Disclaimer: I don't own Memoirs of a Geisha. Arthur Golden is the author. I came up with the idea to write my own sequel for fun. I don't expect anything in return, so if you're one of those people who don't like how Arthur Golden wrote Memoirs of a Geisha and don't want to read a sequel, turn back now. I wrote this out of my own enjoyment, hoping others will enjoy it as well. I have read the book twice, once for fun, and twice for details, so if you have any questions about where a certain fact came from or how I came to a certain conclusion, ask in a review or PM me, and I'll get back to you with exact page numbers. They correspond with any paperback version of the book if you own it. The same goes with any footnotes used for quotes taken straight from the book.
You also don't have to have read the book, as the Prologue will have all the details that happened in the book, but not in the movie, so, again, if you're one of those people, feel free to ask me questions if something confuses you. I have seen the movie 3 times also, so I know the differences. If you want to know the differences, go my MySpace page on my profile.
Another thing, don't start complaining about Arthur Golden to me. I will ignore your review, and not answer your questions if you have any. This sequel of mine is not the official sequel, if there was even going to be a sequel. I did it because there was so many loose ends at the end of the book. Enough of the serious talk.
Enjoy! The actual story begins with Chapter 1!
"Memoirs of a Geisha 2: Sayuri's Next Journey"
Prologue: "The Painful Past"
Nitta Sayuri held the hankerchief closer to her as she stared out the window of her New York City apartment. She never had gotten used to the modern day New York City syle automobiles, even though she had been in the United States for 33 years.
Sayuri brought the yellow-brown hankerchief to her fairly smooth nose and took in the faint smell of the Chairman's talc skin. His death was 19 years ago and ever since, she had preserved his memory in the hankerchief he had given to her 58 years ago in April of 1931.
She was a 69 year old woman now, but she kept her skin in the best shape possible. She didn't want her face to look like Granny's did. Sayuri smiled slightly, so slightly that no wrinkles showed, as she remembered the first time she saw the older woman. Mother had commented on the 9-year-old Sakamoto Chiyo as being pretty, but Granny responded with a frown, "There are too many pretty girls in Gion. What we need is a smart girl, not a pretty girl."(1) Unfortunately for Granny, she died two years later, so she never saw how pretty or smart Chiyo would become.
Sayuri glanced at her reflection in the window. Her blue-gray eyes still shone bright through her pale skin. That's the only thing that hasn't changed. She though to herself with a small sigh. Since she left for the United States in 1956, Mother and the Chairman had died only months apart. Even harder to think about was her sister, Sakamoto Satsu. She had ran away from Kyoto on the last Tuesday in October 1929, when Chiyo was just 9, and Sayuri has never seen her since. She didn't even know if her sister was still alive. If she was, Satsu would be 75, and probably still with the Sugi boy she ran off with after she stopped through Yoroido that same fall.
Sayuri closed her eyes, fighting back tears, her eyelids like dams in a river. Mameha may not have been her blood sister like Satsu, but she was her sister nonetheless. Mameha became Sayuri's older sister immediately after Chiyo became Sayuri, an apprentice geisha, or maiko, in 1934. Mameha had since visited frequently after Sayuri moved to New York City, but as of the past 20 years, her visits were further between. Her health probably wasn't in the best state, considering she was entering her eighties this year.
Sayuri often wished she could see her old friends again, even her cruel rivals like Hatsumomo. Hatsumomo's younger sister years ago was Pumpkin, another of Sayuri's former friends. When Pumpkin became a maiko, though, their friendship slowly fell apart, like petals on a wilted flower, since Hatsumomo forbid Pumpkin to speak to Sayuri. They occasionally spoke when they saw each other when Hatsumomo wasn't around, but, unfortunately, that wasn't enough to salvage their once shining friendship. Hatsumomo was three years older than Mameha and it was anyone's guess as to how or where she was. The last Sayuri heard of her when she was kicked out of the Nitta okiya after embarrassing herself, and thus, the okiya. The letter Auntie received from her from the Hanami-cho section during World War II was the last anyone had heard from her.
Sayuri was the only one left in the Sakamoto family, except for her sister, Satsu. Their mother had died six weeks after Tanaka Ichiro took them out of Yoroido, their hometown, and into Kyoto, Their father passed a few weeks after that, but no one knew why. Their mother was very sick, but Chiyo or Satsu never knew what she had, and their father, Sakamoto Minoru, never told them. It was their father who sold them after Mr. Tanaka spoke with him on several occassions. Her mother was dying, after all, and they were already poor. Still, somehow, Sayuri couldn't convince herself that her father had been that desperate. She wanted to believe that Mr. Tanaka had said something to him that day Chiyo walked into the last of their conversation to convince him.
