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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?


Youki Kudoh and Eriko Tamura auditioned for the role of Sayuri but lost out to Ziyi Zhang. However, the casting agents, having been impressed with her audition, allowed Kudoh another chance to audition instead for secondary character Pumpkin, a role which she ended up getting. See more »


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


Sayuri Nitta: I am not worthless!
See more »


Featured in Eye on L.A.: 0916 (2016) See more »


Rira No Hanakage
Written by Masao Koga and Keiko Kurauchi
Performed by Noriko Awaya
Courtesy of Columbia Music Entertainment, Inc.
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Breathtaking from the first scene
8 December 2005 | by (New York) – See all my reviews

I lived in Japan for 3 years and I loved the book, rich with visual imagery. I went to the see the movie with a good deal of trepidation, convinced that they were going to butcher it and sex it up to appeal to American audiences. Instead I sat spellbound in my seat as I watched the images that Arthur Golden has created in my mind with words years before, play themselves out on the screen in front of me. Every shot, ever scene, every tiny detail was just beautiful. I literally did not look away from the screen the entire time. The acting wasn't spectacular. I think they could have found somebody better to play Sayuri. The children were all wonderful. The stand-out actress by far was Gong Li as Hatsumomo. The villain had the best opportunities to show her skills as a thespian. The plot stuck very closely to the book. They eliminated the scenes that they needed to in the interest of time, but they didn't try to take any shortcuts or speed up the plot. I really felt like the story was played out beginning to end without sacrificing any of the meat. You'll read a lot of reviews in the coming weeks praising the gorgeous photography. Every word is true. Words like "lush" and "exquisite" only begin to do it justice. I've never had the experience of being transported to another time by a movie in quite this way.

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culturally clueless film based off a culturally clueless book. chrisl84notpia
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quick question on the book and similar films to this? midi_1234
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