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Memoirs of a Geisha (the book) - Essay Example

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Siyura grows up in the fishing village of Yoroido with her sister when her mother falls ill. Under the hardships faced by their family, their father sells…
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Memoirs of a Geisha (the book)

Download file to see previous pages... Despite the destruction during the war, the country is rebuilt into a modern country under Western influence after the defeat of the Japanese empire. During this period of transformation, Siyura is also transformed, although her own transformation lags behind the changes happening in Japanese society. Siyura watches the modernization of Japan unfold through the changing home front during the war, increasing Western cultural influence, and the presence of American soldiers in a globalized world.
Following the Meiji Restoration, Japan had undergone a dramatic transformation from a feudal society to an industrialized nation. Unable to protect itself from the European colonial powers, Japan was forced to abandon its agrarian society and industrialize (Swale 2009, 6). Although a great deal of focus was placed on modernizing the military, the cities in Japan changed as well to support this effort. Trains and motor vehicles were introduced to Japan in order to improve travel and the transportation of goods. Siyura even had the chance to travel by airplane (Golden 1997, 392), although the experience was not common at the time for Japanese citizens until later. Factories were built to produce manufactured goods. Being born in a small fishing village, Siyuras first introduction to the coming modern world is through her arrival in Kyoto. Arriving in the Gion quarter of Kyoto, Siyura can "hardly see the other side for all the people, bicycles, cars, and trucks" (Golden 1997, 35). The large crowded cities epitomized the entrance into the modern age. It was necessary to concentrate the populace in the cities in order to provide a workforce for the factories (Wilkinson 1962, 679). In contrast, it was necessary for people to be dispersed under the old agriculturally-based economy. The whole experience of seeing a large city for the first time was both shocking and frightening to Siyura (Golden 1997, 35).
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