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Samurai Weapons, Samurai Armor and the Samurai way of life

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Female Samurai

In traditional Japanese, the term 'Female Samurai', strictly speaking, is a technically incorrect usage of the word Samurai. 'Samurai' was a gender specific term used to indicate only the male members. However, in modern parlance, 'Female Samurai' has become the commonly accepted term for the women members of the Samurai class.

Throughout history, the warring class has been mainly a domain of men. However, the story of the Samurai includes several female samurai who demonstrated extraordinary fighting prowess, the spirit to defend one's honor and the strict adherence to the duty required of her towards her fellow warriors.

The naginata was a popular and widely used weapon among the womenfolk of the samurai. Consisting of basically a long pole with a curved blade at one end. Perhaps due to their slighter builds, female samurai were often given extensive training in the use of this weapon to fight with the enemy and defend themselves when required. Not surprising, many women became highly skilled in the use of the naginata.

Japanese epics and historical recordings mention several incidents of extreme courage and sense of duty exhibited by the female samurai. There are even prominent stories of the Samurai women taking upon themselves, the political duties of their deceased husbands. One woman, Hojo Masako, is believed to have been hugely responsible for rallying the Samurai together and having them stand by the shoguns.

Clearly, these snippets of history show us the kind of stature women enjoyed in the early Japanese samurai society. In fact, the laws in those times, gave clear rights to the women to stake an equal claim as their brothers in matters of property inheritance.

In the household, the women were accorded a high position in administrative matters. They controlled the household finances while also managing the domestic helpers. In addition to these duties, they were often summoned to fight in times of war. Also, the womenfolk of the male samurai were largely responsible for bringing up the children and raising them along the Samurai ideals of loyalty and courage.


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The high esteem given to women both in the household and as warriors lasted from the 11th up through 16th century. However, by the 17th century, when various clan struggles arose, women were sadly reduced to being pawns in the hands of their fathers and brothers. They were often given off in marriage to other samurai in exchange for political favors and alliances.

During this time, the general feeling arose that women were only necessary to bring forth children and were not fitting as comrades in war. Such sentiments, interestingly, resulted in a general trend of homosexuality among the samurai, when men started to seek companionship in other men due to the lack of female company.

Despite such alienation, the women of samurai were still expected to show moral values and a sense of bounded duty towards her husband. The act of a wife giving up her life or honor for the sake of her husband was a very popular theme in Japanese drama.

And even though warrior women were being suppressed, stories of female samurai displaying their martial prowess still surfaced from time to time. Especially during the Satsuma Rebellion of 1877 and in 1868, when the shogunate and the imperial army fought. During these battles, samurai women played a brave and important part.

One celebrated women, Nakano Takeko, is known to have been highly skilled in the use of the naginata and sword. During the struggle between the shogunate and the supporters of imperial restoration in 1868, she charged into the enemy lines and fought bravely to cut down many a man. Unfortunately, she was eventually shot to death. Her head was removed by her sister to prevent the enemy from obtaining it.

A monument to Nakano Takeko was erected in the Hokai temple in Aizu Bangemachi, Fukishima province. Her courage, loyalty and understanding of honor well represented her sisters of the Female Samurai.

About the Author:  Scott Harker is the publisher of several websites including: Sherlock Holmes Pastiches, Next Vacation - Go Sailing, and Ovarian Cysts.



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News About Female Samurai

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Posted on Friday February 23, 2018

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Winter Olympics: Sofia Goggia beats Lindsey Vonn to become Italy's ... - BBC Sport
Posted on Wednesday February 21, 2018


BBC Sport

Winter Olympics: Sofia Goggia beats Lindsey Vonn to become Italy's ...
BBC Sport
Sofia Goggia saw off the challenge of American Lindsey Vonn to become the first Italian to win the women's downhill. The 25-year-old, who leads the World Cup downhill standings, clocked one minute 39.22 seconds to clinch gold. Norway's Ragnhild ...
'Samurai' Goggia denies Vonn to win downhill goldReuters
Sofia Goggia wins Olympic downhill, Lindsey Vonn becomes oldest female medalistNBC Olympics

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Sofia Goggia Beats Lindsey Vonn To Become Italy's First Female Downhill Champion - malaysiandigest.com
Posted on Wednesday February 21, 2018


Pulse Nigeria

Sofia Goggia Beats Lindsey Vonn To Become Italy's First Female Downhill Champion
malaysiandigest.com
"I was really giving attention to every little detail, moving like a samurai - usually I'm pretty chaotic," Goggia said. "Samurai are really perfect. They move with elegance. I'm not elegant but I paid attention at every moment to what I was doing ...
Entertainment Vonn wins bronze medal in women's downhillPulse Nigeria

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Black Panther's Danai Gurira on film's female representation: 'Wakanda forever, indeed' - EW.com (blog)
Posted on Thursday February 15, 2018


EW.com (blog)

Black Panther's Danai Gurira on film's female representation: 'Wakanda forever, indeed'
EW.com (blog)
Gurira traded her Walking Dead samurai sword for a spear as Okoye, the head of the all-female strike team that defends Wakanda from threats. Lupita Nygong'o also plays a member of the Dora Milaje, as does Florence Kasumba (who famously said “move or ...
Review: "Black Panther" is a momentous event in pop culture historyCBS News

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Two years jail for gun, gas bottle threats in domestic siege - Daily Telegraph
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Daily Telegraph

Two years jail for gun, gas bottle threats in domestic siege
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By the time police arrived at the scene, he was unarmed and sitting down at the rear of the premises with his female housemate trying to calm him down. He eventually surrendered peacefully after claiming to have taken a number of prescription pills ...

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Goggia tames the 'crazy horse' to win downhill gold - Reuters
Posted on Wednesday February 21, 2018


Goggia tames the 'crazy horse' to win downhill gold
Reuters
Alpine Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Downhill - Jeongseon Alpine Centre - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 21, 2018 - Gold medallist Sofia Goggia of Italy celebrates during the flower ceremony. REUTERS/Kai Pfaffenbach. “She ...

Norway glide to team pursuit win as several more gold medals decided - Daily Republic
Posted on Wednesday February 21, 2018


Norway glide to team pursuit win as several more gold medals decided
Daily Republic
Sofia Goggia carved up the Jeongseon slope "like a Samurai" to win the women's downhill on Wednesday and leave American Lindsey Vonn with a bronze medal in her final run in the marquee event of Olympic Alpine skiing. The bubbly 25-year-old from Bergamo ...

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The Last Samurai Women - a Story of Nakano Takeko