Famous female japanese historical figures

Tomoe Gozen ? Before the samurai became a formalized caste in the Edo Periodwomen were trained to use naginata spears and kaiken daggers to protect communities with few male fighters. In fact, the legendary Empress Jingu is said to have led an invasion of Korea in the year after her emperor-husband was slain in battle, though whether this invasion ever actually happened remains a matter of debate. The Genpei War was fought between the powerful Minamoto Genji and Taira Heike clans, both offshoots of the imperial line.

Tomoe had a number of achievements in the war, leading 1, cavalry, surviving a battle of against 6, and collecting opponents' heads like postage stamps. While he was defeated by his cousin Yoritomo who went on to found the Kamakura Shogunateit's recorded that Tomoe unhorsed, pinned and decapitated Yoritomo's strongest warrior at the Battle of Awazu in What became of her thereafter is unclear, and the role of onna-bugeisha faded toward the Edo Period, though Tomoe reemerged as a popular figure in ukiyo-e prints and kabuki plays.

Kusunoki Masashige ? Inhe joined Emperor Go-Daigo in a bid to wrest power back from the Kamakura Shogunate, under which the emperor had become a mere figurehead. Kusunoki's greatest triumph came inwhen he defended Chihaya Castle, located south of Osaka, against the shogunate's ,man army with just 2, men.

Kusunoki was given control of several parts of the Kansai area after the war was won. However, the Kenmu Restoration would be short-lived, as the Ashikaga Clan betrayed Kusunoki and twice led armies against Kyoto in On the second occasion, Kusunoki advocated letting the superior Ashikaga force take the capital while the emperor's supporters took refuge among the monks of Mount Hiei, then sweep down upon the Ashikaga and trap them in the city.

Go-Daigo, however, ordered Kusunoki to advance. The seasoned strategist knew this to be a death sentence, yet he accepted. When his troops were finally overwhelmed at the Battle of Minatogawa near present-day Kobe, Kusunoki committed suicide rather than allow himself to be captured.

famous female japanese historical figures

He is now a symbol of courage and devotion to the emperor, and a statue of him stands outside Tokyo's Imperial Palace. Hailed in his day as the greatest warrior in Japan, Sanada Yukimura battled valiantly against the tumultuous beginnings of Tokugawa rule over the nation. His brilliant defense of Ueda Castle in Nagano ensured that Tokugawa Hidetada's 40, troops wouldn't arrive in time to support his father, Ieyasu, at the decisive Battle of Sekigahara in Ieyasu won nonetheless, and though he soon claimed control over all of Japan, Yukimura led the defense in the final resistance to Tokugawa rule at the Siege of Osaka from tofighting so fiercely that he forced the superior Tokugawa forces to accept an armistice after the initial Winter Campaign.

However, Ieyasu returned several months later withmen for the Summer Campaign, and while Yukimura led his own 60, troops bravely, he was ultimately exhausted and slain.

Women Were Some of the Fiercest Samurai Warriors Ever

Nobody in Japan had seen a black person before, so his presence caused quite a sensation. He was called to an audience with Oda Nobunaga, the most powerful warlord of the day, who was so stunned by his appearance that he had him strip to the waist and rub his skin to prove he wasn't colored with ink. Nobunaga was so impressed by Yasuke's strength and size—recorded as roughly centimeters 6ft 2in tall—that he made him his personal retainer and bodyguard. InYasuke was elevated to the rank of samurai and stationed at Azuchi Castle, Nobunaga's crowning glory, where he dined with the warlord and functioned as his personal sword bearer.

When Nobunaga was betrayed by Akechi Mitsuhide and forced to commit suicide at Honno-ji Temple inYasuke was there, and battled Mitsuhide's forces. He escaped to Azuchi Castle and briefly served Nobunaga's son until he, too, was attacked by Mitsuhide and committed suicide. Yasuke then surrendered his sword to Mitsuhide who, unaccustomed to a samurai surrendering rather than killing himself after the death of his lord, ordered Yasuke returned to the Jesuit mission in Kyoto.

