We do not display our naked feet like monkeys.


We must not expect happiness, Sayuri. It is not something we deserve. When life goes well, it is a sudden gift; it cannot last forever...


She paints her face to hide her face. Her eyes are deep water. It is not for Geisha to want. It is not for geisha to feel. Geisha is an artist of the floating world. She dances, she sings. She entertains you, whatever you want. The rest is shadows, the rest is secret.

Sayuri Nitta

[to Chiyo] Do you like sweet plum or cherry?


We do not become Geisha to pursue our own destines. We become Geisha because we have no other choice.


How much longer is this bidding going to take? Beside who wants a plum when someone has already had a bite?
[takes a bite out of the plum]


Mameha: I'm wonder why Mrs. Nitta has not adopted Hatsumomo?
Sayuri Nitta: That would be like releasing the tiger from its cage.

None of us find as much kindness in this life as we should.


Hatsumomo: [suggesting that Mameha used immoral methods to gain Sayuri the lead role in the dances] What did Mameha do, speak with the Director in *private*?
Sayuri Nitta: Not *all* geisha use that kind of currency.

Hatsumomo: I was a maiko once.
Sayuri Nitta: Oh, of course. But that was a long, long, long, *long* time ago.

Kindness we receive in our lives is not always enough.


I am not worthless!

Sayuri Nitta

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Memoirs of a Geisha Quotes

A story like mine should never be told. For my world is as forbidden as it is fragile. Without its mysteries it cannot survive. I certainly wasn't born to the life of a geisha. Like so much in my strange life, I was carried there by the current.

Sayuri Narration

Sayuri Nitta: [turns to see the Chairman standing in front of her] Chairman, where is Nobu-san?
Chairman: He won't be coming.
Sayuri Nitta: Is something wrong?
Chairman: He knows what happened. It is not in his nature to forgive.
Sayuri Nitta: Chairman, what happened on the island...
Chairman: Please, you don't have to explain.
Sayuri Nitta: But I have shamed myself so deeply, past all forgiveness.
Chairman: No! I'm the one who must be forgiven.
Sayuri Nitta: I do not understand.
Chairman: Perhaps... if you had only known the truth.
Sayuri Nitta: The truth?
Chairman: Some years ago, I was on my way to the theater. I saw a little girl weeping by the Sunagawa. I stopped to buy her a cup of sweet ice.
Sayuri Nitta: You knew I was that little girl?
Chairman: Didn't you ever wonder why Mameha took you under her wing?
Sayuri Nitta: Mameha came to me because of you?... I wish you could have told me long ago.
[turns her back to him]
Chairman: What could I do? I owe Nobu my life. And so when I saw that he had a chance at happiness with you, I stood silent, but... But I cannot any longer. I hope... it is not too late. Don't be afraid to look at me, Chiyo.
Sayuri Nitta: [turns around to face him again] Can't you see? Every step I have taken, since I was that child on the bridge, has been to bring myself closer to you.
[finally kiss and embrace, cries in his arms]