Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha quotes

42 total quotes (ID: 387)

Chairman Iwamura
Narrator (Sayuri as an elderly woman)
President Nobu

Now I understood the thing I´d overlooked; the point wasn´t to become a geisha but to be one. To become a geisha...well, that was hardly a purpose in life. But to be a geisha... I could see it now as a stepping-stone to something else.

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.

Remember Chiyo, geisha are not courtesans, and we're 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.

Sayuri: The lesson of the cherry blossom!
Chairman: That is why Nobu likes you. We must not expect happiness, Sayuri. It is not something we deserve. When life goes well, it is a sudden gift; it cannot last forever! Hatsumomo: "Sayuri"... A name as sweet as she is! I'm afraid these days even a common chambermaid can call herself a geisha. So, it's nice to see such a sincere young maiko, isn't it?

Smile for me, won't you?

Stay out of my room. I can't have you touching my things.

The heart dies a slow death, shedding each hope like leaves... Until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains.

Three things matter in life... sumo, business, and war. Understand one, you know them all. But why should a Geisha care? You spend your time plucking strings and dancing.

To a man, Geisha can only be half a wife. We are the wives of nightfall. And yet to learn of kindness, after so much unkindness... To understand that a little girl with more courage than she knew, would find that her prayers were answered...can that not be called happiness? After all, these are not the memoirs of an empress, nor of a queen...these are memoirs of another kind.

We don't become geisha to pursue our own destinies. We become geisha because we have no choice.

Why Sayuri...look what I found. You've been hiding your love for a long time... The sacrifice every geisha must make!

You cannot call yourself a true geisha until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look.