Japanese Title: 実録阿部定
Romaji: Jitsuroku Abe Sada
Release Date: February 08th, 1975
Running Time: 76 mins.
Director: Noboru Tanaka
Writer: Akio Ido (Screenplay),
Starring: Junko Miyashita, Hideaki Ezumi, Nagatoshi Sakamoto, Yoshi Kitsuda
A Woman Called Abe Sada is based on the infamous story of a real woman named Abe Sada¹ that took place in 1936. The case is so well-known it has been turned into film multiple times, the most famous being Nagisa Oshima’s In the Realm of the Senses (1976). A Woman Called Abe Sada was released the year before and was been largely overshadowed by Oshima’s title despite being voted one of the best ten films of 1975 by the high-brow movie institution Kinema Junpo. For me, this is the version I prefer and it comes down to Junko Miyashita’s beauty and emotive performance and Noboru Tanaka’s tight direction and Akio Ido’s intelligent script.
“Whatever happens to us, I don’t care.”
Abe Sada is a geisha who has been locked in a passionate affair with and Kichi, the owner of a hotel she works in. They have spent a month travelling between machiai (teahouses) where they stay for a few days of sex and drink while geisha sing. Sada is deeply in love with Kichi and asks him, “Will you give them up? Hotel, wife and children”
Kichi replies, “I’ll go to hell if you want me to. I’ve never known a woman like you.”