Thursday, April 3, 2008


Korin’s Okiya

Making my debut as a Geisha had passed leaving the okyia without permission was a luxury to me. Even though I did not need my older sister any more I felt that it was very important that I continue to visit Mameha just the same. I owed her a great deal, without her beat with mother I would still be a maid forever in debt to mother. Yoko had received a call. Mameha had asked for my presence, we would be attending a party for the Iwamura Electric Company. It was such short notice; I was supposed to stop by her house first then we would arrive together as usual. I could feel my heart beat faster as I thought about my possible conversation with the Chairman. The Chairman had never been far from my mind.

As I walked to Mameha’s apartment I could smell a faint smell of smoke in the air. I walked so fast forgetting all the Mameha had taught me about proper way a geisha should walk. By the time I reached Mameha’s apartment I had forgotten about the faint smoke smell. As usual my kimono had been laid out for me; it was a vibrant yellow lined in a jade green with a design of big light pink blossom with their brown stems. The blossoms were tilted to the side and wind the color of cream was right behind them. I wasn’t a furious looking wind but a breezy looking wind, not to harsh not to light. This gave the blossoms a sort of movement, which I thought was very impressive and a good choice for a last minuet decision. When finally dress Mameha had already been waiting for me outside. She took a quick moment to gaze at the kimono saying, “Oh Sayuri-san you should have thanked the maids.” When we reached the teahouse we would be entertaining at I noticed that everyone was outside and smoke had totally engulfed the streets. The party was cancelled but the mistress paid us for our trouble. For a moment we both though it was the teahouse on fire but in fact it was the okiya two houses behind the teahouse.

I walked home the evening was dark and the streets were practically bare or at least the barest I have seen in Gion. I entered my okiya and walked to my room to sleep but soon after I had stepped foot in my room the doorbell was rung. I believe one of the maids answered the door I could hear a deep voice talking to the maid, a familiar deep voice. I took a peek to see who it was but to me it looked like a regular peasant but dirtier than usual. As I walked back into the room I could here the maid hurrying upstairs knocking on Hatsumomo’s room door. Moments later Hatsumomo came down to meet the stranger. The more the peasant talked the more familiar the voice sounded. Curiosity forced me to emerge from my room I took another peak down the stairs. The peasant was now inside the okiya facing Hatsumomo. The head suddenly turned to me and the face was all too familiar. Korin was standing there before me; it was the same Korin that played along with Hatsumomo in my torture, the same Korin that watched me as I was forced to ruin Mameha beautiful kimono.

Korin’s okiya was the one that was burning that evening. I should have felt some sort of redemption but I couldn’t. I felt more sympathy than anything else. Korin turned her face to Hatsumomo, her dear friend, to begin her pleading for help. Hatsumomo’s face didn’t change, there was no sympathy in her eyes, and it was like her friend had not existed any more. Hatsumomo said, “Korin! Their nothing I could do for you now, I’m so sorry for your loss.” With that she turned her back and walked away with the same still expression. Korin left the second Hatsumomo was out of sight. The last I heard she had found a factory job in Tokyo and that was the last day I seen Korin.

1 comment:

Stephanie P. 5 said...

I absolutly loved the book, "Memoirs of a Geisha." In my mind this is how I saw Korin's how burning down when they didn't explain it.