Somewhere in the underbelly of Tokyo, Japan, a failed geisha indulges in trysts with a married man. Then after the man goes back to his wife, their romance takes a dark turn. Unable to endure the pain of jealousy, Sada Abe resorts to extreme measures – and becomes a cultural legend in doing so.
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 at the time, and only four of the Abes’ eight children survived to become adults.
When Sada was young, her siblings often caused trouble for the family. Shintaro, her brother, was noted 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.