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Hi, need to submit a 1000 words essay on the topic How Japanese women are depicted in American movies.Download file to see previous pages... The history of Hollywood’s cinema repeats itself with yet
Hi, need to submit a 1000 words essay on the topic How Japanese women are depicted in American movies.Download file to see previous pages...
The history of Hollywood’s cinema repeats itself with yet another movie on a geisha who suffers gender conflict when she does not want to conform with what is expected of her. She is treated as an object of sexual desire in a subordinate role and there are many scenes whereby her flesh is exposed to satisfy the male audience’s viewing pleasure for voyeurism. Laura Mulvey has traced this trend of stereotyping the Japanese Oriental woman in Hollywood and derived at her theories of Hollywood using dominant male spectatorship, voyeurism and fetishes (Mulvey 1975). In the movie, Memoirs of a Geisha (2005), the young Chiyo is the object of the desire of the Chairman when he singles her out to perform an act of kindness for her. During this scene of the first and fateful meeting, he sees her fall and comes to her rescue to help her feel better. He tells Chiyo that there is ‘Nothing to be ashamed of. We all stumble from time to time’. It is an act of masculinity and paternity as the Chairman tells Chiyo that ‘My children wait for me to eat dessert’. We admire the Chairman because we are in with him in this act of masculinity. They are interrupted when a group of geisha walk past.Chiyo could have been subtly hinting of what she could become for him when she said diverts his attention towards herself when she said, ‘Look! I’m a geisha!’ Although the attention is shifted back to Chiyo, the male gaze remains on the female. as practiced by the ideology of Hollywood cinema....
perhaps he is uncomfortable with the idea of seeing the
young Chiyo as a geisha.
Golden has written in the theory of Orientalism using
Edward Said's idea that although the oriental culture is
different from the west, it is able to homogenize with the
western culture. The values of masculinity, kindness and
paternity exhibited by the Chairman belong to both Oriental
and western cultures (Golden 1997).
Memoirs of a Geisha also demonstrates Gina Marchetti's
Theory which said that the West uses Oriental gaze to
depict Japanese women as being ready objects to satisfy
a man's voyeurism, fetishistic and other desires. The
Oriental submissiveness has empowered the West to take
advantage of the Asian's subjugate will (Marchetti 1993).
One of the first scenes of Hollywood's devised
voyeurism for the male audience occurs during the initial
apprenticeship training of Sayuri. Mameha, an experienced
and beautiful geisha, is Sayuri's mentor. Mameha introduces
one aspect of the gender role conflict to Sayuri when she
tells Sayuri to assume the multiple roles of a geisha,
an artist and a moving work of art.
This scene shows the novice geisha's preparations in
many areas. Sayuri is shown with a lot of skin exposed in
soft light to emit a sexy allure. This is Hollywood's
accommodation for the male audience who like to watch the
feminine form in compromising positions of servile
obedience to please. The geisha are taught to dance and
seduce by capturing the attention of the male gaze. The
slow erotic dance that calls attention to the feminine form
also wants to entertain the masculine gender by giving him
plenty to see.