Caroline Young, artwork and text
QFWF, from the book “Memoirs of a Geisha”
At the age of 9, Chiyo was sold to Mother, the owner of a geisha house, where she worked as a servant.
Her grace and beauty aroused the hatred and jealousy of the head geisha, the beautiful but evil Hatsumomo.
Seeing great potential in Chiyo, Mameha ― Hatsumomo’s greatest rival ― took the young girl under her wing and mentored her.
Her name was changed to Sayuri, and she became the most sought after geisha in the Gion district.
Fetching the highest price ever paid for her mizuage enabled her to pay off her debt to Mother and become financially independent.
Despite her success, the love and happiness she so yearned for could not be realized due to the taboos and traditions related to her profession.