Thursday, May 17, 2007
Ongoing Geisha Saga
Longtime Japundit reader remember the furor over "Memoirs of a Geisha." Not only was the novel, on which the film was based, written by a western man, but the leading role in the film was portrayed by a Chinese actress. In addition, Arthur Golden, the author of the book, named his primary source of information, Mineko Iwaaki, despite an apparent promise to have kept her name under wraps. Iwasaki sued, angry that her identity had been disclosed, and also because the book and film version of the book included a controversial scene in which the heroine's virginity was auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Iwasaki and Golden settled their suit privately. At the same time, Iwasaki went off to write her tremendously engaging memoir Geisha, A Life. I highly recommend you Japundits out there take a look. It's a terrific story.
I learned today that filming for a TV series based on Iwasaki's life is set to begin this fall, and will star none other than Mao Inoue, who jut finished a successful run in my current J-dorama obsession, Hana Yori Dango. I'm thrilled about the news and the casting. Inoue is a terrific young actress, able to cry so convincingly your heart wrenches (Hana Yori Dango 2, when Tsukushi pours her heart out to Tsukuba), charm, banter (in which Tsukushi punches Domyouji and gets his attention), and generally steal nearly every scene she's in. She's also got something of a "Showa Era" quality about her; no eye-lid-enhancing-surgery-devoted-orange-cheeked-starlet is she, but the real thing. A true talent.
I can't wait to see the series and am thrilled that Inoue, a unique and intelligent performer, will play the part. I'm going to go on record and say that I predict big things for this girl; I don't think she's another fly-by-night idol.
First posted at Japundit.