3 Japanese Women Warriors That Changed History

For thousands of years, many Japanese women from the upper class have participated in battles and learned the martial arts. Many of these women used these skills to protect their homes and themselves. Of course, some were exceptional warriors out of many of these women.

These women warriors fought the wars alongside men and changed history. Here are some of the top Japanese women warriors you must know about.

1. Tomoe Gozen

Gozen is a title that means lady, and Tomoe Gozen was an excellent archer, rider, and swordswoman. In 1184, during the Battle of Awazu, she took one enemy head. No one knows what happened to her after this because there are various stories in circulation.

For example, some people say that she carried the enemy’s head and rode away with victory. Other people say that she stayed during the entire fight and died afterward. Finally, there are also stories that got married to Wada Yoshimori, who died later, and Tomoe Gozen led the life of a nun after this incident.

2. Hangaku Gozen

Another female warrior that actively participated in the Genpei War was this female warrior. She was in alliance with the clan that ended up losing the war, i.e., the Taira clan. After that, Hangaku and Sukemori made an attempt to defeat the Kamakura Shogunate in the Kennin Uprising during the thirteenth century.

Hangaku created an entire army and began leading them to attack the Kamakura Shogunate supported. However, during this time, Hangaku received an arrow wound. After that, she was captured and taken as a prisoner.

She married Asari Yoshito during this time and had a daughter with him. Stories say that after this time, she led a peaceful life and did not participate in any battles or wars again.

3. Yamamoto Yaeko

Yamamoto was a female samurai defender in the Aizu region. The best part about her skills is that she was an exceptional shooter because of her father. He was a gunnery instructor and taught Yamamoto everything she knew.

In 1869, the shogunate forces faced defeat, and after this, she wanted to look after her brother, which is why she moved to Kyoto. He needed care because he received incredibly severe punishment from the Satsuma clan when he was taken to prison. Her brother married a preacher and became a Christian convert.

According to many sources, Yamamoto lived to be near the age of ninety. Besides that, she also found a Christian school in Kyoto, known as the Doshisha University.

Final Words

These are the top three Japanese women warriors that changed history. They were highly skillful, and they did everything in their power to defend themselves and the people they were fighting for. We don’t get to see such skilled women warriors in this day and age.

Of course, there have been many others as well who changed the course of history and the role of women in their respective times. These women are an important reminder to live up to our full potential and leave a mark on the world.