Memoirs of a Geisha Memoirs of a Geisha discussion


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Nobu is a piece of broken concrete

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message 1: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Just something that occurred to me, earlier, based on my remarks in the thread about who Sayuri should have chosen. The comparison may not be entirely accurate, but there are similarities. Two of Iwamura Electric's factories were reduced to rubble, and you could say that Nobu was, too, by the shell that scarred him and took his arm. He wants to "turn (the concrete) into a lovely jewel", making something valuable out of the nothing, just as he did with himself once, and plans to do again.

Looked at this way, giving Sayuri the concrete becomes -for me, at least- the most romantic gesture in the entire book.

"When I ask you for that piece of concrete back and replace it with a jewel instead, the time will have come at last for me to become your danna." It's a promise and almost literal engagement ring. Nobu may have dismissed the idea, but he pretty much just offered her his entire broken self and his willingness to take care of her.


Carina See now you have said it like that it does become much more romantic.

I always felt sorry for Nobu but now what Sayuri does to him is just so much worse!


message 3: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Carina wrote: "See now you have said it like that it does become much more romantic."

I've always thought it was incredibly romantic, but it just hit me earlier. "Ohmigosh, he gave her himself!


Carina Jenny wrote: I've always thought it was incredibly romantic, but it just hit me earlier. "Ohmigosh, he gave her himself!"

I always just thought of it as his promise to her that he will get her pretty things again, but the way you have thought of it is so much more romantic and thoughtful!


message 5: by Jenny (new) - added it

Jenny Carina wrote: "I always just thought of it as his promise to her that he will get her pretty things again"

That's definitely understood, but the way he did it, offering the concrete as a sort of placeholder, was too hopeful not to be anything but an unspoken declaration. Telling her without telling her and thus not leaving himself open to any sort of polite let down.


Yona Yurwit What an excellent reading of that symbol! Well said.


Ronda I enjoyed the book because of the glimpses it provided of another culture, but I hated the adultry part and I really wanted Sayuri to return Nobu's love.


fabby i thought it a promise but later when i read it again yes i did went back a second time i finally got it


message 9: by Anh (new) - rated it 2 stars

Anh I was extremely annoyed with Sayuri. Could she not have just, I don't know, TOLD HIM? Instead of developing that elaborate plan? It made zero sense to me. This was /not/ because of the culture either. I could understand she didn't love him, but making the decision to hurt him after he saved her and loved her so much was no excuse :c Sayuri, what happened to you?


Kirby I really enjoyed reading this- thanks for posting it! :)


Diana Adhiambo Anh wrote: I was extremely annoyed with Sayuri. Could she not have just, I don't know, TOLD HIM? Instead of developing that elaborate plan? It made zero sense to me.

I totally agree Sayuri was treacherous and her character didn't resonate with me in any way. That concrete Nobu gave her seemed to me like his way of making Sayuri promise to remain loyal to him.




Whitney I do feel really bad for Nobu, and the logical decision would have been to choose him. However, we all know very well that we can't choose who we fall inlove with, for whatever reason. Nobu is a great man with a suprisingly tender heart. I hope he found happiness elsewhere and someone to put him back together again.


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