« Limited goods and Joke goods in Japan | Main | Is this fun reading »

Saturday, November 06, 2004


Nike Air Jordan

But the miracle of life persists, the mysterious germ of growth and renewal that is the seed itself.


The best way to make your facts just about this topic, more well known, is to use the help of the submit article service. I hope, such kind of proposition helps you to keep on moving that way!

we're doing a yaer 6 play at the end of the year and my friends and i are geisha's we so can't wait!


Oops! I meant to refer to Simina's first comment, not Marcus! Gomen nasai... -__-'

I thought the name went above the comment, not below...way to go and prove American stupidity...haha. =P

~Callie <3


Wow..I typed out this incredibly long well-thought out comment and then, right when I was proofreading to post, my internet browser crashed...I guess that's my karma so saying way too much.


It made me so mad though that I downloaded a keystroking program =3 heh! Next time this happens, I'll just paste the lost typing out of the keystroker's log


Ho ho ho!

Basically, I had said that some of these anti-American "they can't read" comments are really obnoxious and even slightly offensive, why would Hollywood make a movie with English subtitles? That's completely ridiculous, making a movie for a country in that country but in another language. No one would do that unless it was to make some artistic point.

Anyways, watching subbed movies takes more effort, and a little experience to get the timing right so that you aren't missing the movie visually or missing key lines. The typical American goes to the cinema to see a simple plot with a dramatic ending that does all the storytelling work for you. In other words, movies are viewed as more of a fun pastime activity as compared to an artistic experience.

I believe that some other countries take this artistic approach, and promote movies that are a little more challenging. These foreign and/or artsy movies tend to have a complicated plot with underlying themes the viewer has to pick up on to fully enjoy the film. Hollywood pratically spoon-feeds you everything.

I personally love foreign films, so would enjoy a subbed version better, probably because I've always watched a lot of old and foreign films (even silent ones) and watched a lot of subbed anime, so I'm used to reading subs. Not everyone has the same taste though.

From what I understand, even the book is culturally/factually off though, very much Americanizing geisha. I have studied geisha history some, but not in-depth enough to notice these rumored inaccuracies. The point is, if the book is Americanized, the movie is going to be even more-so.

Marcus's opinion sounds bitter more than anything...I'm sorry you don't have mush access to anything other than American movies subbed in other languages, but your resentment is ill-placed. I'm sure there are much better films to see made in Sweden...from my understanding, only the big films really make it overseas, which are mostly horrible movies anyways. I do very much agree that reading is underrated, but reading a book and watching a movie are different activities.

Your comment really irritates me though, it's sounds so spiteful! Americans CAN go see a subbed film if they want to, but we aren't going to MAKE one when we can produce it in English. Sure, a lot can be said about America's faults and worldly ignorance, I'm pretty unpatriotic myself and even ashamed sometimes, but English is one of the biggest languages in the world (certainly not the best language, just more widespread) so it's purely economical for these big blockbuster movies to be in English.

Also, I can see both sides of the issue on the casting of Zhang Ziyi (I personally don't carre what her ethnicity is, but I think Sayuri should be played by the most-qualified actress, not more recognizable)

As to Zhang not being mature enough, I think that is a null point since the movie is focused on her BECOMING a geisha aka mostly while she in a maiko/in training period, so the immaturity is realistic. I'm not sure if she has the skill to play a geisha, but then I'm not that educated of a judge.

*Sigh* I really wish I hadn't lost that comment, I put a lot of work into stating things the best I could and trying to be polite as well...but oh well!

Sorry if this comes off as rude or too blunt, I'm just grouchy...

( Y^Y )

If anyone actually read this novel and a half of loud opinion, thanks so much!!! If you have feedback, feel free to email me!


~Callie <3


hola..se que en la vida hay muchas cosas por hacer pero algunas parecen imposibles....alguna ves quiesiera poder desirle a mi enemigo....ya no pelemos mas.
si todos pusieramos un poco de nosotros este mundo en donde vivimos seria diferente.
saludos a todos no se que hago aca ni se que es esto....solo queria desir que me fascina todo sobre las geishas y me gustaria ser una de ellas para que dejaran de ver mi exterior para conocerme en verdad...


