Power Relation In Memoirs Of Geisha And The Dancer

Register Journal. 2014;7(2) DOI 10.18326/rgt.v7i2.213


Journal Homepage

Journal Title: Register Journal

ISSN: 1979-8903 (Print); 2503-040X (Online)

Publisher: IAIN Salatiga

Society/Institution: ELITE Association Indonesia

LCC Subject Category: Language and Literature: Philology. Linguistics: Language. Linguistic theory. Comparative grammar

Country of publisher: Indonesia

Language of fulltext: English

Full-text formats available: PDF



Mundi Rahayu (English Language and Letters – Faculty of Humanities UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang)
Lia Emelda (English Language and Letters – Faculty of Humanities UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang)
Siti Aisyah (English Language and Letters – Faculty of Humanities UIN Maulana Malik Ibrahim Malang)


Double blind peer review

Editorial Board

Instructions for authors

Time From Submission to Publication: 28 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

This article aims at comparing the ideas of power relation between the main female character and ―Mother‖ in Arthur Golden‘s Memoirs of Geisha and Ahmad Tohari‘s The Dancer. These two novels share the same main female character of traditional entertainers, as a Japanese geisha and a Javanese traditional dancer, respectively. As an entertainer in the traditional sphere, they are bounded with the other women and build close interaction as well as power relation with them who are called ―Mother‖ in the Geisha and ―ronggeng shaman‖ in The Dancer. The power relation between them are unique and dynamics. This is analyzed through Foucault‘s theory of power. The result of the analysis shows that the power relation is not stable, and the power practiced by each of them is influenced by the symbolic capital and economic capital they have. The negotiation and contestation come up between the actors in daily practices as geisha and the mother, as the ―ronggeng‖ and the shaman. As the entertainers, the geisha and ―ronggeng‖ build and shape their body and performance to attract men. This geisha and ronggeng culture reproduce many other cultural product such as ―mizuage‖ in geisha, and ―bukak klambu‖ in ―ronggeng‖ both of which refer to the same thing, selling the woman‘s virginity to the highest bidder. In geisha it is used to benefit the Mother of Okiya and no rebellion of the geisha. On the other hand, Srintil does rebellious action in this ―bukak klambu‖ occasion. There seems to be different message from these two novels, The Dancer is much more questioning the norms covering the ―ronggeng‖ tradition while the Memoirs of Geisha tends to be accepting the geisha tradition as what it is. Artikel ini bertujuan untuk membandingkan relasi kuasa antara karakter utama perempuan Geisha dan ―Mother‖ dalam Memoirs of Geisha dan Srintil, penari ronggeng dan Nyi Kartareja (dukun ronggeng) dalam The Dancer karya Ahmad Tohari. Kedua novel ini dibandingkan karena keduanya sama-sama mempunyai karakter utama perempuan muda penghibur, geisha dan ronggeng, dalam budaya hiburan tradisional. Sebagai penghibur, keduanya sama-sama terkait erat dengan tokoh perempuan lain yang disebut ―Mother‖ dalam Memoirs of Geisha and Nyai Kartareja dalam The Dancer. Relasi kuasa di antara keduanya sangat unik dan berjalan secara dinamis. Relasi kuasa inilah yang dianalisis dengan menggunakan teori kuasa Foucault. Hasil penelitian ini menunjukkan bahwa relasi kuasa di antara keduanya berjalan tidak tetap, kuasa yang dijalankan oleh masing-masing tokoh dipengaruhi oleh modal simbolik dan modal ekonomi yang dimiliki. Negosiasi dan kontestasi muncul di antara tokoh-tokoh tersebut dalam praktik sehari-hari, dalam relasi Sayuri sebagai geisha dan ―mother‖, dan antara Srintil si ronggeng dan dukun ronggeng. Sebagai geisha dan ronggeng, para perempuan ini membentuk tubuh dan penampilannya untuk menarik dan menghibur laki-laki. Budaya geisha dan ronggeng ini mereproduksi berbagai kultur lainnya seperti mizuage dalam geisha, dan ―bukak klambu‖ dalam ronggeng, yang keduanya sama-sama bermakna menjual keperawanan perempuan kepada penawar tertinggi. ―Mother‖ pemilik Okiya diuntungkan oleh praktik ini, di sisi lain, Srintil berhasil mengelabuhi orang lain dalam peristiwa ―bukak klambu‖. Muncul pesan yang berbeda dari kedua novel ini, dalam The Dancer norma-norma dalam tradisi ―ronggeng‖ dipertanyakan sementara Memoirs of Geisha cenderung menerima tradisi geisha sebagaimana adanya.