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I hope everyone's having a great weekend. Honestly.

And I hope what I'm about to share doesn't ruin everything. :V

So hey, let's talk a little bit about Sada Abe. Geisha, sex worker, waitress, murderer, corpse mutilator, and necrophiliac.
Sada, b. 1905, was the youngest surviving child of Shigeyoshi & Katsu Abe, a married, upper-middle-class couple of tatami mat makers in Tokyo with unblemished reputations. However, Sada and her siblings-- sisters Teruko and Toku, and her brother Shintaro-- proved to be a handful.
Shintaro grew up to be a notorious womanizer, who would eventually marry and run off with a significant chunk of his parent's fortune. And teenage Teruko would accumulate so many lovers that her parents would sell her to a brothel as punishment.

Yes, really.
(They would eventually buy her back, tho, & she had no trouble finding a husband after.)

The baby of the family, Katsu would lavish love & attention on Sada, providing her with comparatively lax discipline & music/singing lessons. But the Abe household was in constant turmoil.
Sent out of the house by mom and dad when the drama at home got to be too much, teenaged Sada fell in with the neighborhood Bad Kids, wandering the streets of Tokyo at night.

At the age of 14, during one of those nights, she was raped by an acquaintance.
Her parents were horrified & supportive, but it wasn't enough. Sada processed the trauma in a familiar way: By becoming completely, utterly unmanageable.

Exhausted by Sada's promiscuity and irresponsibility, the Abes would sell their youngest daughter to a geisha house in 1922.
Later in life, Sada would describe this as an intended punishment for her behavior. However, her sister Toku would claim Sada herself had requested it, after expressing a personal desire to become a geisha.

Which, honestly, wouldn't have been all that usual.
Geisha could become minor celebrities in 1920s Japan. Embodying the Japanese feminine ideal, their personal styles were imitated by fashion-forward women of the time, and their personal lives could be the subject of breathless obsession by countless admirers.
However, the world of geisha was also intensely formalized and hierarchical. The most distinguished in the profession began their apprenticeships at children, and went through years of training as a maiko (literally "dance girl") before being able to claim the title of geisha.
At 17, Sada was past it.

Much like a modern teenager who might suddenly develop an interest in Olympic-level gymnastics, it was far too late for her to ever compete; her youthful singing and shamisen lessons were nothing compared to five years of intense maiko training.
As a result, she was relegated to the lower ranks of geisha, who were expected to be sexually available to their clients.

After five years as a low-ranking geisha, Sada contracted syphilis.
Both prostitution and the Geisha profession were heavily regulated in Japan at the time, and any of those women who caught venereal disease were then subjected to mandatory, yearly examinations.

At this point, around age 22, Sada turned to full-time prostitution.
Sada would say prostitution was better-paying, and since she was bound to the same VD restrictions either way, and she would never be celebrated geisha, she might as well take the better gig. But things didn't work out much better in the brothels of Tobita in Osaka.
Sada developed a reputation as a thief and drunk, stealing from clients, drinking heavily, and disappearing for days at a time. She would go from being a licensed prostitute, to a waitress, to an unlicensed prostitute, to a mistress, to a maid. And things were always rough.
In 1936, aged 30, Sada landed back in Tokyo, and went to work as an apprentice at the restaurant Yoshidaya, which specialized in eel dishes.

The owner of the restaurant was a man named Kichizo Ishida.
Despite an auspicious and ambitious youth, Kichizo was now notorious for his idleness and sexual incontinence. Leaving the management of his successful restaurant to his wife, he pursued extramarital affairs with careless abandon.

Sada was quite receptive to his advances.
Sada's original intention to learn the restaurant business, open her own place, and finally become an independent woman were forgotten completely 3 months after she began work at Yoshidaya, when the two checked into a teahouse for a quick tryst.

They stayed in bed for 4 days.
According to later accounts by the teahouse staff, their lovemaking was so passionate & intense that they didn't even bother to stop when maids entered the room to replenish their drinks.

Just kept going.

Sometimes with musical accompaniment, via a geisha's singing.

Wow, k.
When Sada and Kichizo finally managed to disengage, they only did so to change venues, to a second teahouse.

When all was said and done, The two had slipped off for a quickie on April 23rd, and wouldn't be seen back at the restaurant until May 8th.

TWO WEEKS later.
But see, that was the problem. Kichizo went back to his wife. As he'd always done. He had no intentions of ever being sexually exclusive, ever.

His wife had learn to tolerate this. Sada... just couldn't. She began drinking like a fish almost the instant they parted.
"It is hard to say exactly what was so good about Ishida. But it was impossible to say anything bad about his looks, his attitude, his skill as a lover, the way he expressed his feelings. I had never met such a sexy man," Sada would later say.

Kichizo would be dead in 10 days.
On the 9th of May, Sada saw a play, which featured a scene where a geisha attacks her lover with a knife.

On the 11th, Sada pawned some of her clothing, and purchased a kitchen knife.

When she she met with Kichizo later that night, she pulled it on him and paraphrased the play.
"Kichi, you wore that kimono just to please one of your favorite customers. You bastard, I'll kill you for that."

As Sada tells it, Kichizo was at first shocked, but the fear almost instantly turned into delight.

However it made him feel, they returned to the teahouse together.
During their lovemaking, Sada continually threatened Kichizo with the knife, one time holding it to the base of his genitals and telling him she would ensure he never slept with another woman.

She also began strangling him during sex.

Kichizo was totes cool with all of it.
And finally, on the evening of the 16th, Sada used her obi sash to intermittently strangle Kichizo during their lovemaking for two hours straight.

