Memoirs of a Geisha Memoirs of a Geisha discussion


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Did anyone felt sorry for Hatsumomo?

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Keerthi Vasan I mean she is a terrible woman, but ending her character like that doesn't seem right. I felt sorry for her.


Maria I did a little bit. I think it is more because the principal of the saying, I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy. Usually, in most cases, you wouldn't really enjoy many of the worst things in life on anyone else, no matter if they are a cruel person.


Monica I did she was my fav character but i usually like most villians. I wish she could have a better ending


Keiley As much as I was rooting against Hatsumomo for most of the novel, I was a little unsatisfied regarding how she left the story and what happened to her next. She wasn't a good person, but she was a great character. I often wonder about her, did she really become a prostitute in a nearby district, or were they right in saying she drank herself to death during the war?

Drives me mad not knowing!


Diana Not really. After all her lying and cheating plus going into overdrive to sabotage Sayuri from becoming a successful geisha...I am afraid I feel she got what she deserved...


Sarah I found her one of the most interesting characters in the book and her ending felt very underwhelming in comparison. The more I reflect on Hatsumomo the more I like her. I also teter between hating then ending she was given and loving it since it shows just how quickly a geisha can become insignificant.


Hasnain Bahleem SHE WAS A DIVA :D
she gives a whole New Meaning to
Hell has no wrath like a woman scorned
and Like really she was Gorgeous


Indeneri I felt sorry for Hatsumomo. She was stuck in a place in life she didn't like, but couldn't escape from.

I thought she had fight and defiance in her that made her rebel against the cage she was in, and I liked her for that. Unfortunately that's also why she lost it in the end and had to be chucked out. She wasn't a survivor like Sayuri.


Jabar Wilson I did feel sorry for her. I wonder if her past made her angry inside. Or maybe she was treated badly by someone in the Okiya and she couldnt let go of that emotion. I dont think she did "drink herself to death."


Fatima H 240521 H 240521 Hatsumomo treated Sayori very badly like she was "nobody" and spread a bad rumors in the surrounding society.Also she did incited Pumpkin against Sayori. She had a bad attitude with every one, she wasn't a true geisha from inside out. Even if Hatsumomo was raised in unsuitable environment the good moral come from the nature. I don't feel sorry for her.


message 11: by Somi (new) - rated it 5 stars

Somi I feel like she brought it upon herself.

It's really sad when someone who can have it all if they just apply a little wisdom to their lives, wrecks everything with their character flaws. Hatsumomo killed all her prospects with her jealous and vengeful nature.

I felt sorry for her, not because she was a bad person, I like bad people in fiction because we need all sorts (right?), but because she didn't have the focus to view her life for what it was and consider her best option/choices.


message 12: by Pat (last edited Mar 26, 2013 08:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Pat Karma....what you put out will eventually return to you. I try to think along those lines.
Perhaps I read too much into choices we have and whether we listen to that "good" voice who says, "that isn't nice, don't do it". Or that "bad" voice that tells you "go ahead...who cares? they get what they deserve"
Could Hatsumomo been a nice person? We all make choices. I agree with Somi, I think Hatsumomo did bring it on herself. But, Fatima H, I still feel just a teensy bit sorry for her. But, you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. That is the best analogy I can come up with at the moment.
But there really are people who are just plain rotten through and through! I find it best to avoid them at all cost.


Indeneri Although I feel sorry for her, I don't think Hatsumomo was a good person. She made some bad choices in her life and did trouble Sayuri because she was stronger. I just wish she could have used her defiant spirit in a good way.


message 14: by Maria (new)

Maria I didn't feel sorry for Hatsumomo simply because she knew exactly what kind of person she was a lying and manipulating B****. She was too smart in her schemes and knew how to use her beauty and power. It was a disappointment to hear she ended up in prostitution because it meant she gave up and became like Pumpkin(by this I mean eating away her life and not thinking for herself). I didn't appreciate how bad she treated others, just because she ended badly doesn't justify how she treated Sayuri or anyone else. So, no I do not feel sorry for her


message 15: by Dzee (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dzee Not really. The only characters I really felt sorry for were Nobu and Pumpkin.


Carla Varca The movie makes me feel sorry for hatsumomo. I think hatsumomo is just an insecure b*tch, disappointed and frustrated in her life. Circumstances has made her cruel But i think she deserves what she got in the end. Karma :)


Jdude81 I felt she got exactly what she deserved. She deserved whatever suffering came to her after her fall from power Not only was she nasty to Sayuri, but she had been nasty to Mameha, Pumpkin, the inhabitants of the okiya, and presumably anyone/everyone of lesser standing that she encountered. No matter how you feel, you are still responsible for you how act. Granted the circumstances of her life couldn't have been a cakewalk, but she was blessed with beauty, talent, and a quasi-cleverness. If she were truly clever enough to realize that if she hadn't been so hateful SHE would have been adopted as daughter of the okiya well before Sayuri ever came along and her life would have been set. Yet she shot herself in the foot for that one too... I feel like this is the only book I've ever read where the protagonist got exactly what he/she deserved.


