Book vs Movie: Memoirs of a Geisha 2

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

This is the second Book vs Movie post by Breathing Pages (Anj) for Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (ISBN 0-679-78158-7), Vintage Contemporaries version. In the second post, I would like to talk about a character who apparently plays somewhat a big role in Chiyo's life: Mr. Tanaka Ichiro.


In the movie, Mr. Tanaka was barely shown. We can hear his voice in the first act. He speaks with Chiyo's and Satsu's father in Japanese and takes the girls away from their house. He is also in the railway scene, giving the girls in the care of Mr. Bekku.


But in the book, Mr. Tanaka has a deeper connection to Chiyo. She saw him as an easy way out in the life of a poor fisherman's daughter given that he is the owner of the Japan Coastal Seafood Corporation. He also helps Chiyo in small ways like giving Chinese herbs for her mother (p19) and letting her and Satsu say at his house with his own daughter (starts at p21).


His instrumentality in Chiyo and Satsu being sent to Kyoto has been given more description in the novel such as going to a woman, Mrs. Fidget who checked the girls' bodies (p24) but unlike in the movie, Chiyo and Satsu were told to see Mr. Tanaka in the village. The movie showed Chiyo and Satsu being taken away, as if it is done by force.


In my opinion, I think the movie showed us what happened in the first three chapters concisely, as if it's done in bullet points. I appreciated the details because the first chapters contained a lot of foreshadowing and had a lot of colorful details about Chiyo's and Satsu's life before Gion. 

I shall talk about Satsu next.


Still reading on,