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Details if other :. The Movie based on this book Geisha memiors released in and directed by Rob Marshall. Learn more More Like This. I couldn't put the book down. Memoirs goes quickly, is compelling, and makes a good read, and I don't want to sound too unreasonably harsh on it.
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Some people may find it Geisha memiors but I understood that this is an attempt to write as close as Nude oriental teens girls to Japanese style of writing and Geisha memiors and to seem poetic. They are all different human-beings with flaws of their own that struggle to Geisha memiors and get by their hard lives. Chiyo Togo Igawa National Board of Review. She promptly takes a disliking to Chiyo, whom she sees as a potential future rival who may threaten her place in the okiya and Gion, as well as Mother's financial dependence upon Geisha memiors earnings. On the surface, the book presents an interesting subject. The life of a geisha is fascinating, especially to a westerner who has little knowledge Geisha memiors Japanese culture. Jul 05, Sara rated it liked it. Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. Chiyo, tired of scrubbing floors and being the do-this and do-that girl of the household realizes her best chance at some Geishs of freedom is to elevate herself. Inspired by his act of kindness, Chiyo resolves to become a geisha so that she may one day become a part of the Chairman's life. I should mention that Chiyo and Sayuri are memiord same person.
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- Production took place in southern and northern California and in several locations in Kyoto , including the Kiyomizu temple and the Fushimi Inari shrine.
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Memoirs of a Geisha is based off of the novel of the same name. The movie was filmed in southern and northern California and in several locations in Kyoto, including the Kiyomizu temple and the Fushimi Inari shrine. Memoirs of a Geisha tells the story of a young girl, Chiyo Sakamoto, who is sold into slavery by her family. Her new family then sends her off to school to become a geisha. This movie is mainly about older Chiyo and her struggle as a geisha to find love, in the process making a lot of enemies.
The Japanese release of the film was titled Sayuri, the titular character's geisha name. The film, set in Japan during the Showa Era, tells the story of Chiyo Sakamoto portrayed by Suzuka Ohgo as a child and by Zhang Ziyi as an adult , a poor, young Japanese girl who has been sold along with her older sister Satsu into a life of servitude by her parents when she is nine years old.
Chiyo is taken in by the proprietress of a geisha house, Mother Kaori Momoi , but Satsu is rejected and is sold to another house in the "pleasure district" of the Hanamachi.
At the okiya geisha house she meets another young girl named "Pumpkin" Youki Kudoh. Both girls are sent off to geisha school but Chiyo dishonors the okiya by attempting to run away and then is forced to work to pay off the debt of her purchase and the soiling of a silk kimono owned by a well-known geisha, Mameha Michelle Yeoh , which Chiyo was blackmailed into defacing by another geisha, Hatsumomo Gong Li , who is famous, beautiful and cruel; she also lives in the okiya.
Chiyo is beaten in the courtyard by Mother, but Auntie convinces her to let herself take over, telling Chiyo that she will "beat you hard, so Mother will not beat you harder. Chiyo runs away to find her sister Satsu and they arrange to meet by the bridge the day after as soon as it is dark and escape together. When she returns in secret, she sees Hatsumomo and a young man named Koichi Karl Yune having sex in the shed. Mother hears and Hatsumomo shoos Koichi.
Facing a beating, Chiyo tells Mother that Hatusmomo was having sex with a man; Mother proves it by reaching under her kimono and slaps Hatsumomo, telling her, "What do you think? That a geisha is free to love? When Chiyo escapes again to run away with her sister, she is forced to use a different route. Since the okiya gate is locked after Hatsumomo's disgrace, Chiyo climbs over rooftops until she can see the bridge in the distance. Chiyo falls from a rooftop and ends up back in the okiya being seen to by a doctor.
Mother discusses the debts she has accounted for and explains that Satsu ran away that night, without waiting for Chiyo.
She never sees her again, and Mother tells her to forget that she ever had a sister, explaining, 'We are your only family now. Chiyo feels she cannot sink lower, as her escapades have caused her to be taken out of geisha training and work as a slave to pay off her debts.
