Knowledge of these women has being greatly overshadowed, by their male counterparts but the roles they played can not be so easily forgotten, these Japanese women were mostly wives of Samurais but were also warriors themselves.
It was during the Kamakura Period, that the roles of women in Japan changed, they were now given more responsibilities, especially Samurai wives who were expected to support their husbands, both in and out of wars by training their children in the Samurai way. With the men at war the women were now allowed, to control the home as well as family finances, they were given rights to inheritance but most importantly, they were expected to defend their homes, in the event of an invasion by the enemy.
But after the
But roles such as child bearing "especially of healthy males" was very much expected as well as demanded, teaching the children the proper Samurai ways and defense of their homes, still remained a priority for Japanese women.
Tomoe Gozen was the wife, of a prominent warrior called
History has it that Hojo Masako planned with her father and son, to usurp ruling power from her husband's Minamoto clan, at that time the Minamoto clan was the ruling house of Japan.
Hojo Masako took power and transferred it to her own Hojo clan. If not for Hojo Masakoís efforts, the Hojo clan would never have become a ruling house in Japan, it was said that they held
History has it that when Wakamatsu Castle was besieged, by enemies which outnumbered the Samurais of the Aizu clan by 20,00 to 3,000. The Samurais had to quickly organize, every able bodied person who could use a weapon, to help defend the castle.
A small band of women which included Nakano Takeko, was said to have defended the Castle and Nakano Takeko was said to be at the forefront of the battle, she kept charging through enemy lines with her Naginata and felled so many enemies, she couldn't be stopped ... until a shot hit her chest.
The story continues that in other not to be captured by the enemy, Nakano Takekoís sister called Yuko had a pre-agreement with Nakano Takeko, to remove her head so that she would not be identified by the enemy, Yuko tearfully performed her sister's wishes and took it back home to be honored.
Today, there is a monument to honor Nakano Takeko, at a temple in Aizu Bangemachi, also the women of Japan are still very active, in various skills such as martial arts, which they have gained a lot of recognition, especially by winning gold in Judo at the 2004 Olympics.