message 18: by Dee (new)

Dee I do not feel sorry for Hatsumomo because she shares the same pain as many geishas and she decided to give pain rather than some comfort. She was beautiful and famous in her own right but she was not fully able to appreciate it because in essence she was still property. Hatsumomo treated Sayuri with distain because of her unusual beauty and did her best to ruin her. This may have been an opportunity for friendships and bonds to be formed and real change to start.


message 19: by Toni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Toni no, i didn't feel sorry


message 20: by Toni (new) - rated it 5 stars

Toni thanks for commenting on a book i read!


message 21: by Erin (last edited May 06, 2013 08:50PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Erin I really did feel bad for her, although I think her fate was a bit inevitable. She made her bed and she had to be the one to lie in it. But honestly I think both she and Sayuri did what they had to, given their environment to survive and you can't hate her for that. Her ending in the book made a lot of sense because when you boiled the character down she was a vain, proud woman, taught to rely on her body and her looks. You knew she was going to wind up empty and alone because she was so cold and made no real friends; all she seemed to care about was her fame and popularity. It's not really her fault, the society of the time forced her to be that way. We don't know enough of her background to properly assume that she had any other choice to consider. I think deep down she wanted a friend, a true friend, but she was so focused on the competitiveness in the life of a geisha that she didn't see that until it was too late.


message 22: by Neil (new)

Neil What are ye on about, they drove her insane?! Alright, she was a mean woman and had a bad attitude but ultimately nothing she really did deserved being driven to madness. Spreading rumours...that was just childish. Gave her a slap...well you could move past that. I mean everything she did always seemed so tame. I thought she was gonna have her murdered or something the way the writer was building up how dangerous she was supposedly.


Morexette She's the geisha in town with an attitude. For all the mean and provoking things she did to Sayuri/Chiyo and even to the lovely Mameha, she deserved it. But it was mentioned in the book that Sayuri questioned her fate. In my first read, my mind immediately registered that Hatsumomo went off to be a prostitute but I misunderstood it completely. And well, yes, she deserved it but at some point...she's the deepest antagonist I've encountered and the way she ended up, leaving her role, just doesn't seem right.


Honey She was evil in so many ways and the reader is led to dislike Hatsumomo especially in light of how she treats Chiyo (Sayuri), of course mostly with much reason. However I believe a lot of Hatsumomo's attitude was simply a need to feel important again, wanted. And when you look at it in the light of what a Geisha's life leads up to, that is the main focus for them. She worked her whole life to get such recognition both as a Geisha and as a woman to be much desired (which, let's face it in her prime she very much was) and in the end due to her insane amount of pride she was driven to losing everything she ever worked for. The minute Chiyo entered the Okiya Hatsumomo knew that she would be constantly overshadowed by little Chiyo and in the end it drove her mad. I honestly felt for her when she began to see how Sayuri was better/more respected by Mother and Auntie etc. especially when Mother so harshly announced that everything was to be left to Sayuri. In my mind Hatsumomo is a tragic character with excruciatingly real attitude who came to a pretty rough end.


Carol I read this book such a long time ago but reading all of your comments makes me think " Wow, I gotta read this book again" . It was that good !


message 26: by Erin (new) - added it

Erin Pallott I felt sorry for most of the characters throughout the whole thing.


message 27: by Enrique (last edited May 21, 2013 08:01PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Enrique Cruz I just read the chapter when Hatsumomo disappears. She was a horrible person to Chiyo, but maybe it was just an escape to her real problems inside.

Her fate was really tragic, and it's sad how even Chiyo, (who suffered the most) felt sorry for her.


Areana Felix Well Hatsumomo was an evil and awful woman. Sometimes I would wish that she died or something bad would happen to her because she made poor Sayuri's life impossible. But its karma still that should really happen to her.


Laurie Dubay I think Hatsumomo was bitter and twisted because she wasn't allowed to lead a natural life. (natural for her). But I still believe that she knew what damage she was causing and that she did it intentionally, so in that way she had consequences coming. I don't think consequence deals in judgement, only in justice. My view is that that's what she got.


message 30: by [deleted user] (new)

Yes, in a way its possible to feel pity for her (when you might think of the things she had had to suffered as a woman)but from a distant. One one, no woman or man will deliberately ever want to cross path with a person like Hatsumomo. Frankly speaking she got what she deserved.


Rachna Sharma Yes, i did felt sorry for her, but as an character she knew exactly what she was doing, i think she damaged herself more by her attitude, she was popular and she used that as a weapon against a small girl, i have no clue why she did it.. I really cannot relate her but still feel sorry her.


