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Memoirs of a Geisha Quotes

20 of the best book quotes from Memoirs of a Geisha
  1. #1
    “My name back then was Chiyo. I wouldn’t be known by my geisha name, Sayuri, until years later.”
  2. #2
    “I sometimes lift the brocade cover on the mirror of my makeup stand, and have the briefest flicker of a thought that I may find her there in the glass, smirking at me.”
  3. #3
    “Geisha never marry. Or at least those who do no longer continue as geisha.”
  4. #4
    “For one thing, the bidding hadn’t been a contest between Dr. Crab and Nobu at all. It had ended up a contest between Dr. Crab and the Baron.”
  5. #5
    “Even if we did survive and Mr. Tanaka adopted us, would my own family cease to exist?”
  6. #6
    “In the years since, I’ve been called beautiful more often than I can remember. Though, of course, geisha are always called beautiful, even those who aren’t. But when Mr. Tanaka said it to me, before I’d ever heard of such a thing as a geisha, I could almost believe it was true.”
  1. #7
    “I’m sure I looked no more elegant than a guest at an inn looks wearing a robe on the way to the bath. But I’d never before worn anything nearly so glamorous on my body.”
  2. #8
    “Evidently in the six months since I’d last seen them, I’d changed more than I realized.”
  3. #9
    “I’d earned more in the past six months than both Hatsumomo and Pumpkin combined.”
  4. #10
    “Only when she sits before her mirror to apply her makeup with care does she become a geisha. And I don’t mean that this is when she begins to look like one. This is when she begins to think like one too.”
  5. #11
    “It struck me as odd that even though no one could have called her a beauty, Mr. Tanaka’s eyes were fixed on her like a rag on a hook.”
  6. #12
    “Your job is to bow as low as you can, and don’t look them in the eye.”

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  1. #13
    “Do as you’re told; don’t be too much trouble; and you might begin learning the arts of a geisha two or three months from now.”
  2. #14
    “Everyone knows how you hate Mameha,” Auntie told [Hatsumomo]. “You hate anyone more successful than you.”
  3. #15
    “Maybe you’re just too pretty yourself to be able to see it elsewhere.”
  4. #16
    “I’ve heard it said that the week in which a young girl prepares for her debut as an apprentice geisha is like when a caterpillar turns into a butterfly.”
  5. #17
    “Beginning my training meant going to a school in another section of Gion to take lessons in things like music, dance, and tea ceremony. ”
  6. #18
    “Every time I caught a glimpse of myself in the glass of a shop, I felt I was someone to be taken seriously; not a girl anymore, but a young woman.”
  7. #19
    “Every young geisha may be proud of her hairstyle at first, but she comes to hate it within three or four days.”
  8. #20
    “We don’t become geisha so our lives will be satisfying. We become geisha because we have no other choice.”
Book Topics › change
Children's Books About Change