Vintage photos of female samurai warriors posing with their katana swords, 1850-1900

Known as Ona Bugesha, these female samurai who fought alongside and against male samurai are an important part of Japan's military history.

They were members of the bushi (warrior) class in feudal Japan and were trained in the use of weapons to defend their home, family and honor in times of war.

He also has a significant presence in Japanese literature, with Tomo Gzen and Hungaku Gzen being well-known and influential examples representing Ona-Musha.

Women warriors were not rare in feudal Japan. The Onna-Musha lived within a warring culture and with traditions of acquiring indispensable skills in martial arts, archery and horse riding.

"Sengoku battles often took the form of sieges in which the whole family would fight to defend the castle" so being able to defend one's family, children and oneself was essential.

The painting Boki Akotoba, which dates back to 1351, depicts a woman in armor, armed with a naginata and a bow. A journal record of a "predominantly female cavalry" is noted by Chancellor Toin Kinkata, who said, "originating in western Japan ...

There are many accounts of women actively fighting on the battlefield during the Sengoku period, such as the case of Myorin, who inspired men to fight against 3,000 Shimazu soldiers.

Another account is of Kaihime, who fought against the Toyotomi clan at the Siege of Oshi (1590), Onamihime, who became the representative leader of the Nikaid clan and fought in various battles against his nephews Date Masamune and Akai Teruko, who became 76. Famous for fighting by the age of 18 and becoming known as "the strongest woman in the Warring States period".

hōri Tsuruhime's actions earned her the title of "Japan's Joan of Arc", and established her as one of the most recognizable female warriors in Japanese history.

Japanese women were educated to be only wives and mothers. Although most women knew about politics, martial arts, and diplomacy, they were not allowed to succeed under the leadership of the clan.

However, there were exceptions. Ii Naotora assumed leadership of the clan after the deaths of all the men of the Ii family; Her efforts as a leader made her clan independent, and she became a daimyo.

There were many noble women in their clans with great political influence, even becoming de facto leaders.

An accepted example of women who became known as "ona daimy" (female lords) are Jukei-ni and Toshin. Both women served for long periods as rulers of their respective domains, even though they were not considered heirs.

In the 16th century, there were only women's combat units, as was the case with Ikeda Sen, who led 200 female gunmen (teppo units) in the Battle of Shizugatake and the Battle of Komaki-Nagakuta.

Otazu no Kata fought with 18 armed maids against Tokugawa Ieyasu's soldiers. Ueno Tsuruhime led thirty-four women on a suicide charge against the Mori army.

Tachibana Ginchyo, leader of the Tachibana clan, fought with her female soldiers in the Kyushu Campaign (1586), and at the Siege of Yanagawa (1600) she organized a resistance formed by nuns against the advance of the Eastern Army.

In 1580, a woman from the Besh clan joined a rebellion against Toyotomi Hideyoshi during the Siege of Miki. Her husband Besh Yoshika was one of the leaders of the rebellion, and he played an important role during the siege, associating himself with the Mri clan.

The rebellion lasted for three years, until Besh Nagaharu handed over the palace to Hideyoshi. Lady Besho committed suicide shortly after. In 1582, Oda Nobunaga launched a final attack on the Takeda clan in a series of battles known as the Battle of Tenmokuzan.

Oda Nobutada (Nobunaga's son) led 50,000 troops against 3,000 Takeda allies during the siege of Takato Castle. During this battle, it is recorded in a compilation of histories from the Oda clan, Shinch Kki, that a woman from the Suwa clan challenged Nobutada's army.

Due to the influence of Edo Neo-Confucianism (1600–1868), Onna-Musha's position declined significantly. Tea

Onna-Musha's work changed according to their husbands. The samurai were no longer concerned with fighting and warfare, but became bureaucrats.

Women, especially daughters, from most upper-class families, soon became the vanguard of dreams of success and power. The roaring ideals of fearless devotion and selflessness were gradually replaced by quiet, passive, civil obedience.

Travel during the Edo period was demanding and irritating to many female samurai due to the stringent restrictions. They always had to be accompanied by a man, as they were not allowed to travel alone.

Additionally, they must obtain specific permits to establish their business and objectives. Samurai women also received a lot of harassment from the officers operating the inspection posts.

The beginning of the 17th century marked a significant change in the social acceptance of women in Japan. Many samurai viewed women purely as child carriers; The concept of a woman being a suitable mate for war was no longer imaginable.

The relationship between a husband and wife may be correlated with that of a lord and his vassal. According to Alice Amdur, “Husbands and wives traditionally did not even sleep together. The husband used to visit his wife to initiate any kind of sexual activity and later went to his room.

Onna-Musha's most popular weapon is the naginata, a versatile, traditional polearm with a curved blade at the tip. The weapon is preferred primarily for its length, which can compensate for the strength and body size advantages of male opponents.

The naginata has a space between the katana and the yari, which is effective in close-range melee when keeping the opponent at bay, and is also relatively efficient against cavalry.

Through its use by many famous samurai women, the naginata has become a coveted armament of the female warrior. During the Edo period, several schools focused on the use of naginata were created and perpetuated its association with women.

Additionally, as most of the time, their primary purpose as onna-musha was to protect their homes from robbers, with an emphasis on ranged weapons to shoot from defensive formations.

The image of samurai women remains influential in martial arts, historical novels, books, and popular culture in general.

Like kunoichi (female ninja) and geisha, onna-musha's demeanor is seen as a role model for Japanese women in films, animations, and TV series.

In the West, Onna-Musha gained popularity when the historical documentary Samurai Warrior Queens aired on the Smithsonian Channel.

No comments:

Powered by Blogger.