HollywoodHistory liberties]] with the story to turn it part-fairy tale, part-historical fiction. He based the story off interviews with famed geisha Mineko Iwasaki, though Iwasaki herself was never abused and willingly became a geisha out of true passion (her required separation from her doting parents, though voluntary, was still [[TearJerker no less heartbreaking]]), and unlike other meiko, never had to sell her virginity, her mizuage a purely symbolic ritual. She was also involved with an older, married man, but he ultimately passed away from cancer and she married a man her own age.

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* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Let's just say that]] Golden took a ''lot'' of [[RuleOfDrama creative]] [[HollywoodHistory liberties]] with the story to turn it part-fairy tale, part-historical fiction. He based the story off interviews with famed geisha Mineko Iwasaki, though Iwasaki herself was never abused and willingly became a geisha out of true passion (her required separation from her doting parents, though voluntary, was still [[TearJerker no less heartbreaking]]), and unlike other meiko, maiko, never had to sell her virginity, her mizuage a purely symbolic ritual. She was also involved with an older, married man, but he ultimately passed away from cancer and she married a man her own age. Golden's artistic liberties caused an infamous amount of flak from Iwasaki, who was angered by the story's alleged preoccupation of sex that, being supposedly based on her life, inaccurately made her look like a prostitute.
3rd May '17 12:28:37 PM Noraneko
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Added DiffLines:

* VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory: [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment Let's just say that]] Golden took a ''lot'' of [[RuleOfDrama creative]] [[HollywoodHistory liberties]] with the story to turn it part-fairy tale, part-historical fiction. He based the story off interviews with famed geisha Mineko Iwasaki, though Iwasaki herself was never abused and willingly became a geisha out of true passion (her required separation from her doting parents, though voluntary, was still [[TearJerker no less heartbreaking]]), and unlike other meiko, never had to sell her virginity, her mizuage a purely symbolic ritual. She was also involved with an older, married man, but he ultimately passed away from cancer and she married a man her own age.
3rd May '17 12:16:37 PM Noraneko
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[[note]] Arthur Golden caught a good deal of flak for naming his sources. As noted in the 'translator's note' prologue, geisha ''are'' expected to be discreet, regarding what they know and who they know it about, and about their own trade in general. One of Golden's primary sources, former Geisha Mineko Iwasaki, specifically asked to be kept anonymous, and Golden went and thanked her in the author's note anyway. She herself netted criticism (and even ''death threats'') for opening up in such a way, and eventually ended up publishing her actual memoirs, ''Geisha of Gion''. She also said that either Golden downright lied about the geishas and their lives (specifically, the whole "Sayuri gets her virginity auctioned" was supposedly based on Iwasaki's experience, but she claims it never happened to her), or [[ValuesDissonance showed experiences that were beneficial to Iwasaki and Co. in a negative light.]] [[/note]]

to:

[[note]] Arthur Golden caught a good deal of flak for naming his sources. As noted in the 'translator's note' prologue, geisha ''are'' expected to be discreet, regarding what they know and who they know it about, and about their own trade in general. One of Golden's primary sources, former Geisha Mineko Iwasaki, specifically asked to be kept anonymous, and Golden went and thanked her in the author's note anyway. She herself netted criticism (and even ''death threats'') for opening up in such a way, and eventually ended up publishing her actual memoirs, ''Geisha of Gion''. She also said that either Golden downright lied about the geishas and their lives (specifically, the whole "Sayuri gets her virginity auctioned" was supposedly based on Iwasaki's experience, but she claims it never happened to her), for creative purposes, or [[ValuesDissonance showed experiences that were beneficial to Iwasaki and Co. in a negative light.]] [[/note]]



** In fact, the book was VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory by the life of the real geisha [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineko_Iwasaki Mineko Iwasaki]]. After ''Memoirs'' was published, Iwasaki lost friends, received criticism and even death threats. She got so upset at the author, Arthur Golden, that she sued him for breach of contract and defamation of character and then wrote her own book (Geisha of Gion) to counter all the fictionalization.

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** In fact, the book was VeryLooselyBasedOnATrueStory by the life of the real geisha [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mineko_Iwasaki Mineko Iwasaki]]. After ''Memoirs'' was published, Iwasaki lost friends, received criticism and even death threats.threats, as geisha are supposed to treat their clients with the utmost confidentiality, and in putting her name in the book, Golden broke that confidentiality. She got so upset at the author, Arthur Golden, that she sued him for breach of contract and defamation of character and then wrote her own book (Geisha of Gion) to counter all the fictionalization.
3rd May '17 12:12:28 PM Noraneko
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* HollywoodHistory: The book is meant to be a fairy tale combined with historical fiction, complete with a beautiful rags-to-riches Cinderella, a mysterious Prince Charming, and a sort of wicked stepmother -- which would be fine, except the book gives the impression of being a biography and based on real life, though it's pure fiction and contains many inaccuracies and inconsistencies, making most casual readers with no background to real geisha believe that it's all 100% true, much to the chagrin of those with prior interest. The one most aficionados would name first is the auctioning of the virginity of maiko about to graduate as geiko.

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* HollywoodHistory: The book is meant to be a fairy tale combined with historical fiction, complete with a beautiful rags-to-riches Cinderella, a mysterious Prince Charming, and a sort of wicked stepmother -- which would be fine, except the book gives the impression of being a biography and based on real life, though it's pure fiction and contains many inaccuracies and inconsistencies, making most casual readers with no background to real geisha believe that it's all 100% true, much to the chagrin of those with prior interest. The one most aficionados would name first is the auctioning of the virginity of maiko about to graduate as geiko.[[labelnote:*]]Note that the selling of a maiko's virginity ''was'' practice at the time, but was done much more tastefully and discreetly, not at all like an auction as in the film. It was also not necessarily ubiquitous, as Iwesaki's mizuage was a symbolic ritual instead of a sale of her virginity.[[/labelnote]]
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