Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

This was an interesting view into the life of a Geisha in Japan during the Depression and WWII. The book insists that Geisha were not prostitutes but what else would you call it?

Here is the definition for prostitution: the act or practice of engaging in promiscuous sexual relations especially for money.

Well, hello that is what a Geisha does. I guess there can be different levels of promiscuous sex for money but Geisha's still get a lot of money for doing it even if it isn't with many many men but limited to 1 or 2 their whole life.

What I liked from this book was how a young girl sold into slavery and treated badly for so many years...really with no real future. She wouldn't ever have a family of her own or live by herself or get an education. YET she could still find hope in life and going on. She used her talents and resources to do the best she could to get where she "needed" to be. She had a goal and never let go of that despite obstacles in her way all along the way. She won in the end.

What I didn't like was that a society in general would have such a twisted view of what is wrong and right. Mistresses, Geisha entertainment, tea houses, drinking were like a normal in this time and in the life of wealthy men. What about family? What about honoring a marriage covenant and whole eternal perspective? It is very different then my view. The Japanese view seems to be missing some key points in the Saviors plan of happiness. I feel so sad for this traditional group of people so determined to earn a living through the breaking of so many commandments.

Sadly this book, though very well written and quite entertaining is BROKEN but also falls in to the HEALING category.

It portrays the Geisha in the story as the heroin in the end. She was the good person all along. BUT in reality she was sadly misled by her circumstances and living in a very small world surrounded by evil. AND what she did to the guy that loved her but she didn't love back was bad bad bad, the book makes it seem like it was the only choice she had and she was justified. I don't know what I would have done if faced with the same predicament but I hope I would do the honorable thing as best I knew how and not result to sneaky manipulations for my own gains.

Now, should I see the Movie (2005) or skip it? What do you think? Oh and I loved the funny part about the EEL and the cave, is that in the movie?


bug girl said...

What about concubines? Many concubines allowed in the scriptrues.

I haven't read the book, but I enjoyed the movie. I don't remember the eel and the cave, but I watched it a while ago.

The Bec-ster said...

Yeah those concubines, and what about the 2nd and 3rd or 12th wife?

I don't know how these guys could put up with so many women in their lives. I think it would be hard to make one women happy let alone many. Or maybe that was what they did to get away from the one women that wasn't happy, visit the happy one.

Maryanne said...

You might like to read Geisha of Gion by Mineko Iwasaki, she's the woman that Arthur Golden interviewed and based the book on, and she was really upset when it came out, she said he got a ton of things wrong. So she wrote her own book. It was really good, and it was interesting to see the differences in the story. I'd lend it to you, but I don't think I have it any more.

I never saw the movie, but it looked really pretty.

The Bec-ster said...

I would love to read the real story! I saw that one on Amazon and wondered if it would be more of the same or worth reading. Thanks! I bet they have it my library!