Whether this was out of disrespect for a "beast," as Mitsuhide put it, or cover for an act of mercy remains a matter of debate. Thereafter, Yasuke's fate is unclear, though it's possible his presence was recorded around Kyushu in Nobody is entirely sure where Yasuke was born, though it's been proposed he may have been from Mozambique, Angola or Ethiopia, or perhaps a European-born slave from Portugal.

His real name, too, is unknown, though Yasuke is thought to be its Japanese equivalent. The fourth son of a powerful warlord, Uesugi Kenshin emerged from a succession struggle and internal strife with peasants and warrior monks to take control of Echigo Province, now mainland Niigata Prefecture, during Japan's Warring States Period Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got a lot of ninja qualities right: their preference for sticking to the shadows, the emphasis on reconnaissance and espionage, and, of course, their choice of weapons all adhere to the ninja "code".

The one thing that could have put such an intriguing kid's show over the top would have been the inclusion of a female ninja turtle.

But females have no place in war or espionage.

famous female japanese historical figures

After all, is not April more of a "damsel in distress" in the original cartoon? It might be interesting for some fans of the ninja turtles—or fans of the history of ninja warriors—to learn that women did partake in the art of ninjutsu.

In fact, these kunoichi were among the most elite and skilled of the ninja class. Ninjas are practitioners of the espionage based military tactic called ninjutsubelonging to the Japanese class of shinobi. It is often incorrectly assumed that ninjas are strictly males, particularly in historical contexts, because of the prevalence of male dominated societies in which women are regulated to the background either as wives or figureheads if royal.

However, women worked alongside men, as powerful stealthy assets in the shinobi clans shinobi is the "correct" title for ninja warriors in groups called kunoichi. Drawing of the archetypical ninja from a series of sketches Hokusai manga by Hokusai. Woodblock print on paper. Volume six, Public Domain. The kunoichi are recorded as powerful devotees of ninjutsu in the 17th century in a tome called Bansenshukaia collection ninja training secrets.

Kunoichi warriors seemingly predate their documentation in this text—by how long, it is uncertain. Yet one woman, Mochizuki Chiyome, is believed to have successfully created a secret kunoichi cohort in feudal Japan in the 16th century.

famous female japanese historical figures

A representation of Chiyome with her kunoichi. The consistent belief that women were no more than beautiful arm candy or ignorant wives boded well for the kunoichi, as it allowed them to become close to their targets—usually men of the samurai class—either to gain information or to kill. While men were always on the lookout for suspicious men, rarely were they on the lookout for suspicious women.

Deadly Female Ninja Assassins Used Deception and Disguise to Strike Their Target

Women were far more likely to be able to maintain their disguises than men, as the samurai rarely hired strange men for advice, aid or protection, but they readily took on concubines or pretty mistresses. Ishi-jo, wife of Oboshi Yoshio, one of the "47 loyal ronin. Thus, kunoichi often disguised themselves as performers, courtesans, maids, Shinto priestesses, etc. Priestesses were not prohibited from travel as it was considered part of their religious education.

Women were therefore able to infiltrate deeper than men in more dangerous zones; if a samurai ever found out the depth of the deception he had fallen for, the price a woman would have had to pay for such intimate betrayal would likely have been worse than those of an exposed shinobi. Red female ninja. Yet, as horrifying as the punishments for discovered kunoichi likely were, when it was necessary to assassinate their own targets, their executions were equally—if not more—terrible for their cunning and craftiness.

A modern representation of Mochizuki Chiyome, a woman who created a secret kunoichi cohort in feudal Japan in the 16th century. While female ninjas used their sexuality and beauty to gain access to their targets, they did not step aside for a male ninja to take out the target when he was most vulnerable. Rather, the women also took care of assassinations themselves. Some poignant weapons used were rather typical of those shown in historical spy and ninja movies today: fans with hidden blades, daggers, various forms of poison, slim katana swords, and the famous throwing stars.