One day while crying in the street, the young Chiyo is noticed by the Chairman Ken Watanabe and his geisha companions. Chiyo is afraid to make eye contact with the Chairman, who says "Don't be afraid to look at me. She spends the money, not on food, but on prayer, wishing to see him again. Chiyo, now a young woman, is taken under the wing of Mameha, who has forgiven her for her actions as a child.
Under Mameha's tutelage, Chiyo becomes a maiko geisha in training and then takes the name of Sayuri, the most famous geisha in all of Gion, Kyoto. Hatsumomo becomes Sayuri's rival and seeks to destroy her. Through her work as a geisha, Sayuri reunites with the Chairman and longs to catch his attention, but instead has to lead on the Chairman's friend and business partner Nobu, who falls fast for her.
Sayuri grows in popularity and Hatsumomo spreads lies and rumors to ruin Sayuri's reputation. Meanwhile Mameha starts a bidding war for Sayuri's mizuage which will make her a full geisha. Sayuri gets named the lead dancer for the Spring Dances, where she dances wonderfully and catches the attention of bidders, including the Baron Mameha's danna , who invites Sayuri to his house for a party, gives her a kimono then, as he finds her so beautiful and believes he deserves a look, forcefully strips her.
After the party Mameha hears what happened and believes that the Baron took Sayuri's virginity, and claims that Sayuri's bids may not come through if she is found to be "worthless. That night the bid is finally placed by an elderly doctor known as Doctor Crab, for 15, yen—the highest mizuage bid in history.
Mother then chooses to "adopt" Sayuri as the heiress of the okiya, a title that Pumpkin and Hatsumomo had been longing for. Mameha tells Sayuri later that the bid was down to two people, Dr. Crab and the Baron, but Mameha let it go to Dr.
Crab because of her feelings for the Baron, despite his bid being even higher. When returning home, Sayuri finds Hatsumomo in her room, who found the Chairman's handkerchief and attempts to burn it, but unsuccessfully. Sayuri and Hatsumomo fight and accidentally start a fire, and finally to her breaking point, Hatsumomo purposely begins to burn the rest of the house and then leaves, knowing she has reached the bottom.
Afterwards, the Colonel attempts to "hire" Sayuri for "services", but is rejected. Nobu saw the incident and confronts Sayuri with the impression that they had made an arrangement finally confessing his feelings and that he wants to be her danna.
Sayuri is distraught and devises a plan to humiliate herself with the Colonel in front of Nobu. She arranges for Pumpkin to bring Nobu by an abandoned theater at a predetermined time, and "stumble" upon Sayuri and the Colonel making love.
But, because of her secret resentment of Sayuri for being adopted by Mother, Pumpkin brings the Chairman instead, claiming to Sayuri, "Now you know how it feels", Sayuri believes that the Chairman is lost to her forever. A few days later Sayuri discards the Chairman's handkerchief by throwing it off a cliff above the sea, and later receives a call to go to the teahouse. While waiting, Sayuri expects Nobu to arrive, but instead the Chairman comes where he finally reveals to her that he knows she is Chiyo by saying, "Don't be afraid to look at me, Chiyo.
Sayuri finally reveals her love to the Chairman, which she has been harbouring for over fifteen years. The film ends with their loving embrace and kiss and a stroll through a beautiful Japanese garden with waterfalls and rocks.
However fellow DreamWorks executive David Geffen had tried to persuade him not to take on the project as he said, "I don't think it's good enough for him". Whether or not he was dissuaded from the project, he went on to direct A. Artificial Intelligence instead. The three leading non-Japanese actresses Zhang Ziyi, Gong Li, and Michelle Yeoh were put through "geisha boot camp" before production commenced, during which they were trained in traditional geisha practices of musicianship, dance, and tea ceremony.
Production of the film took place from September 29, to January 31, It was decided by the producers that contemporary Japan looked much too modern to film a story which took place in the s and '30s and it would be more cost-effective to create sets for the film on soundstages and locations in the United States, primarily in California.
