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


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


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

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...


Please, Sayuri, do not be afraid to look at me.


We do not display our naked feet like monkeys.


Nobu: There is nothing I want more, Sayuri, than to become your danna.
Sayuri Nitta: I already owe you far too much.
[turns away]
Nobu: I will not be refused.
Sayuri Nitta: Please.
Nobu: We are tied to each other. I know you feel it too.
Sayuri Nitta: I never meant to mislead you.
Nobu: [Grabs Sayuri] Sayuri, I do not like things held up before me that I cannot have...

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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]