chapter  16
Transgression and the Politics of Porn: O¯shima Nagisa’s In the Realm of the Senses (1976)
ByISOLDE STANDISH
Pages 12

The 28 May 1936 edition of the English language newspaper The Japan Weekly Chronicle reported the arrest of Abe Sada, who had been charged with the murder and ‘mutilation’ of Ishida Kichizo¯. The Shu¯kan Asahi elaborates: ‘The arrest was made on Wednesday evening. In the morning the woman drank two bottles of sake and stayed in bed all day. She had with her the dagger she used to stab her victim’ (Shu¯kan Asahi Sho¯wa-shi 1990: 152-3). No doubt protecting the sensibilities of its foreign readers, the Japan Weekly Chronicle failed to mention that Abe Sada also had in her possession the severed genitals of her former, now deceased, lover. During the course of the investigation leading up to her arrest, it was revealed that Sada and Kichi had spent a week of intense sexual activity ensconced in an upper room of a restaurant frequented by geisha and their clients. After killing Kichi and severing his genitals with a knife, Sada inscribed her name in blood on his limbs and the phrase ‘Sada and Kichi together’ (Sada, Kichi futarikiri) on his torso. The following morning, she left the room ordering a taxi. An hour later, she telephoned the restaurant explaining that Kichi had stomach cramps and was sleeping; he was to be woken at three that afternoon, at which time the body was discovered.