The majority of the film was shot on a large set built on a ranch in Thousand Oaks, California which was a detailed recreation of an early twentieth-century geisha district in Kyoto, Japan. Towards the end of production, some scenes were shot in Kyoto, Japan, including the Fushimi Inari Taisha the head shrine of Inari, located in Fushimi-ku, Kyoto. In post-production, one of the tasks of the sound editors was to improve upon the English pronunciation of the international cast.
This sometimes involved piecing together different clips of dialogue from other segments of the film to form new syllables from the film's actors, some of whom spoke partially phonetic English when they performed their roles on-set.
The British reviews for Memoirs of a Geisha were generally mixed. The New Statesman criticized Memoirs of a Geisha's plot, saying that after Hatsumomo leaves, "the plot loses what little momentum it had and breaks down into one pretty visual after another" and says that the film version "abandons the original's scholarly mien to reveal the soap opera bubbling below".
The Journal praised Ziyi, saying that she "exudes a heartbreaking innocence and vulnerablity" but said "too much of the character's yearning and despair is concealed behind the mask of white powder and rouge". London's The Evening Standard compared Memoirs of a Geisha to Cinderella and praised Gong Li, saying that "Li may be playing the loser of the piece but she saves this film" and Gong "endows Hatsumomo with genuine mystery".
Glasgow's Daily Record praised the film, saying the "geisha world is drawn with such intimate detail that it seems timeless until the war, and with it the modern world comes crashing in".
Overall, the American reviews were mixed. Illinois' Daily Herald said that the "strong acting, meticulously created sets, beautiful visuals, and a compelling story of a celebrity who can't have the one thing she really wants make Geisha memorable".
The Washington Times called the film "a sumptuously faithful and evocative adaption" while adding that "contrasting dialects may remain a minor nuisance for some spectators, but the movie can presumably count on the pictorial curiosity of readers who enjoyed Mr.
Golden's sense of immersion, both harrowing and aesthetic, in the culture of a geisha upbringing in the years that culminated in World War II". Controversy arose during casting of the film when some of the most prominent roles, including those of the geishas Sayuri, Hatsumomo and Mameha, did not go to Japanese actresses.
More notable is the fact that all three were already prominent fixtures in Chinese cinema. The film-makers defended the decision, however, and attributed "acting ability and star power" as their main priorities in casting the roles and director Rob Marshall noted examples such as Irish-Mexican actor Anthony Quinn being cast as a Greek man in Zorba the Greek.
Opinion in the Asian community was mixed. To some Chinese, the casting was offensive because they mistook geisha for prostitutes, and because it revived memories of wartime Japanese atrocities. The Chinese government canceled the film's release there because of such connections, and a website denounced star Zhang Ziyi as an "embarrassment to China.
Some Japanese have expressed offense that people of their own nationality had not gotten the roles. Other Asians defended the casting, including the film's main Japanese star Ken Watanabe who said that "talent is more important than nationality. For instance, my character had to go from age 15 to 35; she had to be able to dance, and she had to be able to act, so he needed someone who could do all that. I also think that regardless of whether someone is Japanese or Chinese or Korean, we all would have had to learn what it is to be a geisha, because almost nobody today knows what that means—not even the Japanese actors on the film.
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. Film critic Roger Ebert pointed out that the film was made by a Japanese-owned company, and that Gong Li and Zhang Ziyi outgross any Japanese actress even in the Japanese box office. On a visit to Tokyo to promote the film, Zhang Ziyi received a mysterious parcel and letter, revealed to have been sent by an elderly Japanese woman who had once worked as a geisha.
In her letter, the woman stated that she had been touched by the trailer of the film and expected the movie to bring back fond memories for her and her friends. Inside the parcel were several exquisitely worked antique kimono. Zhang Ziyi was moved to tears by the gesture and sent the woman an invitation to the film's Japanese premiere.
