본문 바로가기
  • Home

The representation of a “Japanese woman” in film: An analysis of Memoirs of a Geisha

Kim HwaYoung 1

1수원과학대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines the images of Japanese women in film by analyzing the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha. The movie was originally written by a Japanese person, but the screenwriter and director were American. The original title was “Memories of Sayuri,” but it was changed to “Memoirs of a Geisha,” revealing a perspective on life from Sayuri’s perspective, but placed in a specific position called “Geisha.” This perspective can be clearly seen in the phrases and colors used to denote the heroine. Sayuri is compared to “water,” which symbolizes sexuality and the maternal aspects of women. The Mizuage ceremony emphasizes women’s sexuality. The maternal aspect is also connected with the image of water as it is connected with Sayuri’s sacrifice for men. Lastly, Memoirs of a Geisha and Sakuran both have female protagonists in the special position of geishas and courtesans, and they express the image of women through color. However, when Sayuri and Higurashi are beginning their lives, Higurashi is active, meaning that the red kimono refers to her passion, while gray color given to Sayuri represents the image of Japanese women westerners already have, such as sadness and sacrifice.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.