Kristi Casey I really didn't like this book or any of the characters at all and am surprised it is on so many 'must read' lists.


message 33: by Luxia (last edited Aug 11, 2013 03:47PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Luxia As much as I hated Hatsumomo, she was definitely my favorite character in the entire book. Chiyo just came off
as slightly boring and pathetic to me personally, at least Pumpkin wasn't as selfish as Chiyo was and only wanted a home
to call her own. Hatsumomo was totally sacrificed just for the sake of Golden's
Cinderella story and Sayuri´s happy ending. I felt that all of the characters had to suffer just
for she could be with the chairman. Anyways, Hatsumomo was what I like to call the perfect
villian. She was beautiful, mysterious, clever, funny, and just oh so unnecessarily nasty. She got a taste of her own medicine for all the messed up things she did
throughout the story, I got my jollies when I got to the part of her downfall and watched her
literally go crazy. She was clearly a Sociopathic person. I didn't feel
sorry for Hatsumomo and her demise as a Geisha or tragic fate after leaving Goin because of
the simple fact she had no one to blame but herself. If she was kinder and treated everyone
at the Okiya with better respect...I don't think mother would have been so quick to toss her
out on to the street like that. But since Hatsumomo wanted to go about every situation in
such a scandalous manner...it was her own fault. She ruined her own reputation as no one
wanted anything to do with her due to her obvious mental breakdown that she brought upon
herself. So she had no one else to turn to...she basically got exiled from Gion. KARMA IS A B!
The only sympathy I had for her was when her lover Koichi dumped her...but that's about it. Still, on the otherhand I wouldn't wish Alcoholism and Prostitution on my worst enemy! Sad, sad, sad.


Heather I guess when someone acts like that, it makes me wonder what their background is. Things happen and you can tell yourself that it will not change you negatively, but more often than not you are simply changed and don't know how it happened. Perhaps Hatsumomo became a horrible person because it was her only defense mechanism to survival in her environment/culture? Call me an eternal optimist, but I'm always trying to understand why people are the way they are, instead of simply judging them based upon what I see/read. If I haven't "walked a mile in their shoes...." :)


Karyn i hate hatsumono


Sandy Carla wrote: "The movie makes me feel sorry for hatsumomo. I think hatsumomo is just an insecure b*tch, disappointed and frustrated in her life. Circumstances has made her cruel But i think she deserves what sh..."

Did you like the movie more than the book?


message 37: by Nora (new) - rated it 5 stars

Nora Sandy wrote: "Carla wrote: "The movie makes me feel sorry for hatsumomo. I think hatsumomo is just an insecure b*tch, disappointed and frustrated in her life. Circumstances has made her cruel But i think she de..."

I loved the book, disgusted with Hatsumomo, and liked the movie.


message 38: by Brian (new) - added it

Brian Merritt I felt very sorry for her. She was a jerk, but all the Geisha are competing somehow.


message 39: by Marc (new) - rated it 3 stars

Marc Yeah I did feel sorry for her even though she did make mistakes, but those mistakes made the book a good read.


Risse I wish they had a back story on hatsumomo. there are reasons for why she behaved like that. how she was brought up and what she had to go through. i felt sorry for her yes, but being a big b!tch about everything made you think twice about her. if any ofyou remember though, when it came to the guy that she loved her character seemed softer with him, yeah they were getting it on and all but she seemed and looked like a different hatsumomo. she was all meant to show sayuri what would become of her if she didn't chase the chairman. what would happen if she gave up the love of her life.


Supriya Saikia phukan yeah sure did...she had a bad ending...that was when i felt sorry for Hatsumomo...until then i really hated her for making sayuri's life terrible..


Catarina Yes, i did! Karma's such a huge "thing".


Namrata Ganti I guess i did feel sorry for her as circumstances and situation made her the way she is and with no guiding hand and noone to fall back on she became the way she was.


Michelle I felt like she continually demonstrated with her own strength of character, what life would require and how it could build you, I'd say her character could be used as meter for the girls from the minute she is introduced in the story. The options for women being as limited as they were, even a female villain is something I think we can respect- perhaps moreso because we know how she lacked choice to be much different and survive in spirit.


Sultry I certainly felt sorry for Hatsumomo, even though much of her apparent situation was her own fault. Of course we don't know what shaped her, so as a reader we can't know that. I believe after seeing the screen version, and reading the book twice, that she was jealous of Sayuri' from the first day because of her exotic eyes. Hatsumomo saw all her plans and hopes for the futures go up flames she kindled, in more ways than one, and had no way to go but out to a obviously uncertain and probably downward future. The final scene of her walking away into the misty rain leaves the viewer/reader with the feeling she was destined for the wrong side of her profession. Had she chosen a different attitude toward the entire situation she might have found a more secure future. Her jealousy ate her as attempted to destroy the girl she saw as a rival.


Maria Watson Not at all, Hatsumomo's character was fully developed with evil. She did what any villain does when they have lost their grip and a new reign is coming. Sabotage!


Mijusa Villanueva Hatsumomo is such a bitch... but I think that she should have died at the end of the story. It would have been better. :D


Luxia @Mijusa, If you read the book, which I am assuming you did, it does hint that Hatsumomo did die eventually....in the long run. It hints that she drinks herself to death after the War.


Lobna I feel sorry for all of them , it's too depressing
But I love the book


message 50: by Fran (new) - rated it 5 stars

Fran Yes she is pretty much evil but I love her as a character. I don't blame her for being the way she is. She was deprived of many things. Perhaps it was to a point where she just couldn't take it anymore and she became mean.


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