Sada Abe: A tale of Obession, Dark Erotic desire and Murder.

Roy Brown
4 min readNov 13, 2020

Japan in the 1930’s was in the midst of a rise of far right nationalism but one murder that brought the true crime fascination to the shores of Japan, in of the nation’s most controversal cases, Sada Abe would become a Japanese morbid fascination and its worst nightmare.

Sada Abe was born on May, 28th 1905 in Kand Tancho, Tokyo Japan as she grew up in a world where women weren’t treated equally.

As Sada grew up, she took lessons in singing and playing the Shamisen. These acts were often associated with Geishas and Prostitues as she skipped school.

In Japanese Culture, Geishas were often looked at with celebrity status, this drew Sada Abe into the world of glamour and Celebrity status. As her family became more dysfunctional, she was sent out of the Abe home alone.

At the Age of 15, Sada Abe was raped by one of her acquaintances, this had Traumatized her but her parents supported and defended her, as time went on from the incident, she became a difficult teenager and she became more irresponsible and uncontrollable, her father sold her to a Geisha house in Yokohama in 1922.

Her first encounters in the world of being a Geisha were unimpressive at first as she was a low ranking Geisha as this rank was to provide sex, her older sister; Toku Abe had testified at her trial that Sada wanted to be a Geisha but Sada stated that their father had made her become a Geisha to punish her.

As the World was thrown into the great depression, Japan became more and more militant, as Japanese Militarism gained political popularity and crime was also on the rise too.

Several Incidents of Violence had occurred in this era of Japanese history.

For Example on May, 21st, 1938 in Tsuyama in Okayama, 21 year old Mutso Ito went on a revenge spree killing rampage armed with a shotgun, a japanese sword and an axe. Ito ended 30 innocent lives and injured 3 others before shooting himself in the chest.

As Japanese Nationalism had spread all over the nation and Japan’s colonial expansion had taken itself into China, war looked like a possibility.

Sada Abe had already been exposed to the world of being a low ranking Geisha which was filled with prostituion. As Sada Abe became acquainted with this lifestyle.

Sada Abe later returned to Tokyo in 1936 to work as an apprentice at a restaurant in the Nakano District. The Restaurant called the Yoshidaya was run by Kichizo Ishida, Ishida had a history of being a womanizer and the restaurant was not managed by him but by his wife. Sada Abe was obsessed with Ishida.

Sada was not satisfied with the wages that she earned as a waitress and she again entered the prositiution market in Tokyo.

In October 1934, Japanese police raided an unlicensed brothel and one of her many clients: Kinnosuke Kasahara, Kasahara recalled at her trial that Sada Abe was strong enough to over power him. In Nagoya, Sada left the sex market and began to work as a maid but she began to obsess over Goro Omyia, a Professor, Politician and banker, but since the relationship couldn’t work out and was forbidden, however Omyia had found about Sada Abe and how she was diagnosed with syphilis, Omyia paid for her stay at a hot springs in Kusatsu from November to January 1936.

Sada Abe had returned to Tokyo and began work as a apprentice at a Restaurant where she meet Kichizo Ishida and was instantly under his spell but Sada’s obsession would result in murder.

By 1936, Ishida had stopped managing the business and began to womanize again but he made the fatal mistake of flirting with death. On May 18th, 1936; Sada Abe and Kichizo Ishida meet up as she returned to Ogu, on May 16th, 1936; While having sex, Sada used her obi to cut Ishida’s breathing off and both had enjoyed it, afterwards as the method was used several times, Ishida had used pain medicine to quile the swelling and numb the pain.

On May 18th, 1936, while Ishida was asleep, Sada Abe used her Obi and strangled Kishizo Ishida to death and cut off his genitals and hid them in her purse; three days later after she saw a movie, went shopping and stay at a inn located in Shinagawa on the 19th, on the 20th; she had a massage and planned to commit suicide. Japanese police detectives arrested her as she admitted to the crime as the search for her gained national attention.

Her trial was a sensation as Japan had not seen a crime of this kind of brutality.

In response to her crime, this case caused a panic of the fear of “Homicidal sex workers.”

As the years passed, Sada Abe and her erotic murder became something of a Morbid fascination in Japan as she wrote her memoirs and movies were made of her story. Sada Abe eventually died after 1977 but her infamy lives on, both in film and books.