Book To Movie Monday (9)

For this weeks Book to Movie Monday I have decided to cover the movie Memoirs Of A Geisha.

First Lets Discuss The Book. Below Is The Cover.

Now for a little back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. Memoirs of a Geisha is written by Author Arthur Golden and was released for publication on September 23,1997. The Novel follows the perspective of Sayuri a Geisha working in Kyoto,Japan during the years before and after World War II. After the books release in 1997, it spent over two years on The New York Times bestseller list and has been translated into over 32 languages.

Let's Look at some of the characters now shall we.

Main Protagonists

Sayuri- Sayuri's story begins with her living in the impoverished fishing village of Yoroido. Evenually Sayuri and her sister Satso are brokered by the wealthy businessman Tanaka Ichiro. He wants to give the girls a shot at a better life working for businesses in Gion. Once in Gion Sayuri is sold to a Geisha house while Satsu is sold to be a prostitute. Sayuri's attempts to flee eventually reduce her life to that of an indentured servant. A chance meeting with the renowned Geisha Mameha changes Sayuri's prospective and she strives to become the best Geisha she can be.

Iwamura Ken aka The Chairman- Head to an important company in Japan he takes an interest in Sayuri's life after a chance encounter. The Chairman asks Mameha to assist in Sayuri's career so when the time comes he can become her Danna. Unfortunately his business partner falls for Sayuri so The Chairman graciously steps aside to let him be with her.

Hatsumomo- A beautiful but manipulative Geisha, she is employed at the same Okiya as Sayuri. Hatsumomo sees Sayuri as a threat to her livelihood. When the Geisha Mameha takes Sayuri under her wing, Hatsumomo views this as nothing more then an act of revenge against her. Eventually Hatsumomo's selfishness and hatred is her downfall and she is forced to turn to prostitution to survive.

Mameha- One of the most famous Geisha in all of Japan, she is renowned for her looks and talents. As a favor to The Chairman she takes Sayuri under her wing and teaches her in the ways of the Geisha. She is also known for having the highest Mizuage on record and has successfully kept a Danna by her side as she has aged, something only a skilled Geisha would be able to do.

Nobu- Business partner and friend to The Chairman he has had a hard life. When he sets his eyes on Sayuri the chairman graciously steps aside so he can have her.

Mother- Owner of the Okiya that employs Hatsumomo and Sayuri, her only interests are financial. She routinely turns a blind eye to the cruelties inflicted on Sayuri by Hatsumomo, only stepping in when it makes financial sense.

Major Differences Between The Book and Movie

In the Book Sayuri consults her Horoscope on more than one occasion.
In the Movie this is almost left out entirely.

In the Book Sayuri becomes Danna to The Chairman and they even have a son, but afterwards she moves away to NYC to prevent his real family any Shame.
In the Movie Sayuri and The Chairman end up together and the film ends with them strolling through a Japanese garden together.

In the Book you seem more of Chiyo's transformation into Sayuri the Geisha.
In the Movie it cuts to her transformation rather quickly.

In the Book they go into great detail about a Geisha's Mizuage and the process of selling it.
In the Movie this is cut quite short and while we do learn what a Mizuage is we don't really see the process of buying a right to a Geisha's Mizuage like in the book.

In the Book Hatsumomo goes crazy on a client which eventually leads to her downfall.
In the Movie Hatsumomo burns down the Okiya after fighting with Sayuri.

I know there are many more subtle differences but as much as I can recall these are the main ones. Please feel free to add any others in the comments I missed.

In the end I loved the book, the story, the writing, everything about it was perfection. While the movie certainly did the book justice and I loved Zhang Ziyi in the role of Sayuri, unless the movie was double in length no way could it compare to the book. I highly recommend reading the book if you haven't already and of course watching the movie.

Well that about wraps up this weeks Book to Movie Monday. I'll post the movie trailer down below in case your curious. Leave a Comment down below telling me which you liked better and why. Have a recommend for an upcoming Book to Movie let me know that as well.


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