Sada Abe was a prostitute working as a maid in a Tokyo hotel in the Hirohito area, pre-War WWII Japan, 1936. She strangled her lover, Kichizo Ichida, who was also her employer, during mad passion after he told her he no longer wanted her sexual favours. She then cut off his penis with a carving knife & carried this souvenir around for several days until arrested and put on trial.
Asked why she was carrying around his ding a ling, Miss Abe said “Because I couldn’t take his head or body with me. I wanted to take the part of him that brought back to me the most vivid memories.”
Incredibly she became a folk hero.
In 2015, William Johnston wrote about this macabre episode in the book called,“Geisha, Harlot, Strangler, Star.” Previously the only coverage was within Japan until a movie called “in the Realm of the Senses” was made in 1979. There is a trailer is on Youtube to give an atmospheric feel for the milieu. The movie is now part of the Criterion Collection and cinema writer Donald Richie writes about it here. It has an X-rating. You can buy the DVD at the site too.
Miss Abe’s Map
Ms. Abe has a fantastic chart, from a purely astrological point of view. She has two Grand Trine Kites, a Yod, a Wedge and a T-Square. The main map shows the Yod going to Mars in his Lord’s house of Scorpio, incredibly in the twelfth from the sextile of the Sun and Venus — a lovely lady. That Mars in the twelfth gave her a healthy sexual appetite which worked out well for a geisha girl. We read that she and her victim had notoriously long sexual rendezvouses — they were insatiable.
Up up and Away with my beautiful balloon!
Grand Trine Kites are supposedly a rare astrological configuration, which is why Miss Abe having two is striking. As they are both in Mutable signs, this makes her more interested in people and personal relationships. Two contemporary singers also have this configuration in the same quadrature: Whitney Houston and her husband Bobby Brown and Madonna with her first husband, Sean Penn.
Abe’s first Kite is a mutable variation made of Mars, Uranus, and Saturn ending with Neptune in the eighth house of legacies and sentimentality. For her parting is such sweet sorrow that she would need a “reminder,” unable with Saturn in the Piscean third house, to let the past go.
Her second Grand Trine Kite is almost the same composition except for Mercury entering the picture, and it too is mutable. One thinks of Glenn Close & Michael Douglas in Fatal Attraction with this setup.
Woe is me!
Miss Abe’s has two T-Squares. The first is in the Fixed Signs, with Mars in Scorpio (its Lord) opposite Mercury in Taurus finding cold expression at Saturn in 02 Pisces 41 — just out of quadrature in the common signs but in the 12th, the home of fatalism revenge and intrigue with the SS symbol of a “petrified forest.” Jones writes that this emblem is symbolic of the dramatization of her own survival. That was how the Japanese press sold the story, and it resonated well in the militaristic Japan of that era: a poor farming girl leaves home at 14 , goes to the big city to make her fortune as a geisha, only to find as she matured (the Saturn aspect to her South Node she was now about 30) she was spurned and cast off like a worn-out shoe (the mutable angle), no pension, no savings, no future. It sold like hotcakes.
Her second T-Square is in the Mutable Quadrature: her Gemini Sun (Mercury ruled) opposite her first house cusp at the sword wielding 12 Sagittarius 01 (a topsy saucily asserting herself, keyword Growth). It final expression is the Moon in 01 Aries 11 (the need to exert her life force) and just over the mutable border in cardinal Aries. So too the Moon who rules the fourth, is found here in the place of home, hotels, and brothels.
Her Line of Personality is sextile. Her Line of Vitality is square. Her Line of Efficiency is in opposition, as is her Line of Culture. As we noted before, that a person who has all four sets of planetary pairs is narcissistic and self-involved. This fits the profile of “passion murderers” who are more concerned about themselves and their loss than the lover-victim’s death..
Now for some Symbols
Miss Abe’s ascendant is at 00 Sagittarius. Miss Wheeler gives this the image of the “Grand Army of the Republic (the Union’s Army in the War Between the States) at the campfire.” Marc Edmund Jones who expands and writes the commentary says that this symbol about the cultivation and preservation of ties to others (that works well here).
Her Mars, at 11.07 in Scorpio (an embassy ball), and her bucket handle. A bucket handle is a “focal determinator” something within the chart that shows a predisposition. Mars located here is in one of the hurtful signs, ot how the individual receives emotional and physical hurt (or pain) and then amplifies it is core to their being. The ideogram of “Cinderella at the embassy ball” is poignant, suggesting her desire to hold on to a relic (Mars is retrograde in the 12th) of time lost much like Marcel Proust’s evocative madeleine.
In the end
Ms. Abe went to jail for six years and got out in 1942 as War began to unfold in Japan; there is no specific date of when in ’42 she was released, but we imagine it was early in the year. She died in 1966. I have not read that she ever married.
Download Sada-Abe‘s chart here.
We continually update and review our essays and charts for accuracy. This one was vetted on Tuesday, 29 October 2019.