Memoirs of a Geisha

Memoirs of a Geisha quotes

42 total quotes (ID: 387)

Auntie
Chairman Iwamura
Conversations
Hatsumomo
Mameha
Mother
Narrator (Sayuri as an elderly woman)
President Nobu
Sayuri


A story like mine should never be told. For my world is as forbidden as it is fragile; without its mysteries it cannot survive.


My mother always said my sister Satsu was like wood; as rooted to the earth as a sakura tree. But she told me I was like water. Water can carve its way even through stone...and when trapped, water makes a new path...

At the temple, there is a poem called "Loss", carved into the stone. It has three words...but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read "Loss"... Only feel it.

A year without news, except news of death. Rumors of cities evaporating into clouds of smoke. And then another year, and another. Nothing. Rice...work...rice...work. Nothing.

General [laughing]: Why yes!
Mameha [to Sayuri]: Surely you would like to thank Hatsumomo for her gracious compliments?
Sayuri: There is so much I would like to say to Hatsumomo.
Hatsumomo: Sometimes, the smartest remark is silence.
Sayuri: What better advice to follow than your own?
Mameha: Sayuri... Hatsumomo: Ah, a maiko. I was one myself, once.
Sayuri: Of course... But it's been such a very long, long...long, long...time. [Everyone laughs] Baron: If there had been any tea in that pot, I believe Sayuri would have gotten it out!

Auntie: She isn't in it for the money, that much is for certain. Rumor has it, ever since the prime minister bought her mizuage, she's been rich!
Mother: That so? Absurd to think she noticed Chiyo!
Hatsumomo: It's that kimono. She remembers how you destroyed it. Now, she wants to get even.
Mother: An odd picture, isn't it? Hatsumomo sweeping to teahouse after teahouse with our little Pumpkin, and Mameha with our maid!

Geisha needs an elegant wardrobe, just like an artist needs ink. If she is not properly dressed, then she is not a true geisha.

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.

I can just hear my General now. "Why Hatsumomo. You used to smell of jasmine... What's this new perfume...? Blowfish?"

Doctor is very expensive. You seem to be racking up quite a debt. Kimono, destroyed. Train ticket, Mr. Bekku, rice and pickles, geisha school, all of this, on top of the money I paid Mr. Tanaka. And for what? And now I hear your sister has run away! She didn't wait for you, and now she can never come back. You must forget you ever had a sister. We are your only family now.

Chairman: He would never tell you himself; he is far too modest. We were fighting in Manchuria together. There was an explosion. He protected me from the worst of it. As you might imagine, I owe him quite a debt. Nobu has taught me a great deal - patience, for example. And I in turn have tried to teach him: you have to savor life while you can.

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?

Besides, who wants a plum when someone has already had a bite?

Can't you see? Every step I have taken, since I was that child on the bridge has been to bring myself closer to you.

[other men laugh]
Mameha: Don't tease, Baron. It is her very first time. Mameha: Now that your beloved Granny is gone, you have no need for a maid.