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Memoirs of a Geisha (2005)

PG-13 | | Drama, Romance | 23 December 2005 (USA)
2:34 | Trailer

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Nitta Sayuri reveals how she transcended her fishing-village roots and became one of Japan's most celebrated geisha.



(screenplay), (book)
2,327 ( 49)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 26 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Thomas Ikeda ...
Hatsumomo (as Gong Li)
David Okihiro ...
Shamisen Teacher
Miyako Tachibana ...
Dance Teacher
Kotoko Kawamura ...


In the 1920s, 9-year-old Chiyo gets sold to a geisha house. There, she is forced into servitude, receiving nothing in return until the house's ruling hierarchy determines if she is of high enough quality to service the clientele -- men who visit and pay for conversation, dance and song. After rigorous years of training, Chiyo becomes Sayuri, a geisha of incredible beauty and influence. Life is good for Sayuri, but World War II is about to disrupt the peace. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature subject matter and some sexual content | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

23 December 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Memorias de una geisha  »

Box Office


$85,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$682,504 (USA) (9 December 2005)


$57,010,853 (USA) (10 March 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The filmmakers decided that the Gion district of modern-day Kyoto (the Geisha district where Arthur Golden's novel is set) looked much too modern to evoke the 1920s and 30s. So, a large set of the Gion district was constructed outside of Los Angeles in Thousand Oaks, California. The detailed set had real cobblestone streets, bridges, a river, period buildings and antique props which evoked the period described in the novel. See more »


Sayuri is the Year of the Monkey, not the Rooster. See more »


Mother: We do not display our naked feet like monkeys.
See more »


Spoofed in MADtv: Episode #11.9 (2006) See more »


Tiger Rag
Music by Henry Ragas (as H.W. Ragas), Nick LaRocca (as D.J. La Rocca), Larry Shields (as L. Shields),
Tony Sbarbaro (as A. Sbarbaro), and Edwin B. Edwards (as E.B. Edwards)
Lyrics by Harry DeCosta (as Harry Da Costa)
Performed by Tadaharu Nakano & Columbia Nakano Rhythm Boys
Courtesy of Columbia Music Entertainment, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

more than everyone is saying
31 December 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

personally, i don't know what everyone was so anxious about before viewing this movie. i had heard a lot of praise about the cinematography and the depth and emotion of the storyline. who cares if the actors were of different race? i know a lot of people will take offense to that, but being an Asian-American myself, it didn't bother me too much, since it wasn't what i thought of while watching the movie. who has time to think of different dialects and someone being Chinese when a beautiful story of the life of a geisha is being told.

i thought maybe the movie would not live up to the book, but i felt the adaptation was done well. although some of the casting could have been done better, i got chills from mother, angry at hatsumomo, and grew respect for the character of mameha, just as i had from the book. the movie did a fine job establishing the highly disciplined world of a geisha, a world where many sacrifices are to be made.

all in all, the movie was fantastic, and if people could just look beyond the issue of worrying about the nationality of a character who is supposed to be Japanese (and to me, its not a huge issue) I'm sure you will enjoy the movie.

176 of 254 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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What's your favorite part? !!!deleted!!! (64820750)
I pitied Hatsumomo. Rowan222
culturally clueless film based off a culturally clueless book. chrisl84notpia
Chinese and Japanese theNakedtruth96
quick question on the book and similar films to this? midi_1234
Is this movie worth watching at all? cadademon
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