I just got to watch on DVD Memoirs of a Geisha with Gong Li, Michelle Yeoh, Ben Watanabe, and Ziyi Zhang. I thought it was pretty good, but certain scenes have caused me to wonder if they fiddled with things for the sake of making a movie.
So first will do research and then read the book that spawned the movie. First on the reading list is a book that has lurked in my collection for several years now that I bought at a college book sale and all I have done is peek at certain sections. So now I am going to read it all. The book is called Meeting with Japan by Fosco Maraini, English translation published by The Viking Press in 1960. Maraini was an Italian professor who taught in Japan in the 1930s and 1940s. When Italy switched sides and joined the Allies, him and his family - wife and three daughters- were imprisoned. After the war he worked with the American occupation forces and later revisited Japan on his own. I gathered all this from just skimming the book, I expect to find many nuggets to emerge that shall enrich my understanding of Japan.
If anyone has other books to recommend, I would appreciate the feedback. Wish me luck. Jya ne!
For the adventurous here is the Japanese web site for Sayuri: Memoirs of a Geisha. Movie trailer may load erratically even with high speed connection.