Yet, the weapon of choice for the kunoichi was, essentially, Wolverine claws. Made of "leather finger sheaths topped with sharpened metal 'claws,'" the neko-te were the next best thing to possessing feline claws. The metal weapons ranged from one to three inches 2. A particularly vindictive female might even dip her claws in poison to exacerbate pain or, if she was feeling kind, quicken death.

Neko-te was the weapon of choice for the kunoichi. Regardless of the common misconceptions about the gender of ninjas, the kunoichi definitively had a place in both feudal and shogun-centered Japan. Women like Mochizuki Chiyome took up arms to risk life and limb to gain access to powerful enemies and ensure the protection of their leaders and government. Though few kunoichi are known by name, those that are reveal that these women were, in fact, highly respected by the men who hired them and worked alongside them.

And they were certainly a force to be reckoned with by their enemies. Female ninja 2.There are some historical figures that everybody in Japan knows.

Some are shoguns, some are writers, and some are princes. Everybody wants to be like Nobunaga. The western equivalent of Nobunaga might be Julius Caesar, a conqueror who made many gains in his life but who was ultimately betrayed and killed by one of his own. Fun fact: Did you know that Nobunaga was an avid supporter of Christianity, which only had a small following in Japan at the time?

If Nobunaga is Caesar, then Tokugawa is Augustus. Tokugawa was the daimyo that ended up finally becoming shogun of all of Japan. As shogun he developed a strong bureaucratic system that would ensure opposition could not easily arise, and established a year period of peace and stability in the country. In many ways modern Japan is a result of the policies he established. Fun fact: Did you know that Ieyasu had his wife and son executed for conspiring against Nobunaga?

He is still revered in Japan as the ideal enlightened ruler. Said to be able to listen to ten people all at once and understand each of their requests Shotoku has a bit of a superman image in Japan, which leaves some to wonder if he was really as amazing as his legacy implies. Fun fact: Did you know that some people believe Shotoku named Japan? With one success after another, he eventually ended up becoming its leader after Nobunaga died.

Although Hideyoshi was the one who theoretically conquered all of Japan, his sudden death in meant that he was not destined to see his progeny become rulers of Japan.

Considered by some to be the first novelist there ever was, Murasaki Shikibu was a court lady related to the Fujiwara family. In her spare time, she wrote novels and diaries that were based on her life amongst the aristocrats of Japan. Fun fact: At the time that Murasaki Shikibu lived, men were encouraged to write in only kanji, and women only in hiragana.

As master of tea under Nobunaga and later Hideyoshi, Sen no Rikyu mastered the art of the tea ceremony. Fun fact: Some people say that what finally ticked Hideyoshi off was when he walked into Daitoku-ji a temple he constructed and saw a statue of Rikyu looking down at him.

Considered one of the leaders in incorporating western ideas and culture into Japanese society, Fukuzawa helped establish the first university, Keio University in Japan.

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Fun Fact: Fukuzawa studied Dutch before he learned English, only to discover it was not so useful for corresponding with most Westerners! Idealized by many Japanese especially young men Ryoma was a progressive thinker that felt that the way for Japan to move forward was to overthrow the Tokugawa bakufu government. Ryoma was assassinated by pro-bakufu forces at the age of 33 in the city of Kyoto.

Fun fact: Did you know that Ryoma and his wife are said to have taken the first honeymoon by a Japanese couple? The image of this very famous Japanese Emperor remains very complex. Was Hirohito one of the main engineers of Japanese aggression against Asian countries, or was he helpless to the whims of the military leaders that were in command?

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Somehow protecting the very existence of the Japanese monarchy itself after WWIIHirohito also managed to keep his image in tact and lived to see the later economic success of Japan. This queen of ancient Japan when it was still called Wa holds a mystical place in Japanese history.

Though there are records of her in both Chinese and Korean documents, much of her life remains a mystery. Although recent discoveries point to an area near Nara. I am Japanese my self and learn Japanese history at school.