Again, Kichizo was pretty fine with that. The problems arose when she stopped.
Something probably happened internally to Kichizo during this time, and it wasn't good. His face became "distorted," and wouldn't return to normal. (We can theorize what it was, but THAT'S what we know.)

In terrible pain, he took 30 over-the-counter painkillers as Sada watched.
Before drifting off under the combined effects of alcohol, painkillers, and his injury, Sada claims Kichizo said, "You'll put the cord around my neck and squeeze it again while I'm sleeping, won't you. If you start to strangle me, don't stop, because it is so painful afterward."
But Sada waited until 2:00 AM on the 18th of May, over a full day later, to finally strangle Kichizo to death with her obi.
After I had killed Ishida I felt totally at ease, as though a heavy burden had been lifted from my shoulders, and I felt a sense of clarity."

Okay, well. That's probably not good, but thanks for sharing, Sada.
You probably think this is getting pretty weird, huh?

This has not gotten weird. This is not weird yet.
After lying next to her murdered lover until dawn, Sada chopped off his penis & testicles with her kitchen knife, wrapping them up in a magazine cover. She then wrote "定、石田の吉二人キリ" (We, Sada and Kichi Ishida, together") on Ishida's left thigh and the bed sheet in blood.
She finished the job by carving the character for her name, 定, into Kichizo's arm.

This is a crime scene photo of his body, as found by teahouse staff and police. I won't MAKE you look at it, but you can if you want.

didoisux.wordpress. com/tag/kichizo-ishida/#jp-carousel-50
Leaving the teahouse at 8:00 AM and warning the attendants to not bother Kichizo, Sada would meet up a former lover, Goro Omiya, and mystify him by apologizing repeatedly and emotionally.
Goro would mistake this as her regret at discarding him for Kichizo; in reality, Sada knew that, as former intimate associates, when what she had just done would destroy Goro's political aspirations to make it into the Diet of Japan (Japanese parliament.)

She was right, BTW.
The news of the murder his the papers on May 19, 1936, and Japan went into a full-on, nationwide freak-out. "The Sada Abe Incident" resulted in numerous false sightings, bad leads, and moral panics, while Sada herself saw a movie, got a massage... and calmly planned her suicide.
She decided to jump off Mount Ikoma, while clutching Kichizo's severed genitals exactly one week after the murder, which seems... hard to do? But hey, maybe she knew about a good ledge or something, I dunno.
I the meantime, she wrote goodbye letters (only three-- to Goro, an unnamed friend, and, weirdly, to Kichizo), and tried to have sex with the the dismembered genitals.

Did you forget about the "necrophiliac" part? Cuz this is it. We're there. This is that part.
"I felt attached to Ishida's penis and thought that only after taking leave from it quietly could I then die. I unwrapped the paper holding them and gazed at his penis and scrotum. I put his penis in my mouth and even tried to insert it inside me."
"It didn't work however though I kept trying and trying."

Needless to say, Sada never got to have her romantic suicide.

A 4:00 PM on the 19th, police, suspicious of the alias she'd checked into an inn under, came to her room. She surrendered to them immediately.
Don't be so formal. You're looking for Sada Abe, right? Well, that's me. I'm Sada Abe," she said.

Considering the crime had gained national attention, police were initially skeptical. They changed their minds when Sada pulled out Kichi's severed junk.
Photographed smiling just the day after her arrest, and only two days after murdering and mutilating the self-described love of her life, Sada assured her place in Japanese criminal history.
As for Kichizo's penis and testicles, they were confiscated from Sada and given to Tokyo University Medical School's pathology museum, where they were put on public display, because WHY NOT I GUESS.

They went missing shortly after WWII, never to surface again.
But anyway, back to Sada.

For the crimes of second-degree murder and mutilation of a corpse, the prosecution asked for... 10 years.

The judge, who would later admit he found certain aspects of the trial a turn-on, sentenced her to six.

She served five.
She was released on the actual fifth anniversary of the crime, May 17th, 1941, and attempted to melt anonymously back into the crowd.

Yeah, no way that was gonna happen.
Whether she liked it or not, Sada was now the poster child for subversion & transgression, a symbol of both the Japanese trope of the "poison woman" & "ero guro" aesthetics. Writers, artists and even interviewers would treat her as an authority on female sexuality & empowerment.
"The Erotic Confessions on Sada Abe," released in 1947, sold over 100,000 copies. Sada's own autobiography, "Memoirs of Abe Sada," released in response to her depiction in the former volume as a pervert, came a year later. And they were far from the only reexaminations.
Most notably 1976 saw the jointly French/Japanese film "In The Realm of the Senses," a controversial, fictionalized retelling of the story that cast Sada as a maid and Kichizo a hotelier.

It ends with "Sada" walking around with "Kichi's" severed dick insider her "for many days."
The public had made its decision. Sada Abe, who had be desperate to emphasize it was her love for Kichizo that make her do what she did, was now to be popularly remembered as a black widow, a deranged force they preyed on men, a shorthand symbol for horrors and causes alike.
As for Sada Abe herself? After decades of quiet service waitressing, she disappeared from the public eye around 1970. "In The Realm of the Senses" director Nagisa Oshima claims he found her after a search, living in a Kansai nunnery, where it's presumed she later died.
But the Sada Abe of Japanese pop culture, and all she's come to stand for, lives on.
Thanks for reading, y'all!

If y'wanna do me a solid, I have a Kickstarter running right now to publish a graphic novel guide to pot. Throw in $5.00, help make "How Do You Smoke A Weed?" happen! kickstarter.com/projects/irons…
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