Heian and Kamakura, female members of the samurai class who became prominent or even present on the battlefield. Onna-musha or women warriors were very unusual. The most famous women warriors were Tomoe Gozen and Hangaku Gozen. Bushi women were trained mainly with the naginata they would also use the kaiken – a type of dagger – and the art of tantojutsu in battle.”

Japan: “In the earlier periods such as the Heian and Kamakura, there were female members of the samurai class who became prominent or even present on the battlefield. They were the exception and not the rule, but this doesn’t mean that most women.

Shaolin, Eagle Claw, by Steve McCurry

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The Father of American Ninjitsu; the first American Ninja. Professor Duncan successfully demonstrated Ninjitsu in the 1960s, although receiving acknowledgement from the Japanese government, he was intentionally omitted from Black Belt magazine for several years.

The Father of American Ninjitsu: the first American Ninja. Professor Duncan successfully demonstrated Ninjitsu in the Although receiving acknowledgement from the Japanese government, he was intentionally omitted from Black Belt magazine for several years.

Samurai executioner, a well known old practitioner who by his own account had in a year when business was brisk a very tolerable income. He received some 7 ichiboos (about $2.30) per head, and had taken off as many as 350 heads in a twelve month period, his office, however was a despised one.

Samurai executioner, a well known old practitioner who by his own account had…

Portrait of a former samurai.  Hand-colored photo taken in the 1870’s, Japan, a few years after the abolishing of the samurai by the command of the Emperor.  Photographer Felice Beato

Portrait of a former samurai. Hand-colored photo taken in the Japan, a few years after the abolishing of the samurai by the command of the Emperor by Felice Beato

Yasuke - o Samurai Africano became the first foreign Samurai, a slave from an Italian Diplomat in 1581. Yasuke spoke Japanese and the ways of the Katana, during the Edo period.

Yasuke - o Samurai Africano (the African Samurai) became the first foreign Samurai, a slave from an Italian Diplomat in Yasuke spoke Japanese and the ways of the Katana, during the Edo period.

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