Memoirs of A Geisha

Memoirs of A Geisha

DVD - 2006 | Widescreen.
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A young girl with unusual eyes is kidnapped from her fishing village and sold to a geisha house where she masters the arts taught within, only to find it necessary to reinvent herself and her life when the war closes the houses.
Audience: OFRB rating: PG.
Publisher: Culver City : Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, 2006.
Edition: Widescreen.
Branch Call Number: DVD FIC Memoi
Characteristics: 2 videodiscs (145 min.) : digital, sound, color ; 12 cm
Language Note: Closed captioned for the hearing impaired.
In English dubbed in French with French subtitles.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 28, 2019

I did not read the book, but as a movie this is tedious and repetitive. Glad we watched it, however, because scene composition and cinematography are stunning. How many of the visuals were real and how many were special effects, it's hard to tell. I suppose in the interest of being able to tell the characters apart, the makeup on the geisha were nowhere near as opaque white as in reality. The various awkward accents were distracting also.

Dec 01, 2019

I listen to the audio book long time ago while driving long distance. Really love it. The detail of being a geisha intrigues me. The movie didn’t go into detail of how one being prepare at young age psychologically, mentally and physically to become a geisha. If it is a mini series, it might be able to go into more detail.

Aug 11, 2019

Memoirs of a Geisha features a young girl named Chiyo (Suzuka Ohgo as a child, Ziyi Zhang as an adult) and she must pursue a career in the art of Geisha to escape poverty by living in a geisha house or okiya. The moral lesson of this story was not the art of Geisha as it may seem, but it was the art of something far greater and that is survival. It may be an allegory and a parallel to the real life of Geisha and also knowingly or unknowingly resonates to human trafficking in our world. Although, I haven’t read the book yet, I understand why Hollywood picked this book to become a movie. It seems like Hollywood is fiction, but the truth may come in the form of fiction and may be a hint of underage sex in their world. First of all, Chiyo is sold to a geisha house like a product from the store, while, her sister Satsu is sold to a brothel and unlike Sastu, she possesses blue eyes a rare element in the Japanese, which is considered to be special. I knew very little of the lives of Geisha and I was first introduced when I watched this incredible film. So it inspired me to learn about the life of a geisha girl. The film clearly disassociates geisha as prostitution. But her virginity is being sold to a male patron through an ancient ritual known as a deflowering practice also known as mizuage. It is uncomfortable for a 15 year old girl to sell herself to a much older man. We should not forget, she was sold into this lifestyle a lifestyle that was not her own, an enslaved life that was given to her by her selfish father. Some people may think poorly of her, perhaps individuals may insinuate that she craved money and wealth. But, in conclusion, it was her father’s fault. If her father did not sell her and her sister to these lifestyles she would have lived under the roof of a poor, but very happy family. She would never have lost her friendship with her sister for one thing. She was her own hero and she survived her cruel and sad fate. A wealthy man may be her only solution. In the film, Chiyo is not reunited with her sister and that reminds me of WWII and how so many family members were not reunited with each other. Families are being broken apart even in terms of human trafficking until this day. Chinese actresses were cast for the roles when it was really a Japanese story. As we are living in a very offended society, Asian communities will be very offended that Chinese actresses were cast for the role over the original Japanese. I believe there is a principle behind the situation, as it was a Japanese story about a Geshia girl, Hollywood should have respected their culture and country. But, as we know Hollywood is like the wind and tomorrow they might change the rules to fit their needs. However, I still believe the Chinese actresses did a wonderful job portraying the characters and the movie demonstrates the beauty of Japanese culture. Hollywood should continue to focus more on eastern cultures and next time respect their culture by hiring a Japanese actor or actress for a Japanese based character. 5/5. @janmarrow1225 of The Hamilton Public Library's Teen Review Board

Mar 07, 2019

Fascinating, but also disturbing, film. Acting is good. Beautiful costumes.

