Sayuri and chairman relationship problems

Memoirs of a Geisha |

sayuri and chairman relationship problems

It may be the scene in which Sayuri, the geisha whose life the book recounts, looking back on her life in Japan, Golden solved the problem. The Chairman meets Sayuri when he's forty-five years old and she is pre- pubescent. He asks Mameha to train her to be a geisha so that he may someday . Throughout the film, Chiyo's love for the Chairman, whom she met as a Sayuri's love for the Chariman serves as both a shackle and a . The problem comes from this undying faith she feels towards the . The film focuses more on the personal love relationship of Chiyo such as the Chairman and how he.

In this essay, Covintree explores Golden's novel in relation to classic fairy tale motif of Cinderella. Fairy tales and folklore have contributed a great deal to the development of people and their understanding of their place in the world. As Maria Tatar points out in the preface to her book The Hard Facts of the Grimm's Fairy Tales, Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm "transformed the fables, yarns, and anecdotes of an oral storytelling tradition into literary texts destined to have a powerful influence on cultures the world over.

The stories give readers a blueprint on how to read the world and the roles one can play in the world. Should one be the stepdaughter heroine, the enchanted beast, the witch, or the prince? Fairy tale motifs can often be found throughout television shows, commercials, and films. Even contemporary novels return to the formulas of familiar fairy tales. It is not until the fairy tale concepts in Golden's novel are read in conjunction with a tale-type index, with its variations made visible, that Golden's version of a Cinderella story becomes most clear.

Golden begins his novel with a "Translator's Note" introducing the reader to a false author of his tale. By giving over the story to Jakob Haarhuis, Golden plays the role of the Grimm Brothersremoving himself from the direct responsibility of the story. Since Haarhuis is not the actual author, but the translator, Golden stresses the importance of storytelling even within the story he is telling. Memoirs of a Geisha is supposed to be Sayuri's story. But, like Haarhuis, she does not exist.

In the mid twentieth century, Antti Aerne and Stith Thompson created an index that listed motifs, or common symbols and ideas, that classified all of the elements included in folk and fairy tales. The index is very detailed and specific by breaking down the aspects of each folk-tale. The Cinderella story and its variants are classified as Type Part A Folk Narratives explains in her breakdown of the tale Ashpitel, "this type of fairy tale includes the following: Similarly, Golden's main character, Sayuri, begins her tale in the fishing village of her childhood.

Here, in Yoriodo, she is not called Sayuri, but Chiyo, and lives contentedly with her father, sister, and dying mother. As in the beginning of Cinderella, this simple life soon dissolves. She and her sister are shipped to Kyoto and then separated.

When Sayuri enters the Gion district, Kyoto's home for geisha training and entertaining, she is unhappy. She is brought to the Nitta okiya and must now call the matriarchs of this household "Mother," "Granny," and "Auntie. Everything about her new surrounding is unfamiliar, and she is out of place. She has a different dialect than the other girls.

She smells like fish. Her new "Mother" only cares about money, and her "Granny" constantly puts Sayuri to work with chores and errands. Even new privileges, like going to school, are made more unpleasant by the amount of work required when still at home. She is given little to eat and must stay up late into the night to wait on Hatsumomo. As Sayuri explains it in her tale, she believed she had been pulled from her family just to be a maid.

Sayuri's resistance to this new life only creates more problems for her. Hatsumomo views her as an enemy and falsely accuses her of stealing. Sayuri attempts to run away. These actions seem to remove whatever chances Sayuri has of moving out of her subservient state. Of course, as soon as she has lost her geisha training privilege, she discovers that she wants it. A letter from her home village confirms the death of both her parents and her sister's successful elopement.

This new home in Gion is now all she has, and her place in it is fragile. By the time Sayuri desires to return to geisha training, Mother has given up on her. Her first encounter with the Chairman confirms her loss of status.

sayuri and chairman relationship problems

The geisha that accompany him regard her with disdain. The Chairman favors Sayuri with a handkerchief. This is the motivation Sayuri needs for becoming a geisha, but still it would take a miracle for her to improve her life.

