Friday, November 18, 2005


The book Memoirs of a Geisha is inauthentic, geisha-wise (the subject geisha filed suit against the author), and the movie Memoirs of a Geisha is inauthentic ethnic-wise (most of the actors are Chinese), but here's the frosting that tells you the kind of cake it all really is: the pale, blue-eyed geisha poster for the movie, as promoted by SONY Pictures, no less! Whatever happened to cultural pride (to say nothing of audience reality awareness)? Did Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks really permit this?

More opinions (and links) on the geisha fiasco at Japundit.


alfred said...

I did a test in the office this morning. I showed the page with the blue-eyed Irish-looking woman who is for some reason on the page having to do with Memoirs of a Geisha. Three were Asian-Americans and three were Caucasian Americans. Predictable results when I said 'so what's wrong with this picture?'

Anonymous said...

If you read the book, you would know that the character 'Sayuri' has blue-grey eyes.
I think this is the reason for the poster design.

Robert Brady said...

Blue-gray (whatever that might be in a Japanese person) is not blue. I have never seen such eyes in a Japanese. Certainly not the startling blue of the poster, that goes so well with the Western facial features. Oddly enough, the author seems to be intentionally avoiding reference to an explicitly Japanese woman. I see no literary reason for that. But then literature has nothing to do with this enterprise really, so what could the marketing purpose be? That maybe a Westerner could more closely identify with the heroine? Seems like a pretty weak reason... The Japanese were not impressed, either with book or movie; but knowing much about genuine geisha, they were not the market.