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February 26, 2016 at 6:17 am #143149JaxKeymaster
Onna-bugeisha- Rare photos show the Japanese female warriors
Onna-bugeisha was a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese nobility. Many women engaged in battle, commonly alongside samurai men. They were members of the bushi(samurai) class in feudal Japan and were trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honour in times of war. Significant icons such as Tomoe Gozen, Nakano Takeko, andHōjō Masako are famous examples of onna bugeisha.
Long before the emergence of the renowned samurai class, Japanese fighters were highly trained to wield a sword and spear. Women learned to use naginata, kaiken, and the art of tanto Jutsu in battle. Such training ensured protection in communities that lacked male fighters. One such woman, later known as Empress Jingu (c. 169-269 AD), used her skills to inspire economic and social change. She was legendarily recognized as the onna bugeisha who led an invasion of Korea in 200 AD after her husband Emperor Chūai, the fourteenth emperor of Japan, was slain in battle. According to the legend, she miraculously led a Japanese conquest of Korea without shedding a drop of blood. Despite controversies surrounding her existence and her accomplishments, she was an example of the onna bugeisha in its entirety. Years after her death, Jingu was able to transcend the socioeconomic structures that were instilled in Japan. In 1881, Empress Jingū became the first woman to be featured on a Japanese banknote. Designed to stop counterfeiting, her image was printed on oblong paper
See more at the link above. The pictures are great!March 2, 2016 at 3:31 am #190126YoshioModerator
Many thanks for posting this, Jax!
Indeed the story of the Onna Bugeisha in Japan is a very interesting one and one, it seems, that even Japanese somehow forgot about and are just recovering it lately. I had seen a very interesting reportage about Takeko Nakano – unfortunately in German but might be findable on Smithsonian Channel or YouTube!?
Although most people would think about male persons when the hear about Samurai it is fact that also ladies of the nobility in Japan got trained in martial arts. One of their preferred weapon had been and still is the already named Naginata which, in the hands of a skilled warrior, is a deadly tool and one of my teachers have warned me off to not get into a combat or Kumite of what sort so ever with a lady when she can handle it as it is very likely that she will beat the sh.. out of you.
As another very interesting fact, the word Kunoichi, which describes a female Ninja, comes from the Chinese character for woman or Onna and had been used as a kind of secret word for talking about a female Ninja. It was “generated” by the way one writes the character for woman/Onna.
女 = く (ku) ノ (no) 一 (ichi)March 2, 2016 at 4:10 am #190130JaxKeymaster
Neat. Thank you for sharing Yoshio!
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