Memoirs of a Geisha, an Oscar-winning film, tells the story of a young girl sold to the owner of a geisha house. Rob Marshall’s feature film, which caused a sensation around the world, was censored in China and shunned in Japan.
Netflix continues to add new films and series to its catalog every day. The recent streaming giant has added Memoirs of a Geisha, released in 2005 in the United States. This film by Rob Marshall tells the story of Chiyo, a Japanese girl who was sold to a geisha’s house at the age of nine. After being separated from her older sister, she must face the difficulties of life alone.
A child hired as a servant was brutalized and humiliated. Years later, she is the most coveted of the forbidden geishas. As the legendary Sayuri, she attracts powerful men and angers her main rival, Mameha. The director and his cast won prestigious awards for the feature film, which grossed over $160 million at the global box office.
Why is China censoring Memoirs of a Geisha?
Rob Marshall’s feature film explores the history and culture of geisha from a Japanese perspective. Although geishas are not considered prostitutes in Japan, they are in China. But it’s not really the subject that upset the Chinese.
What literally upset the Chinese leaders was that the director chose a Chinese actress to play the Japanese prostitute. It must be said that relations between China and Japan have been somewhat turbulent since World War II and after the Japanese military was accused of sexual slavery of Chinese women. Thus, Memoirs of a Geisha revived the tensions between the two peoples.
Memoirs of a Geisha is now available on Netflix and is one of the most watched movies right now. Hollywood proposal of memories of a geisha, Memoirs of a Geisha is an adaptation of Arthur Golden’s Roman Geisha.
This American film directed by Rob Marshall begins in 1929. With Satsu, we follow Chiyo, a Japanese child sold to the owner of a geisha house.
The big mistake
While the actress isn’t unhappy with the acting itself, her casting and the presence of other performers has become a big issue in China and Japan. It’s really about Japanese culture. From the outside, Zhang Ziyi is definitely Chinese, not Japanese.
She dated in Tiger and Dragon before appearing in Hero, Secret of the Flying Daggers or 2046. Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh also appear. Real stars of Chinese cinema, but again not Japanese.
Unlike the famous Ken Watanabe, Suzuka Ohgo, who plays young Chiyo, and Yūki Kudō, who plays Hatsumomo’s sister. So there is a fairly typical Hollywood shift that has been criticized in several countries. In China, however, the reaction was stronger.
Memoirs of a Geisha wins multiple Oscars
Memoirs of a Geisha was a worldwide hit when it was released. At the Oscars, he won Best Art Director, Best Cinematography and Best Costume Design.
For her role as Chiyo, Chinese actress Zhang Ziyi was nominated for the 2006 Golden Globes and BAFTA Awards for Best Actress. Despite all these awards, Memoirs of a Geisha quickly aroused anger in China and Japan, even to the point of being censored and shunned.
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Memoir of a geisha: the film that creates controversy in China