She also promised to wear one of the kimono to the event as a sign of her gratitude. The fire scene which leads to Hatsumomo's downfall doesn't happen in the novel. The novel instead shows the downfall of Hatsumomo to be a slow downward spiral, culminating in a final push from Sayuri and Mameha.
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Plot Summary. The Perks Of Bein Despite Pumpkin and Auntie's warnings not to run away, Chiyo plans to leave the okiya and escape the city with Satsu. Use the HTML below. In fact, I was so invested I could feel my loathing for one of the bad characters curdling in my very soul.
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The story of martial-arts master Ip Man, the man who trained Bruce Lee. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Crime Drama. Moulin Rouge! Drama Musical Romance. A poet falls for a beautiful courtesan whom a jealous duke covets. Drama Romance. Lust, Caution Edit Cast Cast overview, first billed only: Suzuka Ohgo Chiyo Togo Igawa Tanaka Mako Sakamoto Samantha Futerman Satsu Elizabeth Sung Sakamoto's Wife Thomas Ikeda Bekku Li Gong Hatsumomo as Gong Li Tsai Chin Auntie Kaori Momoi Mother Zoe Weizenbaum Young Pumpkin David Okihiro Shamisen Teacher Miyako Tachibana Dance Teacher Kotoko Kawamura Granny Karl Yune Koichi Eugenia Yuan Edit Storyline In the s, 9-year-old Chiyo gets sold to a geisha house.
Edit Details Official Sites: Apple. Country: USA Japan. Language: English Japanese. Runtime: min. Color: Color.
Edit Did You Know? Goofs Spoiler: When Okaa-san says she wants to adopt Sayuri, which provokes Hatsumomo's anger, Okaa-san's cigarette keeps changing its own size, being at times totally consumed, and sometimes not. Quotes Mameha : [ explaining sex to Sayuri ] Every once in a while, a man's "eel" likes to visit a woman's Mameha : You do?
Sayuri Nitta : I live with Hatsumomo. Crazy Credits No studio logos are shown at the beginning. They however appear shortened after the end credits and are accompanied by the film's score. Frequently Asked Questions Q: How does the movie end? Q: Why did Mameha make Sayuri cut her thigh? Q: What was the white stuff that the geishas had to sleep on? Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Report this. Edit page. Clear your history. IMDb Everywhere. Follow IMDb on. DPReview Digital Photography. Audible Download Audio Books.
Hatsumomo as Gong Li. Thanks for sharing! Fantastic info!! Thanks for sharing. I enjoyed the recent Geisha movie. I found it both heartbreaking and beautiful.
Nice overview, but the picture that you posted at the beginning of the article is not of two real maiko- From their dress it can be discerned that they are tourists dressed up to look like geisha. There are a couple signs to look for- their kanzashi are very long, yet their upper lips are painted.
Real Maiko with such long kanzashi would be first year maiko and have only their bottom lip painted. Also, the collar under the main kimono would be red.
As a maiko progresses, her collar goes from red to white. The kimono are a bit bright to ne maiko kimono- genuine maiko kimono generally reflect a season- so the pattern is not quite as busy as the kimono that the two women are wearing. Just thought you might like to know :. Fascinating post Eliza. I've always been curious about Geishas. Thank you Shannon! I liked it too Nicole : Thank you for sharing that Sara!
It's always hard when finding pictures online. Great eye! Thanks Elizabeth! I will have to check that book out, fascinating! There is a wonderful book called Geisha by Liza Dalby that you might be interested in - she was the only non-Japanese ever to be a practising geisha, in the mids. What a cool post, Liza. And I found it so much more interesting than the movie Memoirs of a Geisha! I did however, think that Geisha met prostitute probably because of the movie so thanks for clearing that up.
I'm so far behind and I love your blog! Awesome post! There is such a richness to be explored here. I wonder why we don't see more historical romances centering on the geisha? Helen www. These geisha work in the spa resorts and are viewed by most Japanese as no better than a common prostitute. They normally cater to far less exclusive patrons, usually office workers or others of the sort, and are much less expensive.