At fun fact, i didn't know !Long before the term " samurai " came into usage, Japanese fighters were skilled with the sword and spear. These warriors included some women, such as the legendary Empress Jingu, who lived between approximately and A. Linguistic purists point out that the term "samurai" is a masculine word; thus, there is no "female samurai. Between the 12th and 19th centuries, many women of the samurai class learned how to handle the sword and the naginata primarily to defend themselves and their homes.

In the event that their castle was overrun by enemy warriors, the women were expected to fight to the end and die with honor, weapons in hand. Some young women were such skilled fighters that they rode out to war beside the men, rather than sitting at home and waiting for a war to come to them.

Here are pictures of some of the most famous among them. Some depictions of what appear to be samurai women are actually illustrations of beautiful men, such as this Kiyonaga Torii drawing thought to have been created between to The "lady" shown here wears a long veil and civilian clothing over lacquered armor. According to Dr. Roberta Strippoli of Binghamton University, though, this actually is not a female but the famously pretty male samurai Minamoto Yoshitsune.

Yoshitsune defeated Benkei in hand-to-hand combat, after which they became fast friends and allies. The two died together at the Siege of Koromogawa in She was Minamoto's first captain and took at least one enemy head during the Battle of Awazu in The late-Heian era Genpei War was a civil conflict between two samurai clans, the Minamoto and the Taira.

Both families sought to control the shogunate. In the end, the Minamoto clan prevailed and established the Kamakura shogunate in The Minamoto did not just fight the Taira, though. As mentioned above, different Minamoto lords also fought one another. His cousin, Minamoto Yoritomo, became shogun.Using internet searches as a parameter, we've created a compilation of the most popular women in historylisted here in ascending order of popularity that is, No. There may be some unexpected names, and if a favorite doesn't appear in this list, it's likely that she was indeed researched, since more than women were included.

Unfortunately, some people's personal heroines just didn't show up in enough searches. Note: Rankings will shift every day. This listing is just one recent snapshot of the searching ranks for women on the web. Pioneer environmentalist Rachel Carson wrote the book that helped create the environmentalist movement in the late 20th century.

Isadora Duncan brought modern dance to the world, while living and dying with personal tragedy. Ruler of Halicarnassus, Artemisia helped Xerxes defeat the Greeks and then helped talk him into abandoning the war against the Greeks. Martha Graham was a dancer and choreographer best known as a leader of the modern dance expressionist movement, expressing emotion through dance.

Davis's support for revolutionary Black activist George Jackson led to her arrest as a conspirator in the abortive attempt to free Jackson from a Marin County, California, courtroom. Angela Davis was acquitted of all charges and became a renowned teacher and writer about feminism, Black issuesand economics. Golda Meir, a labor activist, Zionist, and politician, was the fourth prime minister of the state of Israel and second woman prime minister in the world.

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Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in the world to graduate from medical school. Blackwell was also a pioneer in the education of women in medicine. Gertrude Stein was a writer and associate of many of the 20th century's cutting-edge writers and artists.

Her salon in Paris was a center of modernist culture. She's known for her stream-of-consciousness style.

famous female japanese historical figures

Kennedytook office as President in Her books include a book on privacy. Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist whose groundbreaking work, especially in Samoa in the s, was strongly critiqued after her death. She emphasized cultural evolution and personal observation. A pioneer in social work, Jane Addams founded Hull-House in the 19th century and led it well into the 20th.

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She was also active in peace and feminist work. The sultry singer began at Harlem's Cotton Club and rose to stardom in both the film and music industries, even as she struggled to overcome the limitations placed on her career by racism.

Top 100 Women of History

After seeing the suffering caused by unwanted and unplanned pregnancies among the poor women she served as a nurse, Margaret Sanger took up a lifetime cause: the availability of birth control information and devices. Elizabeth Cady Stanton was the intellectual leader and strategist of the 19th century's women's rights movementthough her friend and lifelong partner in activism, Susan B.