Granny's death brings such a miracle. It is then that the well-respected and seasoned geisha, Mameha, enters Chiyo's life. In many senses, Mameha acts as her fairy godmother. She helps Chiyo return to geisha training, dresses her in fine kimono, and takes her to social events.

She even gives her the tools she needs to defeat her stepsister Hatsumomo by becoming the girl to be adopted into the Nitta okiya, and finally by becoming a successful geisha. Without Mameha's persistence and cleverness, it is most likely that Sayuri would have remained a maid.

With Mameha's help, Golden's main character raises her status and moves from the rags of her childhood to the riches and comforts that her new adoption can provide. Her debts are settled and her place in Gion is secure.

Since she is now transformed from the Chiyo of her childhood into the geisha called Sayuri, suitors vie for her company.

Memoirs of Geisha: Orientalism and the Limited Transformation of Chiyo

Dressed in kimono and adorned with jewels from admiring men, Sayuri should be able to live happily ever after. In an environment that looks down on love and romance by training geisha to remain detached from their emotions, Sayuri's motivations are based entirely on her desire for the Chairman. She carries his handkerchief around with her like a slipper, waiting for the right moment to expose herself to him. Now as a geisha, Sayuri is still not a fully realized princess, because her true prince, the Chairman, has not become her danna, or male sponsor.

Without the Chairman, she is only another lady in waiting. If the handkerchief is confirmation of the meeting between Sayuri and the Chairman, or encounter with her Prince, what is the glass slipper that he sends his footman in search of? It is her gray eyes. Her eyes, like the size of Cinderella's foot, are so unique and individual that only one woman can fulfill the requirement.

Near the end of the book, Mameha's role of fairy godmother is brought even more to light as the Chairman explains that he wanted Mameha to search for the girl with the gray eyes. As he tells Sayuri at the end of the novel, he was "the one who asked Mameha to take you under her care.

sayuri and chairman relationship problems

I told her about the beautiful young girl I'd met with startling gray eyes, and asked that she help you if she ever came upon you in Gion. But, like all good Cinderella stories, the union cannot be that easy.

Memoirs of a Geisha

There are complications, the primary one being the Chairman's good friend Nobu. Nobu believes Sayuri is his destiny, but Sayuri evades intimacy with him as it could jeopardize a future with the Chairman. Nevertheless, Nobu's relationship to Sayuri is extremely important. Over and over, Sayuri and Nobu are put into situations where one can assist the other.

When the war comes to Japan and the Gion district, it is not Sayuri's danna who saves her, but Nobu. By sending her to work with a kimono maker, he places her in a life of poverty. Her hands become stained with fabric dye and she loses much of her physical beauty. Once again, Sayuri is a peasant. When Sayuri does return to the Gion district, it is through Nobu's insistence.

He is the one who metaphorically welcomes her back into the castle.

Memoirs of a Geisha - Should Sayuri have chosen Nobu or the Chairman? Showing of

Of course, he has intentions to become Sayuri's new danna and to save his company, but Sayuri has other plans. What Do I Read Next?

The Good Earth, Pearl Buck's classic written in and awarded the Pulitzer Prize inis an example of historical fiction set in Asia. Buck explores the lives of a family of hardworking peasants in China during the s.

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Daniel Defoe 's book Robinson Crusoe is an adventure story told in a manner similar to Memoirs of a Geisha. The story is of a sailor marooned on an island for several years, but it is related as if it were being told through another person. Translated by Kenneth Rexroth, One Hundred Poems from the Japanese spans time, form, and content in its presentation of Japanese poetry. The poems are generally very short, making it an accessible introduction to the seemingly simple tradition of poetry in Japan.

George Bernard Shaw 's play Pygmalion written around is the story of a common flower girl transformed into a lady under the tutelage of two linguistics professionals.

