Memoirs of a Geisha - Movie Quotes - Rotten Tomatoes

Memoirs of a Geisha Quotes

  • Sayuri: I am not worthless!


  • Sayuri Narrator: After all, these are not the memoirs of an empress, nor of a queen. These are memoirs of another kind.


  • The Baron: Mameha asked me to show you my kimono collection. It's quite venerated. My grandfather and father collected kimonos. I've given a number of valuable kimonos to Mameha; I like to give presents to beautiful girls.


  • Sayuri: [As narration] The heart dies a slow death. Shedding each hope like leaves, until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains. She paints her face to hide her face, her eyes a 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: The heart dies a slow death. Shedding each hope like leaves, until one day there are none. No hopes. Nothing remains. She paints her face to hide her face, her eyes a 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.


  • Mameha: You cannot call yourself a true geisha, until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look.
    Mameha: You cannot call yourself a true geisha, you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look.
    Mameha: You cannot call yourself a true geisha until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look.


  • Sayuri: Can't you see? Every step I have taken...since I was that little girl on the bridge...was to bring myself closer to you.
    Sayuri: Can't you see? Every step I have taken... since I was that little girl on the bridge... was to bring myself closer to you.


  • Sayuri: No geisha could never hope for more.


  • Sayuri: How could you?! You don't know what you have done!
    Pumpkin: But I do.
    Sayuri: I do not understand. Why did you have to bring the chairman?
    Pumpkin: Because I know how you feel about him. A long time ago, you took something from me. The only thing I ever truly wanted. Well, now you know how it feels.


  • Hatsumomo: My dear okasan. We will see, won't we?


  • Mother: I'm entitled to do as i choose.
    Mother: I'm entitled to do as I choose.
    Hatsumomo: But you promised the okiya to Pumpkin!
    Mother: Look at her, still a virgin maiko. [Pumpkin gets up and runs off]
    Hatsumomo: Pumpkin! [Hatsumomo tries unsuccessfully to pull her back]
    Sayuri: Can't you adopt us both?
    Mother: Quiet Sayuri. Now I'm no fool. Pumpkin would only be Hatsumomo's puppet. How long will it take before you kick us out on the street.
    Hatsumomo: I have given you my life.
    Mother: Yes your impudence, your foul temper.
    Hatsumomo: Who paid for the silk on your back. The rice in your bowl. The tobacco in that pipe of your!? WHO?!
    Mother: Don't exaggerate! You have not even had a danna.


  • Sayuri: This is how it was in this tiny world of women. Friend turned against friend. And now the two greatest geisha in Miyako at war over me. Hatsumomo at my back, Mameha calling, offering me the chance to be one of those elegant women I'd seen on the bridge, floating in the silk kimono, the chairman at my side.


  • Mother: An odd picture isn't it? Hatsumomo sweeping into tea house after tea house with out little pumpkin and the Mameha with our maid.


  • Mother: Besides I can always sell Chiyo to Mrs. Tatsuyo.
    Mameha: With your eye for beauty and nose for talent, surely you can see what a terrible waste that would be.
    Mother: If you are not the kind-hearted geisha i know you to be, I might think you were scheming against Hatsumomo.
    Mameha: Then I'm grateful, Mrs. Nitta, that you do not have a suspicious mind.
    Mother: Perhaps you can peak my interest with...
    Mameha: Yes?
    Mother: Your offer?
    Mameha: I will cover Chiyo's schooling, all her expenses, until after her debut.
    Mother: Now I am confident you are teasing.
    Mameha: I cannot be more sincere. If Chiyo hasn't paid off her debt within 6 months after her debut...
    Mother: No, impossible, too little time!
    Mameha: Then I will pay you twice over.
    Mother: What? No geisha could ever...


  • Hatsumomo: It's that kimono. She remembers how you destroyed it. Now she wants to get even.


  • Sayuri: Along with the snow, came a most unexpected visitor.