Anthony, was more of a public face to the movement. Erma Bombeck's humor helped document the life of women in the 20th century as wives and mothers in suburban homes.The program featured the results of a survey that asked Japanese people to choose their favorite great person from history.

The show featured several re-enactments of scenes from the lives of the people on the list. The survey asked Japanese people to name their most-liked historical figures, not the most influential. The selection was not restricted to Japanese people, and only about two thirds of the names are Japanese, mostly important Japanese historical figures, such as samuraiprime ministerswar leaders, authors, poets.

The final list was as follows: [6]. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Princess Diana — Member of British royal family, philanthropist and known for her charity work Albert Einstein — physicist, known for theory of relativity Misora Hibari — singer and actress Fukuzawa Yukichi — Japanese author, writer, teacher, translator, entrepreneur and journalist who founded Keio University Anne Frank — diarist, known for "Het Achterhuis" Florence Nightingale — English social reformer and statistician, and the founder of modern nursing.

Mahatma Gandhi — activist, that led to Indian independence movement against British rule. Japan portal. Retrieved Archived from the original on 15 April Retrieved 12 July Archived from the original on 16 October Countries' greatest people TV series and media polls. Hidden categories: Articles with Japanese-language sources ja.

Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Help Learn to edit Community portal Recent changes Upload file. Download as PDF Printable version.Although women in Japan were recognized as having equal legal rights to men after World War IIeconomic conditions for women remain unbalanced. Women in Japan obtained the right to vote in The extent to which women could participate in Japanese society has varied over time and social classes.

In the 8th century, Japan had women emperors, and in the 12th century during the Heian periodwomen in Japan could inherit property in their own names and manage it by themselves: "Women could own property, be educated, and were allowed, if discrete sicto take lovers. From the late Edo periodthe status of women declined.

In the 17th century, the " Onna Daigaku ", or "Learning for Women", by Confucianist author Kaibara Ekkenspelled out expectations for Japanese women, stating that "such is the stupidity of her character that it is incumbent on her, in every particular, to distrust herself and to obey her husband".

Japan's 12 Most Famous Samurai

During the Meiji periodindustrialization and urbanization reduced the authority of fathers and husbandsbut at the same time the Meiji Civil Code of specifically the introduction of the "ie" system denied women legal rights and subjugated them to the will of household heads.

In interviews with Japanese housewives inresearchers found that socialized feminine behavior in Japan followed several patterns of modesty, tidiness, courtesy, compliance, and self-reliance. Tidiness included personal appearance and a clean home. Courtesy, another trait, was called upon from women in domestic roles and in entertaining guests, extended to activities such as preparing and serving tea. Lebra's traits for internal comportment of femininity included compliance; for example, children were expected not to refuse their parents.

Self-reliance of women was encouraged because needy women were seen as a burden on others. In these interviews with Japanese families, Lebra found that girls were assigned helping tasks while boys were more inclined to be left to schoolwork.

Although Japan remains a socially conservative society, with relatively pronounced gender rolesJapanese women and Japanese society are quite different from the strong stereotypes that exist in foreign media or travel guides, which paint the women in Japan as 'submissive' and devoid of any self-determination.

As the new de facto ruler of Japan, Douglas MacArthur ordered the drafting of a new constitution for Japan in February Other postwar reforms opened education institutions to women and required that women receive equal pay for equal work. Inthe Equal Employment Opportunity Law took effect. Legally, few barriers to women's equal participation in the life of society remain. However, socially they lack opportunities in the workforce due to the long work hours and dominance in the workplace by men.

In a global survey of women in parliaments, Japan ranked rd out of countries. During the 21st century, Japanese women are working in higher proportions than the United States's working female population. Japan has a strong tradition of women being housewives after marriage. A number of government and private post-war policies have contributed to a gendered division of labor. Some economists suggest that a better support system for working mothers, such as a shorter daily work schedule, would allow more women to work, increasing Japan's economic growth.

Inonly 3. The traditional role of women in Japan has been defined as "three submissions": young women submit to their fathers; married women submit to their husbands, and elderly women submit to their sons.

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