Feb 17, 2019

Saw the DvD on the display desk an decided to try it.
Was pleasantly surprised with this movie. I enjoyed it.
Since I know so little about Japanese history and society, I found it provides insight about the people and their culture. The story is set against the background of WW11 - before, during and after.
The story tells us that sometimes decency and character do triumph despite the obstacles and others who are working against one.
Highly recommended.
Seelochan Beharry

The comments of AkiraKato - see below are right on the money

Jul 10, 2018

In the 1920s, 9-year-old Chiyo gets sold to a geisha house. There, she is forced into servitude, receiving nothing in return until the house's ruling hierarchy determines if she is of high enough quality to service the clientele -- men who visit and pay for conversation, dance, and song. After rigorous years of training, Chiyo becomes Sayuri, a geisha of incredible beauty and influence. Life is good for Sayuri, but World War II is about to disrupt the peace

(Description from library catalog.)

Screenplay by Robin Swicord.

Produced by Lucy Fisher, Douglas Witt, and Steven Spielberg.

Memoirs of a Geisha was awarded several 2006 Academy Awards, including John Williams for Best Original Score.

This was very good. Unfortunately, the subtitles didn't work, no matter how many times I clicked to bring them up, nor could I access the special features, again no matter how many times I clicked to bring them up. Also, about ninety minutes into the film, my copy froze. I had to forward it about five minutes. I don't think I lost anything in the flow of the narrative, but its still was irritating, that and my not being able to bring up the subtitles.

(Also the library catalog described this as a two DVD set, but my copy had only one DVD.)

Given the problems I noted above, I had to downgrade my rating from five stars to four stars.

Jun 30, 2018

I love every minute of this movie from the music (which is super good), the characters and the story. I highly recommend it!

PaoloUWS Sep 24, 2015

Problem playing the DVDs :-(

Feb 06, 2015

Watched the movie 4x - looking forward to the 5th! I like the story a lot. Geisha or not - Strength and perseverance, steadily focused on one's goals and dreams despite all the sufferings, and struggles to find fulfillment, and the heart to find a home towards the end - that is gratifying!

Dec 16, 2014

dropped back in the drop box late last night dec 15

View All Comments


Add a Quote
Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Sayuri Nitta: [anguish] I want a life that is mine!

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Auntie: [with Chiyo, folding kimono's] Only reason Mother tolerates Hatsumomo is because she brings in good money. Never forget, it is Hatsumomo who pays for your supper, the clothes on your back. By the time she was twenty, she had already earned back her purchase price. Unheard of! She has been the talk of the hanamachi ever since.

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Mother: [to Chiyo, dressed as a geisha] Hurry up! You're not making money standing there gawking at yourself.

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Mameha: [while teaching Sayuri] You cannot call yourself a truse geisha until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look.

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

“Mameha: [in voiceover] Remember, Chiyo, geisha are not courtesans. And we are not wives. We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another secret world, a place only of beauty. The very word "geisha" means artist and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art.”

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Sayuri Nitta: She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.”

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Hatsumomo: [suggesting that Mameha used immoral methods to gain Sayuri the lead role in the dances] What did Mameha do, speak with the Director in *private*?

Sayuri Nitta: Not *all* geisha use that kind of currency.

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Sayuri Narration: A story like mine should never be told. For my world is as forbidden as it is fragile. Without its mysteries it cannot survive. I certainly wasn't born to the life of a geisha. Like so much in my strange life, I was carried there by the current.

Siloam_Fields Jun 08, 2013

Mameha: [in voiceover] Remember, Chiyo, geisha are not courtesans. And we are not wives. We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another secret world, a place only of beauty. The very word "geisha" means artist and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art.

Mar 31, 2011

Auntie: Geisha needs an elegant wardrobe, just like an artists needs ink. If she is not properly dressed, than she is not a true geisha.

View All Quotes

Age Suitability

Add Age Suitability
Mar 08, 2014

iwontletyougoaway thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

May 04, 2013

jpchong thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Mar 31, 2011

bdls206 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Jun 10, 2010

hur74Vety thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add Notices
Mar 31, 2011

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.

Jun 10, 2010

Sexual Content: Some brief scenes and implied content

Jun 11, 2008

Sexual Content: This title contains Sexual Content.


Add a Summary
Mar 26, 2011

Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at VPL

To Top