Post a Comment. Pages Home Reviews Guest Posts. If you'd like to obtain permission to use a picture from a post, please contact the author of the post. A long standing stigma has been placed on Japanese Geisha girls.
When someone thinks of a Geisha, they think of a glorified prostitute or call girl. This is far from the truth. If you translate Geisha into English, you get artist. If a girl begins her training to be a geisha before she is 21, she is called a maiko, meaning child dancer.
Both girls where a kimono, and over their kimono is an obi or sash.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.
A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha. In Memoirs of a Geisha , we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the mos A literary sensation and runaway bestseller, this brilliant debut novel presents with seamless authenticity and exquisite lyricism the true confessions of one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.
In Memoirs of a Geisha , we enter a world where appearances are paramount; where a girl's virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder; where women are trained to beguile the most powerful men; and where love is scorned as illusion. It is a unique and triumphant work of fiction - at once romantic, erotic, suspenseful - and completely unforgettable. Get A Copy.
Mass Market Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Nitta Sayuri , Mr. Bekku , Mr. Tanaka Ichiro , Dr. Crab , Hatsumoto Kyoto , Japan. Other Editions Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Memoirs of a Geisha , please sign up. Didnt knew Geishas still existed in the 20th century :o, until when was it made illegal? Orinoco Womble tidy bag and all "Geisha" and "prostitute" are not the same thing.
There are still geisha who are what the original word means: artists. A real geisha's job is to act as a hostess in the true sense of the word, by providing conversation, serving food and drink etc at formal dinners, or accompanying a guest to observe the beauties of nature such as cherry blossoms, autumn colours etc--often with a picnic included, at which the geisha will serve the food or treats.
They are paid for this service, but sex is not a given part of the service offered. There are indeed prostitutes in Japan, as there are in every other country in the world except maybe Antarctica , but the terms are not interchangeable. See all 52 questions about Memoirs of a Geisha…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 4. Rating details. More filters.
Sort order. Mar 26, Juushika rated it it was ok. Memoirs of a Geisha is an American novel, and as such the attempt at West does East, especially on the complex and delicate subject of the geisha, is compelling, interesting, but also heavy-handed and ultimately ineffective even more so in the case of the film. It is a wonderful introduction to geisha, Japanese culture, and the East for the uninitiated Western reader, and I can see why the book is popular, but I found it disappointing.
For the reader already familiar with the culture, western influe Memoirs of a Geisha is an American novel, and as such the attempt at West does East, especially on the complex and delicate subject of the geisha, is compelling, interesting, but also heavy-handed and ultimately ineffective even more so in the case of the film. For the reader already familiar with the culture, western influences are all too clear and the book comes off as a bit clunky and imperfect.
I also had some problems with the general perception of the characters by readers versus the way the characters were actually portrayed in the book--Memoirs is far from the good-willed fairy tale that people assume it is. By all means, read it, but leave it open for critique and remember that a more authentic representation of eastern culture, especially in the details, will come from the east itself. A lot of my critique stems from the fact that this movie has attained such wide-spread fame and been made into a movie, to be sure.
I feel like it is being perpetuated as something it is not. Even the introduction to the book a faux translator's note perpetuates the myth that Memoirs is an accurate, beautiful, in-depth reflection of the life of a geisha, when in truth it is no more that historical fiction and is written by an outsider.
Golden has done his research and is well-educated on his subjects, and I have no problem with people reading from, taking interest in, and even learning from this book; I do, however, think it is important that readers don't conflate the American novel with Japanese reality.
They aren't the same thing, no matter how much research Golden did, and if we take the book as an accurate representation we're actually underestimating and undervaluing geisha, Japan, and Japanese culture. Because Golden attempts to write from within the geisha culture, as a Japanese woman, he must do more than report the "facts" of that life--he must also pretend to be a part of it.