anyway, I think Ziyi Zhang had tried her best,I don`t think if any Japanese women actor can play more better than her.
The are clever because they use Ziyi Zhang,but if they use a japanese actor it won`t be, in Holloywood,nearly have no such good Japanese actor


j'ai trouver ce film tres interesant. plein d'emotion et il est tres bien realiser


actually, this movie doestn't allow to release offically in china, because it will trigger new round of anti-japanese emotion after the distorting history issue. from chinese perspective, some say that it's natural that the american director found three chinese actresses who got international infulence in movie area, and zhang ziyi is the one of the few recoganizable asian faces in hollywood. what's more, westener cannot tell how different of east asian faces. besides, this story was written by an american also. so this movie is doomed an western style one, totally commercial movie. some say that the role of geisha reminds chinese people the comfort women who suffered trial and tribulation from japaneses 731 troops during 1930s and 1940s when they invaded china. plus the hostile political relation between two countries, wowww, i cannot tell. at economic level, we are really good friends, and japanese industries in china are chinese biggest tax payer. but for the political aspect, we are always looking and thinking to the war history so that make us two people regard each other as enemy.

memory of a geisha


China and Japan share a long history and, from Buddhism to scripts, our culture has greatly enriched theirs.
we also share an economic past and present, with the two of us becoming increasingly interdependent. This should logically lead to increasing cultural exchanges. And "Memoirs" somehow provides a chance to serve that purpose.


who cares about she is japanese or chinese. Just enjoy the movie and shut up. Till you find something that she has done wrong....otherwise, just hide in your hole and feel pity for yourself.


If the veteran Japanese director, Seijun Suzuki, could cast Zhang Ziyi to play Princess Raccoon, a well-known character in the Japanese fairy tale, why can't Hollywood have her play Sayuri?! Suzuki said that Ziyi is the most fitting actress to play this role, but NOT any other Japanese actresses. If she could sing in Japanese and dance in Kimono the Japanese dances in the Japanese-directed Princess Raccoon, that says far enough she could play any Japanese role.

Princess Raccoon

Zhang Ziyi plays a raccoon spirit princess in this musical love-story by Japanese director Seijun Suzuki. Her character, Tanuki-hime, falls in love with Amechiyo (Joe Odagiri), a prince who has been banished from his father's castle. The sets of the film will resemble those of a play on stage. Director Suzuki says: "Imagine blending elements of architecture, art and traditional performing arts like Kabuki and Noh... with opera, ballet, and rock'n'roll! Princess Raccoon tells a compelling story about the triumphant nature of self-determination, beauty, and love.


I think this is a story that needs to be told. Most Americans think Geishas are prostitutes. They don't really understand what a Geisha is.

I live near Moss Beach and watched some of the filming. Although the story will be sort of a downer, it looks like it will be a good one and well acted. I would imagine the scenery will be breathtaking. I'm looking forward to it's release.

I am judging the acting by what I saw. This was the erly part of the story where the sisters were young girls. I've always liked Ken Watanabe. He's the only person I knew.



I'm so sorry, I forgot a major detail, geishas are japanese, I'm so sorry. I didnot mean it. But, you can still send me emails ;).


Hello women of China

I understand your suffering, cause I've been volunteerly trapped by a man who used to fuck dead geishas, and the worst of all is that I'm not kidding, I have some proofs, but, I can only give them by emails, or whatever, you know internet is not a secured place, but remember that I will not betrayed women who respect other women. But in fact, now I am (kidding), because I knew it all along... So I can speak fluently speak french, je parle bien français, vous voyez. Je sais aussi dire quelques mots en chinois. Wo ciang ni, wo ai ni, lan seu, etc ... et même que j'en écris de temps en temps /\ <-- homme. Yo sé tambien hablar español. Et également, je n'omets pas le fait que j'ai déjà porter des corsets, des kimonos etc ... Si vous êtes gentils, vous aurez droit à ma photo :).


hello again
i guess i just wanted to say that any movie about a geisha (even if the book it is based on is written in english or any other language) would be more credible , more "true" if it was in japanise, filmed in japan, and maybe with japanise actors who i guess would understand better then any what it meant/mean to be a geisha.

well... much like i would like to see a movie about elvis in american english and not in japanise or swedish :-) (it would be funnier in finnish ::))) )

now... i always thought that it is a director«s duty to get the best out of the actors, but i guess noone succeded in doing that when it comes to zhang ziyi. she can«t play passionate , in love women

again: all the best for you all


good lord..armageddon? pearl harbour?.. those two examples alone are enough to sway the aritculate. like buying a candy bar and getting only the wrapper. Though I think I would have changed the titles so the advertising fits the product. something like Propaganda Harbor, and Cliche Guys Save Planet for Oil Company! or something equally referential. I'll admit the thought of a "japanese woman roll" intrigues me, sushi can surely be interesting..I've heard there were such things, but I feel perhaps that the word "role" was intended.. I'll try to hide my disappointment.;)
as for white make-up scaring american movie audiences...more than a sequel involving Sarah Michelle Guellar.. or the cast of Scooby Doo?...do tell. It reminds me how small minded mass media can be. and a gold digger?..really?..while I'll admit I am sad to hear this, particularly since I have no gold to speak of, I must ask..what kind of shovel does a gold digger use? ah but again I am off topic. this post generated some really insightful comments! <(^0^)> thanks to all!


