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Abe Sada – The Killing Geisha

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Abe Sada was a Japanese geisha and prostitute, famous for having killed and castrated her lover and for having brought his member in her kimono for a few days, until the day of her arrest.

Family

Abe Sada comes from a middle class family, manufacturer of tatami. Seventh of the eight children of the family, she is the youngest of the four who survived. The father is remembered as an honest man, who never had problems with the law, while the mother was known to have had some “moral failing.”

The brother of Sada is a womanizer, and after marrying he escapes with his parents’ money. Even one of the sisters had many lovers and the father, to punish her, sent her to work in a brothel.

This was a typical punishment to correct the moral behavior of women and, once she got back home, she got married.

Childhood

Sada was born in 1905 and being the youngest of the Abe family, her mother allowed her to choose what to do in life. Since childhood she showed a great interest in the world of the geishas and the show business and insisting on taking shamisen lessons, the instrument linked to the world of geishas and prostitution.

As a teenager she began to hang out with bad company, and when she was 15 she was raped. Despite the support of family, she became a rebellious teenager.

After becoming impossible to deal with, in 1922 her father decided to sell her to a tea house, where geishas worked.

Both him and her sister recalled that it had been Sada’s will to work there, while she said that she had been sent there as a punishment from her father, to correct her promiscuous behavior.

Prostitution

Abe Sada

She is not, however, taken to work neither as a geisha nor as maiko (apprentice geisha) because she was too big and she was put to sexually entertain the geisha’s clients.

After five years she contracted syphilis and from that moment she would have to regularly undergo checks, just like prostitutes (who at that time were working legally with a license).

She then decided to become a prostitute for all purposes because it would make her earn more money.

So she started to work in Osaka, where she gained a bad reputation for robbing customers. She tried to escape several times, but she was promptly caught.

After two years she finally succeeded in his escape and started working as a waitress. But not finding the pay satisfactory enough she decided to go back to being a prostitute, this time without a license, and in 1932 she started working in an illegal brothel in Osaka.

In 1934 the police made a raid and Abe Sada was arrested. A friend of the brothel’s owner, who had a lot of connections, saw Sada and fell in love with her. He makes sure to free her, made her his mistress and gave her a home and an income.

Later interviewed, he said that she was a very strong woman, who always wanted to be pleased at least 3 or 4 times a day. At first it was great, but after two weeks, the man was exhausted.

Sada asked him to leave his wife and marry her, but he refused. She then offered him to have another lover, but he didn’t accept this request either and Sada decided to run away to Nagoya where, in 1935, she began working as a waitress.

Meeting with Kichizo Ishida

In the restaurant she met Goro Omiya and fell in love with him, but knowing that the owner would not tolerate a sexual relationship between a waitress and a customer she decided to go to Tokyo.

Omiya, a professor and aspiring parliamentary candidate, joined her and made her stay in a spa at his own expense, after learning that she suffered from syphilis. He also advised her to open a small restaurant and to start her apprenticeship.

So in 1936 she became an apprentice at the restaurant Yoshidaya whose owner is the forty-two year old Kichizo Ishida.

Ishida, well-known womanizer he soon started to flirt with Sada, not sexually satisfied by Omiya, gave in.

In mid-April they began their relationship and on the 23rd of the same month they fixed a date in a tea house, the equivalent of a motel. It was supposed to be a quick meeting instead they remained in bed for two days. Later they moved into other tea houses and returned home after two weeks.

Sada was completely in love with Ishida and later affirmed that with him she had finally been able to experience true love.

After their sexual encounter Sada became very jealous and could no longer bear the idea that her beloved would return to his wife. Then she started to think about the murder, which she carried out a short time later.

She threatened Ishida to kill him if he didn’t leave his wife, but he seemed more amused than frightened.

The murder

abe sada

In one of their sexual encounters, Ishida asked Sada to put tape around his throat because this increased his sexual pleasure. Sada did it and wanted to try as well.

Then she soothed Ishida with tranquilizers to avoid making him suffer and, once asleep, she strangled him with her kimono lace until she killed him.

She remains a few hours lying next to his body, then cut the genitals, wrapped them in sheets of paper, washes her hands and left the room, telling the staff not to disturb Ishida who was sleeping.

Sada escaped and went toa hotel under a false name. Shewrote farewell letters to Omiya, a few friends and Ishida and plannedher suicide. The police, however, after finding her name written on Ishida’s body with her blood, was already on her trail.

Sada said that Ishida’s penis was the fondest memory she had of him and that she had tried to have sex with her lover’s mutilated penis, but without success.

At 4 in the afternoon, the police entered her room and arrested her. When they asked why she had killed Ishida, Sada answered that she loved him so much that she could not bear to have him with other women. And that if he killed him then he would be just hers and not anyone else’s.

The trial

Abe Sada

On November 25, 1936 the trialbegan and Abe Sada was accused of murder, mutilation and sexual perversion.

Sada felt deeply offended by that accusation and asked to have a psychiatric evaluation done on her. The survey actually revealed that she was not a sexual pervert but only a nymphomaniac.

After this result Sada confessed the murder and mutilation and was sentenced to just six years in prison.

However in 1940 there was a general amnesty for the 2600 years of the accession of Emperor Jimmu and a year later Sada was released.

Little is known of her life after her release. We know that she changed name and was married but her husband, after having discovered the true identity, filed for divorce. The last information we have of her date back to 1970.

Abe Sada became the subject of many novels, films and documentaries.