  • Mother: Dr. Muri is very expensive. You seem to be racking up quite a debt. Huh? Kimono destroyed, geisha school, rice and pickle, train ticket, Mr. Bekku. All this on top of the money I paid to Mr. Tanaka. And for what? And now I hear that your sister has run away. She didn't wait for you. And now she can never come back. You must forget that you ever had a sister. Hmm? [grabs a small package and gives it to Chiyo] We are you only family now.
    Auntie: [Chiyo opens it and pauses. Auntie grabs it and reads] "Dear Satsu and little Chiyo, As one who was once an orphan child myself," this humble person is sorry to inform you that "six weeks after you left for you new life in Miyako, the suffering of you honor mother came to an end. And only a few weeks afterwards, your honor father departed this world as well." This humble person is "confident, both your honor parents have found their place in paradise...[reading drifts out]
    Auntie: [Chiyo opens it and pauses. Auntie grabs it and reads] 'Dear Satsu and little Chiyo, As one who was once an orphan child myself,' this humble person is sorry to inform you that "six weeks after you left for you new life in Miyako, the suffering of you honor mother came to an end. And only a few weeks afterwards, your honor father departed this world as well. 'This humble person is 'confident, both your honor parents have found their place in paradise...[reading drifts out]


  • Mameha: You cannot call yourself a true geisha until you can stop a man in his tracks with a single look.


  • Hatsumomo: Hmm, what is it? 20 yen? 30?
    Mother: This can't be the right amount.
    Mameha: I trust you agree. I have won the wager. Sayuri's made history. No mizuagi has ever been sold for more, not even mine. 15,000 yen.


  • Hatsumomo: What did Mameha do? Speak to the director, in private?
    Sayuri: Not every geisha uses that kind of currency.


  • Hatsumomo: Who is responsible for this?! [slams the poster on the table]
    Mother: Ask Mameha.
    Hatsumomo: I'm asking you okasan.
    Pumpkin: How come Sayuri gets to be the lead?
    Mother: It's your own fault. You should practice more.


  • Sayuri: Your honorable sister says, "Cut your leg." You cut your leg. She says, "Follow me." You follow. My life had turned into a game, and only she knew the rules.
    Sayuri: Your honorable sister says, 'Cut your leg.' You cut your leg. She says, 'Follow me.' You follow. My life had turned into a game, and only she knew the rules.


  • Sayuri: I humbly beg to differ. What is sumo, but a dance between giants. What is business, but a dance between companies. I'd like to know about every kind of dance.


  • Hatsumomo: I shall destroy you!


  • Hatsumomo: Sometimes, the smartest remark is silence.
    Sayuri: What better advise to follow than your own.
    Mameha: Sayuri.
    Hatsumomo: I was a maiko myself once.
    Sayuri: Of course, but it's been such a very long, long, long, long time. [Everyone laughs]


  • Mameha: As for the kimono, I am no fool, Chiyo. Hatsumomo, cannot tolerate competition.
    Chiyo: She's jealous of you?
    Mameha: Not me I'm afraid. Someone closer to home.


  • Mameha: Rise. [Chiyo gets up off her knees] Not like a horse.


  • Sayuri: When Mameha granted me my new name, I felt little Chiyo disappear behind a white mask with red lips. I was a maiko now. An apprentice geisha. From that moment, I told myself, when I make tea, when I poured sake, when I danced, when I tied my obi, it will be for the chairman. Until he finds me. Until I am his.


  • Mameha: Remember Chiyo, geisha are not courtesans, and we're not wives. We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another secret world, a place only of beauty. The very word "geisha" means artist, and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art.
    Mameha: [in voiceover] Remember, Chiyo, geisha are not courtesans. And we are not wives. We sell our skills, not our bodies. We create another secret world, a place only of beauty. The very word 'geisha' means artist and to be a geisha is to be judged as a moving work of art.


  • Sayuri: I beg to differ. What is sumo but a dance between giants? What is business but a dance between companies? I wish to know about every kind of dance.
    Sayuri: I humbly beg to differ. What is sumo but a dance between giants? What is business but a dance between companies? I would like to know about every kind of dance.


  • Sayuri: At the temple, there is a poem called "Loss", carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read "Loss"... Only feel it.
    Sayuri: At the temple, there is a poem called 'Loss' carved into the stone. It has three words, but the poet has scratched them out. You cannot read Loss, only feel it.


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