Memoirs of a Geisha Essay

742 Words Dec 10th, 2000 3 Pages
In the best-selling novel entitled Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Golden examines the secret world of the geisha. Contrary of what is often believed, geisha are far from being prostitutes; they are more accurately High-class Japanese entertainers. Arthur Golden shows the reader a completely different look on life in looking into the lives of geisha in mid-twentieth century Gion and sends a very strong message distinguishing the geisha and the prostitutes.

Arthur Golden, throughout Memoirs of a Geisha, creates a perfect image of the city of Gion, the last Japanese city to still have Geisha the followed the old traditions. Golden describes the world of the Geisha through the experiences of a fictional Geisha named Nitta Sayuri.
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While the geisha in the larger cities such as Tokyo dressed more modernly by the mid-twentieth century, the Gion geisha retained their traditional lifestyles. "Mameha had warned me that everyone would be fascinated with my appearance; because there's nothing quite like an apprentice geisha from Gion. It is true that in the better geisha districts of Tokyo, such as Shimbashi and Akasaka, a girl must master the arts if she expects to make her debut. But many of the Tokyo geisha at that time were very modern in their sensibilities, which is why some were walking around the Baron's estate in Western style clothing."

Every future geisha is taught various forms of entertainment, including singing, playing the shamisen, dancing and so on. "As I learned from Pumpkin, beginning me training meant going to a school in another section of Gion to take lessons in things such as music, dance, and tea ceremony. All the girls studying to be geisha took classes at this same school." Every geisha specializes in one of the many areas of entertainment for the men that call upon them. However, a geisha's talent and the form that a geisha specializes in also indicate her class and subsequently her price per hour. Dancing, for geisha, was considered the highest form of art. "" Dance has everything to do with it," she told me. "If you look around at the most successful geisha in Gion, everyone one of them is a dancer."" All apprentice geisha
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