In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michiyo Kogure ...
Miyoharu
Ayako Wakao ...
Eiko
Seizaburô Kawazu ...
Kusuda
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Saburô Date ...
Imanishi
Kyôko Hisamatsu ...
Young girl
Sumao Ishihara ...
Kokichi
Kanae Kobayashi ...
Hairdresser
Keiko Kobayashi
Midori Komatsu ...
Oume
Kanji Koshiba ...
Kanzaki
Kazuko Maeda ...
Maid
Ryusuke Maki
Tokiko Mita ...
Apprentice geisha #1
Kikue Môri ...
Domestic arts teacher
Chieko Naniwa ...
Okimi
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Storyline

In the post-war, the sixteen year-old teenager Eiko seeks out the geisha Miyoharu in the district of Gion, in Kyoto asking her to be a "maiko" (apprentice of geisha). Eiko explains that her mother, who was a geisha and Miyoharu's friend, has just passed away; her father Sawamoto has failed in business; and her uncle is harassing her. Miyoharu is a warm-hearted woman and accepts to train her. One year later, Eiko's father refuses to be her guarantor and Miyoharu borrows a large amount from the tea-house owner Okimi to buy her kimono and debut in a party. Miyoharu changes Eiko's name to Miyoe and introduces the teenager to clients as her sister. Soon Miyoharu is charged for the money but neither she nor Miyoe wants to have patrons. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

11 June 1978 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Geisha  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Quotes

Eiko: Mistress, if you've had to sleep with a man you despise for my sake, I'll stop being a geisha!
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Connections

Referenced in Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

Superb, subtle Mizoguchi drama
29 July 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I liked this better than the more schematic SISTERS OF THE GION. This story of an established geisha who takes on a younger one as a sort of apprentice has engaging characters and a quiet, low-key, intimate realism that's highly effective.

Since it's Mizoguchi, you know the direction, casting, lighting, sets, framing -- all the mise en scene -- are exquisitely sensitive and artistic. The acting is excellent, subtle and believable. Everything is "right", one might even say "perfect" -- an adjective one is tempted to apply to this director's work at its best. Every shot is beautifully, often breath-takingly conceived and executed.

The glimpses this film gives of the rigorous training and daily life of traditional geishas are a big plus that adds greatly to its interest.

Mizoguchi made poetry with a movie camera, and I would call A GEISHA one of his best films.


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