The story examines themes of metamorphosis, true self, and worth. It was the basis of the hit musical My Fair Lady. If the fairy tale motif Golden was following was that of an Animal Groom tale, then Nobu would be the perfect candidate for Sayuri's Prince Charming. Missing one arm and badly burned on his face and shoulders, he is nicknamed by some geisha as "Mr.

His personality matches his rough exterior, and his affection for Sayuri is unique as he does not usually like geisha. He is a "Beast" waiting for a "Beauty" to reveal his true form. Sayuri is lucky to see Nobu's softer side. Because of his affection for her, he treats her with a kind of reverence atypical for his character.

Even so, she continuously works to keep him from her. It is not that Sayuri finds him repulsive as much as it is that Nobu is close friends with the Chairman. Sayuri's prince is not Nobu, and building a relationship with Nobu jeopardizes her future with the Chairman. If it is not a beast tale then what role does Nobu play in this contemporary Cinderella retelling? Nobu's character has relevance in the Cinderella storyline when a motif often found in variant form of the story listed in the tale type index as B is brought in.

The story, Thousandfurs, is one example of this tale type. In it, the young girl leaves her home because of her own father's lust for her. After trying to remove herself from her father's affection, she is forced to escape her home in order to avoid an incestuous marriage. In Golden's novel, Nobu takes on the same role as this father. Though Nobu's affections are sexual in nature, they are also paternal.

He saves her in wartime and chides her when she misbehaves. For Nobu, no other geisha compares to Sayuri. In the same way, the father in Thousandfurs is taken with his daughter because she is as beautiful as his first wife, his daughter's mother.

When Nobu is seen as a father figure, Sayuri's avoidance is understandable.

Sayuri Surrenders

Well, all of this ends up costing her two years working as a housemaid when she could have been training as a geisha. She receives an unexpected benefactress, a mortal enemy of Hatsumomo named Mameha decides to take Chiyo under her wing and insure that she has another opportunity to become a geisha. Chiyo, tired of scrubbing floors and being the do-this and do-that girl of the household realizes her best chance at some form of freedom is to elevate herself.

The Movie based on this book was released in and directed by Rob Marshall. At age 15 her virginity or mizuage is put up for auction. It is hard not to think of this as a barbaric custom, but for a geisha, if a bidding war erupts, she can earn enough money to pay off all the debts that have accumulated for her training.

Chiyo, now called Sayuri, is fortunate to have two prominent men wanting to harvest her flower. The winner is Dr. Crab who paid a record amount for the privilege.

He even led with one shoulder when he walked, just like a crab moving along sideways. After the deed is done, the eel spit in the cave, Dr. Crab brought out a kit filled with bottles that would have made Dexter jealous. Each bottle has a blood sample, soaked in a cotton ball or a piece of towel of every geisha he has ever treated including the blood from his couplings for their virginity.

He cuts a piece of blood soaked towel that was under Sayori and added it to the bottle with her name. The cultural obsession, every country seems to have one, with female virginity is simply pathological. Geisha was not meant to be a documentary. I remember seeing in the Chinese newspaper a piece that said we had only spent six weeks to learn everything and that that was not respectful toward the culture.

It's like saying that if you're playing a mugger, you have to rob a certain number of people. To my mind, what this issue is all about, though, is the intense historical problems between China and Japan. The whole subject is a land mine. Maybe one of the reasons people made such a fuss about Geisha was that they were looking for a way to vent their anger. Relations between Japan and Mainland China were particularly tense due to two main factors: Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi made a number of visits to Yasukuni Shrinewhich honors all Japan's war dead, including some who were convicted war criminalswhich was denounced by China's foreign ministry as honoring them; and China helped to ensure Japan did not receive a seat on the UN Security Council.

sayuri and chairman relationship problems

The film was originally scheduled to be shown in cinemas in the People's Republic of China on February 9, The Chinese State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television decided to ban the film on February 1,considering the film as "too sensitive".

In doing so, it overturned a November decision to approve the film for screening.