Somewhere in the underbelly of Tokyo, Japan, a failed geisha indulges in trysts with a married man. But when the man refuses to leave his wife, their romance takes a dark turn. Unable to take the pain of rejection, Sada Abe resorts to extreme measures – and becomes a literary legend along the way.
Sada was born on May 28, 1905, in Kanda, a neighborhood of Tokyo. Her father, Shigeyoshi, had inherited a business making traditional flooring mats, and the family enjoyed a relatively privileged lifestyle. However, infant mortality was still high, and only four of the Abes’ eight children survived to become adults.
When she was young, Sada’s siblings often caused trouble for the family. Shintaro, her brother, was known for his womanizing ways, and her sister Teruko was sexually promiscuous. But while her parents were busy trying to control their unruly children, Sada was becoming an independent young woman.