In the spring of 1934, after Chiyo has been training for two years, Mother decides that it’s time for Pumpkin to make her debut as an apprentice geisha. Dressed in the kimono of the apprentice, Pumpkin heads out to perform a ceremony with Hatsumomo that will bind them as sisters. Seeing them going off, Chiyo feels jealous that she can’t make her debut as well.
In addition to learning the arts of the geisha, Chiyo has also begun to develop one of the negative characteristics the novel associates with geisha: jealousy. Hatsumomo, for example, is the epitome of this trait. As Chiyo matures and learns more about becoming a geisha, she will have to resist the negative effects geisha life can have on one’s personality.
When Chiyo goes to Mameha’s apartment a few weeks later, Mameha says that she has truly grown into a lovely woman over the last two years. On an outing together, Mameha tells Chiyo that she will have her debut in three weeks, but first she must learn how to use a geisha’s most powerful asset: her eyes. Mameha says that geisha can send men messages just by looking at them. Mameha tells her that a true geisha can make a man faint just by looking at him.
Mameha’s view of a geisha’s eyes links the symbol of eyes to artifice and deception. According to Mameha, a geisha’s eyes can create the illusion that a geisha desires her clients. In this way, Chiyo’s eyes, which are very honest and revealing of her personality, contrast with how most geisha use their eyes to deceive.
As they continue to walk, they pass a young man carrying boxes, and Mameha tells Chiyo to look at him in a way that will make him drop his boxes. She then walks off to watch from a distance. Chiyo keeps her eyes away from the man until they brush past each other. Chiyo quickly flicks her eyes up and gazes into the man’s eyes. Entranced, the man slips and falls. Chiyo and the man laugh together at his clumsiness before Chiyo helps the man collect his boxes. Chiyo then runs off to meet up with Mameha, who says that Chiyo is as ready to be a geisha as she’ll ever be.
Chiyo now begins to lose the honesty in her eyes, instead learning how to manipulate men by using the artifice of her beauty and uniqueness. By looking at the man in this way, Chiyo essentially sends him erotic messages that make him trip. Chiyo shows that she retains her good-natured personality, however, by helping him up. Thus, even as she learns to deceive, she still holds onto her kindness.
That night Chiyo can’t sleep. She stays up imagining herself entering a tearoom in an exquisite kimono, turning men’s heads. After feeling invisible as a maid in the okiya, Chiyo is excited to finally get some attention from the people around her. She imagines pouring the Chairman a cup of tea while feeling his eyes peering at her face.
Still naïve, Chiyo does not yet understand the dangers of becoming an object for the pleasure of men to look at it. As she will learn, if men see her as an object, then they will feel free to use Chiyo’s body against her will as an object to fulfill their sexual desires.