Pretend he does, acting out a role as if he has studied inflection, script, and motivation. He certainly knows what makes writing "Japanese" but his attempt to mimic it is not entirely successful. The emphasis on elements, the independent sentences, the visual details are too prevalent and too obvious, as if Golden is trying to call our attention to them and thus to the Japanese style of the text.
He does manage to draw attention, but to me, at least, what I came away with was the sense that Golden was an American trying really hard to sound Japanese--that is, the effect betrayed the attempt and the obvious attempt ruined the sincerity of the novel, for me.
I felt like I was being smacked over the head with beauty! The problems that I saw in the text were certainly secondary to the purpose of the text: to entertain, to introduce Western readers to Japanese culture, and to sell books and eventually a film. They may not be obvious to all readers and they aren't so sever that the book isn't worth reading.
I just think readers need to keep in mind that what Golden writes is fiction. Historical fiction, yes, but still fiction, therefore we should look for a true representation of Japanese culture within Japanese culture itself and take Memoirs with a grain of salt. I also had problems with the rushed end of the book, the belief that Sayuri is a honest, good, modest, generous person when she really acts for herself and at harm to others throughout much of the book, the perpetuation of Hatsumomo as unjustified and cruel when she has all the reason in the world, and in general the public belief that Memoirs is some sort of fairy tale when in fact it is heavy-handed, biased, and takes a biased or unrelatistic view toward situations, characters, and love.
However, all of those complains are secondary, in my view, to the major complain above, and should be come obvious to the reader. Memoirs goes quickly, is compelling, and makes a good read, and I don't want to sound too unreasonably harsh on it. However, I believe the book has a lot of faults that aren't widely acknowledged and I think we as readers need to keep them in mind. This is an imperfect Western book, and while it may be a fun or good book it is not Japanese, authentic, or entirely well done.
View all 61 comments. Like eating fancy dessert at a gourmet restaurant, Memoirs of a Geisha is beautiful, melts lightly off the tongue and will be forgotten shortly after it's done.
The language is strikingly lovely, and Golden paints a remarkable picture of a time and place. If you're looking to learn something deep about the psychology of Japanese culture, or meet nuanced characters, then I'd steer you elsewhere. The story only skims the top of the more complicated aspects of a Japan in decline, focusing mostly on a gen Like eating fancy dessert at a gourmet restaurant, Memoirs of a Geisha is beautiful, melts lightly off the tongue and will be forgotten shortly after it's done.
The story only skims the top of the more complicated aspects of a Japan in decline, focusing mostly on a genteel lifestyle that probably seems more appealing from the outside.
There's a way in which the book, written by a man and a westerner, is slightly fetishistic, but less so than you might imagine.
Another reader suggested that perhaps the superficiality of the story is intentional, and that the book, in a way, resembles a geisha. Beautiful and eager to please, yet too distant to really learn much from and ultimately little more than a beautiful, well-crafted object to be appreciated.
If that's the case, Arthur Golden is remarkably clever, and I applaud him. If it's not the case, the book remains very pretty and an easy read. View all 16 comments. Chiyo, with her sister Satsu, and her mother and father live in a shack by the sea on the coast of Japan. The shack leans, and has to be propped up to keep from total collapse. Her mother is sick and on the verge of death. He was wrong. Or was he? Without a crystal ball or access to a series of timelines showing the variations created by changing key decisions at critical junctures how can we know?
Satsu, who is fifteen, is promptly placed with a brothel. Not exactly what her father had in mind. Chiyo, who is nine, is deemed young enough to be trained to be a geisha. Those Blue Eyes are what set her apart. The Mother of her geisha house is equally startling in appearance. They were rimmed with the raw lip of her lids, in which a cloudy moisture was pooled, and all around them the skin was sagging. The colors of her face were all mixed up: the rims of her eyelids were red like meat, and her gums and tongue were gray.
And to make things more horrible, each of her lower teeth seemed to be anchored in a little pool of blood at the gums. She starts out her new life in trouble. She is quickly considered a threat to the lovely and vindictive Hatsumomo who is the only fully trained geisha working for the house.