Conception and Birth
In the summer of 1946, Shizuko Yamamura brought up a statue of the oceanic god, En no Ozunu, from the ocean floor with the help of her childhood friend Genji. Soon after, she began to exhibit psychic powers. The following year, against her friends' advice, Shizuko traveled to Tokyo, where upon arrival, she collapsed because of a migrane, a side effect of her new powers. While in the hospital, she met Dr. Heihachiro Ikuma, a professor of psychiatry. Ikuma was fascinated by Shizuko's powers, and had an affair with her but when she conceived, she traveled back to her hometown on Oshima Island to avoid causing a scandal for Ikuma. Later that year, on October 31, 1947, Sadako was born, and Shizuko handed her over to her grandmother while Shizuko went to be with her lover.
In 1950, when Sadako turned 3, Shizuko returned for her, and they left Oshima, not to be seen for 5 years. After 4 years, Shizuko gave birth to a boy, but he died from illness after 4 months. Sadako had psychic powers like her mother but grew up socially awkward and unbalanced.
At an ESP demonstration hosted by Dr. Ikuma, Shizuko was branded a fraud and charlatan after she abruptly ended the demonstration. Because of this, Ikuma divorced Shizuko, who fell into a deep depression. The following year, Sadako suggested that she and Shizuko go back to Oshima to escape the press. Before the year was over though, Shizuko committed suicide by leaping into the volcano, Mt. Mihara, and Sadako went to live at Yamamura Villa, run by her cousin, Takashi.
At the age of 11, Sadako predicted the eruption of Mt. Mihara, which was proven correct, but denied having any psychic powers. Knowing what could happen if her powers grew, at the age of 19, Ikuma sent Sadako to Tokyo, where she joined the Hisho Acting Troupe. It is known that she might have been responsible for the death of the troupe director, but not much else is known of her actions within that time frame (not including the stageplays she was in, according to old playbills).
In the summer of 1966, when her father came down with tuberculosis, Sadako visited him frequently at the sanatorium. On one of her visits, she was raped by a man named Nagao Joutarou in a smallpox induced fever, a young doctor who watched her bedridden father. When he raped her, he found out that, while appearing female, she had external testes due to Testicular Feminization Syndrome. It was her secret and, ashamed, she threatened to kill him telepathically. He strangled her and threw her down a nearby well. Having smallpox, he transmitted it to her when he raped her.
Sadako survived on sheer willpower for 20 years in the well before dying. In the late 80s, a resort is built over the site, with the sanatorium converted into a restaurant, and log cabins built. In late August, a family from Tokyo stayed in cabin B-4, which conveniently had the TV and VCR placed directly above the well. The son, who was a devoted fan of a certain comedy show, wanted to watch it. But his parents, being the ones in control, were watching something on NHK. The son agreed to record the show, which gave Sadako the opening she needed. The channels were different in Hakone--but of course some child would never know that. Embedding the ring virus into the tape and burning the images, the original tape was created.
On September 8, 1989, four teenagers stayed in the same cabin. Finding the tape, they decided to view it. While one of them was frightened, others were boisterous about it. Not believing, they decided to erase the written message at the end on how to save yourself. As expected, on September 15, 1989, all four of them died at the exact same time of cardiac arrest.
Soon after, Asakawa Kazuyuki, a reporter for Daily News's weekly edition, began to investigate, spurred by the death of his niece being among those four. He viewed the tape in his investigation, and a day later he unknowingly saved himself by showing it to his best friend, Takayama Ryuji. After a lot of investigating in Hakone and in Sashikiji, and some help from Asakawa's colleagueYoshino back home, they discovered that Yamamura Sadako was the tape's creator. Going into the foundation of Cabin B-4, they did, indeed, find the well. The two of them found Sadako's remains and brought them to Sashikiji, where her relatives put her to rest. Believing they had broken the curse, they went home. That night, Takayama Ryuji died of heart failure, and thus with the deaths of Ryuji, as well as the later deaths of Asakawa Shizu, Asakawa Yoko, and Takano Mai, the virus continues to propagate to this day.
Life After Death Controversy
There is a stand-still debate on whether or not Sadako could have, in fact, survived in the well for 20-something years as the movie Ring 2 suggested. Currently, the majority is leaning towards that it could not have happened, as it was never mentioned in the original novelsby Koji Suzuki.
See Votes by State