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Onna-musha - Women warriors

                                                                                Japanese Bushi women

Bushi women were trained mainly with the naginata because of its versatility against all manner of enemies and weapons. It was generally the responsibility of women to protect their homes rather than go off to battle, so it was important that they become skilled in a few weapons that offered the best range of techniques to defend against marauders who often attacked on horseback. 

One of the most famous women warrior was Tomoe Gozen.
She was described as follows:

"Tomoe was especially beautiful, with white skin, long hair, and charming features. She was also a remarkably strong archer, and as a swords-woman she was a warrior worth a thousand, ready to confront a demon or a god, mounted or on foot. She handled unbroken horses with superb skill; she rode unscathed down perilous descents. Whenever a battle was imminent, Yoshinaka sent her out as his first captain, equipped with strong armor, an oversized sword, and a mighty bow; and she performed more deeds of valor than any of his other warriors."

--Tale of the Heike. 

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