Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
Memoirs of a Geisha: Introduction
Memoirs of a Geisha: Plot Summary
Memoirs of a Geisha: Detailed Summary & Analysis
Memoirs of a Geisha: Themes
Memoirs of a Geisha: Quotes
Memoirs of a Geisha: Characters
Memoirs of a Geisha: Symbols
Memoirs of a Geisha: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Arthur Golden
Historical Context of Memoirs of a Geisha
Other Books Related to Memoirs of a Geisha
- Full Title: Memoirs of a Geisha
- When Written: 1991-1997
- Where Written: Boston, Massachusetts
- When Published: 1997
- Literary Period: Contemporary Fiction
- Genre: Historical Novel, Fictional Memoir, Bildungsroman
- Setting: Yoroido, Kyoto, and New York City; early to late twentieth century
- Climax: When Sayuri betrays Nobu in the old theater.
- Antagonist: Hatsumomo
- Point of View: First-person
Extra Credit for Memoirs of a Geisha
Code of Silence: While doing research for Memoirs of a Geisha, Golden interviewed Mineko Iwasaki, a former geisha who had worked in Kyoto during the 1960s. He thanked Iwasaki by name in the book’s acknowledgements, which caused Iawaski to receive strong and threatening backlash because geishas have a traditional code of silence about their clients. She alleged that Golden broke a promise to keep her identity anonymous, but Golden maintained that Iwasaki never asked for anonymity. Iwasaki sued Golden for breach of contract and defamation of character, and the two settled out of court with no admittance of wrongdoing in 2003.
Movie Magic: The novel was made into a 2005 movie that won three Academy Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, and Best Costume Design.