Life is what happens when you are making other plans~ John Lennon
An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind~Gandhi
The time is always right to do what is right~ Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Book Review

Memoirs of a Geisha

This book was written by Arthur Golden, and is about these 2 sisters, named Chiyo and Satsu who live in the village of Yoroido in rural Japan. One day they are approached by someone they know as 'Mr. Tanaka', and he talks to their parents about adopting them and taking them to what they think is a better life because their father is a lowly fisherman and their mother is rapidly dying from cancer. Only the place that Chiyo and Satsu are taken to is an okiya(Japanese term for Geisha house). They are basically sold in to slavery and they become geisha girls. The geisha house that Chiyo is sent to has a resident problem, in the form of a vindictive, manipulative Geisha named Hatsumomo, who's bound and determined to make life for Chiyo a living hell. But through out the book, Chiyo, who becomes known as Sayuri(her geisha name) befriends another okiya owner named Mameha(a kindly woman who runs another okiya). The 2 develop a friendship and Mameha starts coming up with ways to knock the vindictive Hatsumomo down a bunch of pegs because she is not a nice person. The book is really good, but you have to stay with it, it's a tad bit slow in the beginning, but gets good in the middle. They even turned it into a movie, I'll put some pictures from the movie to show you.

Ziyi Zhang as Chiyo and Ken Watanabe as The Chairman. Hmm, Ken Watanabe is pretty cute!

Michelle Yeoh as Mameha, Ziyi Zhang as Chiyo and Gong Li as Hatsumomo

Michelle Yeoh and Ziyi Zhang as Mameha and Chiyo

Shanghai Girls

Now this book has not been turned into a movie, I'm currently reading it and I have to admit that I'm loving every second of this book, I'm even learning a few words in Chinese, and Mandarin, like Jie Jie means elder sister in Mandarin and Mei Mei means little sister in Mandarin. Any way, this book about 2 sisters named May and Pearl Chin. Their father has gambled away all their money and in order to pay off a local gangster named Pockmark Huang, their father, Baba, has arranged a marriage for them, he has arranged for them to marry the 2 sons of a friend of his, named Old Man Louie. They are to go to Los Angeles and live there so he can pay off their debt. Meanwhile all this is taking place during WWII, when the Japanese were invading China. While the 2 sisters are on their way to the ship, Pearl and May stay with a village woman and during the night, Pearl and May find their mother splayed on the floor of the cabin while Japanese soldiers are raping her. Then the soldiers end up raping Pearl and she wakes up in the hospital to find out from the doctors she may be unable to have children, and when the 2 finally reach America, they go to the Angel Island Immigration Center and Pearl finds out that May is pregnant. The story so far is pretty good and I don't think I've ever read a story so good! In the story, you might keep hearing things like dwarf bandits and monkey people, obviously that's what Pearl and May keep calling the Japanese. It's apparent in this story that the Chinese and Japanese do not get along!

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