though i like zhang ziyi in chinese films, i take offense to putting a chinese woman in a japanese roll, especially that of a geisha which is the most feminine of all japanese woman rolls. i think that she was cast in this film mainly for the fact that she is a "face" and the american people can't tell the difference between chinese, koreans, thai, japanese, etc anyway.

as to teejay's comment about the makeup, please refer to this article that states that the production staff of "memoirs" has eliminated the white makeup because they think that americans find it frightening! god, do they take us all for idiots?!


i'm personally appalled by the whole thing. i love subtitled films and would rather see a japanese cast and read subtitles than have a completly unauthentic movie with a non-japanese cast. what a waste.

also, as to simina's comment about the subtitles, the majority of americans CAN read :) they just cannot read fast. asian languages like chinese and japanese are spoken very fast and sometimes the subtitles go too quickly for the average american to read them. also, some americans believe that if a film is subtitled it is therefore "arty" and a waste of time. this view is commonly held by people who feel that "armageddon" and "pearl harbor" are the greatest films of all time. i, though, am a fast reader and prefer subtitles to dubbing. most americans would not agree with me.

Kim Yong

Honestly, I seriously doubt Miss Zhang's acting skill is upto par. She's pretty that I'll agree. She's rumoured to be very aggresive person and a golddigger. Consequently, isn't very highly regarded in the chinese film industry


Thank You Marcus! :)I agree. Though the whole Geisha topic is something that is shrouded in its own mystic to this day. I blame it on the magic which is Woman. Mystery begins with a "W" I think. I think I would like Sweden from all I've heard. I have a friend who lives there..maybe one day soon. :D


robert: Yes, I agree - that's pretty much what I said to Simina. Hollywood seems to prefer making sub-par remakes to adding subtitles to existing films. Thankfully dubs seem now to be restricted to animated films - and their popularity there is waning due to the glossing required in order to lip-sync, giving the "oversimplified quasi-metaphor" you mention.
In the case of "Memoirs of a Geisha" though, I can understand why they're doing it in English, as the original book was written in English! Cool though it would be to see a Geisha film in Japanese...
I need a new country.
I'm sure you'd be quite welcome in Sweden! ^_^


could we get some subtitles Marcus? I have to agree with simina. Subtitles are far more preferable. nothing I hate worse than a movie that is dubbed. It steals from the artistry of the performance, it robs the film of its culture and it makes for a lazy audience with no interaction to the whole substance of the film. It's like reading one of those sanitized travel guides. You get some vague, often misunderstood context, or an oversimplified quasi-metaphor. I prefer to watch, read, and soak in all that the film gives, as it was originally conceived. It's one reason why I enjoy visual art so much, it transcends linguistics. I agree. More subtitles.. or more reality, not every American is as dumb as Dubya. I need a new country. :(


simina: Det är bara för att de ofta är lat och inte *vill* läsa texten. Bättre att göra hela filmen om än att skriva text under den, tycker Hollywood. Det är därför att vi nu har skit som "The Ring" och "The Grudge" osv på engelska, även om de ursprungliga filmer är så *mycket* bättre. Snart får vi fler asdåliga remakes. ;_; Det gäller också nordiska filmer, tex "Insonmia".
Men det ska inte göra man arg; det betyder åtminstone att fler folk får se på dessa bra filmer, om de blir nyfiken om de ursprungliga versioner.
Och det fanns ju "Amélie från Montmartre" och "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" som hade text nedanför.
Det vore ju bra att se Geisha-filmen på japanska... men i detta fall kan jag väl förstår varför de gör filmen på engelska, eftersom boken *skrevs* på engelska i början!


hello. i have many years wondered about one simple question: why aren´t americans able to read? what i mean is: 98% of the movies we CAN see here in europe (main sources) are hollywood movies. my guess is that they are made primarily for americans as they all the actors are speaking english. how do we manage to see them movies? they have a little written translation at the bottom of the screen, do you know what i mean? and therefore i wonder: why can´t americans see a movie about a geisha in japanise withe the translation in english at the bottom... reading is under rated nowadays.... all the best to you all, from sweden

The comments to this entry are closed.

Become a Fan