"So, Sakamoto, what do you think of my proposal?" Chiyo heard Mr. Tanaka say as he and her father sat at the table.
Her father had replied with a sorrowful expression. "I don't know, sir. I can't picture the girls living anywhere else."
The conversation had ended with Mr. Tanaka leaving. "I understand, but they'd be much better off, and so would you. Just see to it that they come down to the village tomorrow."(2)
From that day on, Chiyo's life had been changed forever, or atleast, from the moment she cut her lip and first met the man called Tanaka Ichiro.
Sayuri walked over to the small bedside table with the glass rectangular frame. With one last intake of the Chairman's talc scent, she gently folded the hankerchief and placed it in the frame.
The Chairman's last words had been, "Sayuri, never forget you past, no matter how painful it is. Everything happens for a reason. And remember, I'll always love you."
Love. Maybe it was Sayuri's still blue-gray eyes, or maybe his affections for the child called Chiyo had grown. Sayuri believed the latter with all her heart. He was the reason she had wanted to become a geisha in the first place, after all. From the moment she met Iwamura Ken on the bridge over Shirakawa Stream, 11-year-old Chiyo knew she wanted to see that man again, and becoming a geisha had seemed like the best way to even have a chance in running into him again. Three years later, she became maiko, and was one step closer. Only a few months later, when she first met Nobu Toshikazu, she also saw the Chairman for the first time since she saw him on the bridge with the geisha, Izuko.
Of course, she didn't expect him to remember the small girl of three years before. She didn't know it at the time, though, but the Chairman knew perfectly well who Sayuri was by her eyes. When Sayuri was 29, he told her the truth. He had offered to pay Mameha's expenses if she was to ever come across a girl with, as he described them, startling gray eyes, in Gion. As fate may have it, she did a few months later. That was when Mameha made a surprise visit to the Nitta okiya. She told Mother that she would become Chiyo's older sister if Mother agreed to a deal. If Chiyo had repaid her debts to the okiya by the time she was twenty, Mother agreed to pay Mameha double her normal wages. If Chiyo couldn't, Mameha would just lose, as she already agreed to only take half her normal wages to train Chiyo as her younger sister. It turned out that Sayuri had repaid her debt to the okiya and more by the age 18. In the beginning, before the Chairman told her about his involvement, Sayuri thought that Mameha wanted to take her in so Hatsumomo couldn't claim her. After all, Hatsumomo and Mameha were rivals, so of course they had a grudge against each other.
The only difference between the two was that Mameha was more popular than Hatsumomo. Hatsumomo may have a successful geisha, but that was it. Sayuri herself became one of the most popular geisha, and the money she earned was record breaking. Her mizuage itself was sold for 11,500 yen to Dr. Crab, the highest ever paid for a mizuage until 1951, when a geisha named Katsumiyo broke that record.
Sayuri may have been popular, but that didn't mean she never did anything to tarnish her reputation. She remembered the day she shamed herself on the island of Amami. She wanted Nobu's interest in her to disappear, as she still hadn't gotten the Chairman's attention yet. She wanted Pumpkin to bring Nobu in to see Sayuri with the Minister, but instead, she brought the Chairman. Sayuri had been horrified. Only a day later when she was to meet Nobu, but the Chairman came instead, was when Sayuri realized if she had never done that, she would have never been with the Chairman. It turns out that he wanted to tell Sayuri that he knew she was that little girl, but he felt Nobu deserved to be happy. After the Chairman saw Sayuri and the Minister, though, he told Nobu, as Pumpkin informed him that Sayuri wanted Nobu to see, and that drove Nobu away. The Chairman then had a chance at Sayuri himself. That meeting was when Sayuri found out the truth and everything became clear.
Sayuri didn't like that memory, but, as the Chairman said many years ago when they talked about it, the past is what makes a person who they are today. Sadly, they never married or had a child together, but that was because if he was to ever marry a geisha, his reputation as Chairman of Iwamura Electric would be ruined. Sayuri was just glad to have the Chairman, if it was only for a few years, because a geisha was never supposed to love.
Mother may have told Sayuri to leave the okiya, but Sayuri could never truly forget being a geisha. Her parents were long gone and the only family she might have had left was Satsu, so being a geisha was going to be her life until the day she died.
A single tear dropped to the beige carpet as Nitta Sayuri closed her eyes and drew the blinds closed, shutting out the light in her lonely apartment.
1 - quote from page 43
2 - conversation from page 21