Saturday, June 10, 2006

Memoirs of a Geisha

Before I start, just wanted to announce that I have updated Izani's blog with the latest post: Sibling Smooches.

I borrowed this book from Sharlee, and read it while breastfeeding Izani. It took me about a week to finish reading it.

I thought the book was beautifully written. The language used is simple and not too bombastic, and I like the way it sounded like a woman was telling the story.
I absolutely loved the descriptions of the sceneries, the smells and sounds of the okiya and the teahouses, and of course the kimonos.. oh the kimonos..! It made me want to own one!
The story was quite intriguing. I kept on reading, wanting to know what happens to Chiyo/Sayuri next. I thought the author fleshed out his characters well. Chiyo was not potrayed as a simple, good girl, victim character, but she also had a stubborn and mean streak in her. I did however, grew tired with her obsession with The Chairman, and thought the ending was too common, like the ones you would find in every Mills&Boons book. I felt sorta cheated, like the book was actually really a Mills&Boons disguising itself underneath all the silk and cherry blossoms and complicated Japanese traditions.
I also found some of the things that geisha's go through quite appaling, especially about mizuage, selling a little girl's virginity to the highest bidder (it's borderline paed0philia!) and then danna, selling a woman's physical loyalty, also to the highest bidder. Just because all these are glamorized by the donning of expensive kimonos, hairdos, make-ups and strict procedures, the world considers it 'cultured', but the covering of a woman's hair using a simple veil is considered 'oppresive'. What double standards!

After reading this book, I found myself trying to do things more elegantly , imagining myself wearing a kimono and serving my husband in a teahouse.
The other day I had to put on my batik sarong because Izani peed on my last pair of clean pants and I found myself admiring the bold colorful prints and felt kinda .. hm.. feminine in it, almost like a geisha. And I subconciously try to walk and talk more softly and gently..
damn.. this book is evil, i tell you.

I'm want to watch the movie, just to see the splendid images.
rotidua: cue for u and firhad to look for this DVD.

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