Born in Tokyo’s Kanda neighborhood to a bourgeois family of tatami mat makers, Abe flouted conventions early. Throughout her youth and teenage years, she was infatuated by the glamorous, yet mysterious world of geishas. It was a scandalous preoccupation for a genteel, upper-middle class girl. Unsurprisingly, after her matrimonial prospects were seemingly doomed she utterly embraced the part of misfit.
|Antique postcard that captures Osaka’s|
Tobita Yukaku (red-light district), c. 1920
After “changing saddles” many times, she departed from the business completely, and met her benefactor. Encouraging her to pursue economic independence, he proposed Abe start a restaurant. He’d fund the enterprise, but she’d need to apprentice somewhere beforehand. Enter Kichizo Ishida, proprietor of the Yoshidaya restaurant and the man Abe would murder and dismember (::wink, wink::) for love.
Dying for more specifics of how Abe transformed from impetuous school-girl to love-struck killer? Then, check-out this History Bitch approved biography: