Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star A Woman, Sex, and Morality in Modern Japan

ISBN-10: 023113052X
ISBN-13: 9780231130523
Edition: 2005
Authors: William Johnston
List price: $40.00
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Description: In May 1936, Abe Sada committed the most notorious crime in twentieth-century Japan -- the murder and emasculation of her lover. What made her do it? And why was she found guilty of murder yet sentenced to only six years in prison? Why have this  More...

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Book details

List price: $40.00
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 11/10/2004
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 272
Size: 6.50" wide x 8.50" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

In May 1936, Abe Sada committed the most notorious crime in twentieth-century Japan -- the murder and emasculation of her lover. What made her do it? And why was she found guilty of murder yet sentenced to only six years in prison? Why have this woman and her crime remained so famous for so long, and what does her fame have to say about attitudes toward sex and sexuality in modern Japan? Despite Abe Sada's notoriety and the depictions of her in film and fiction (notably in the classic In the Realm of the Senses), until now, there have been no books written in English that examine her life and the forces that pushed her to commit the crime. Along with a detailed account of Sada's personal history, the events leading up to the murder, and its aftermath, this book contains transcripts of the police interrogations after her arrest -- one of the few existing first-person records of a woman who worked in the Japanese sex industry during the 1920s and 1930s -- as well as a memoir by the judge and police records. Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star steps beyond the simplistic view of Abe Sada as a sexual deviate or hysterical woman to reveal a survivor of rape, a career as a geisha and a prostitute, and a prison sentence for murder. Sada endured discrimination and hounding by paparazzi until her disappearance in 1970. Her story illustrates a historical collision of social and sexual values -- those of the samurai class and imported from Victorian Europe against those of urban and rural Japanese peasants.

Prologue : a murder grips the nation
An unremarkable family history
Early childhood
Maidens or harlots only
Geisha and prostitute
Acquaintance rape
Acting up
Becoming professional
Changing saddles
Legal prostitution and escape
From prostitute on the lam to mistress
A search for stability
Discovering love
Love's intoxication
Murder
No longer private
Interrogation and investigation
Judgment
Imprisonment and release
Celebrity, hardship, and escape
Epilogue : a trail of re-creations
Notes from the police interrogation of Abe Sada

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