Did Female Samurai Exist?

Female samurai who are stronger than men often appear in jidaigeki (historical plays), but did they really exist?

The answer is yes. There are some female samurai in the Japanese history.

Japanese website goo Oshiete Watcher (link below) named five female fighters.



Tomoe Gozen (1157-1247) (picture above): A female samurai who was concubine of a general Minamoto no Yoshinaka, and fought in Genpei War.


Kaihime (1572-?): A concubine of a daimyo Toyotomi Hideyoshi. She put up a good fight leading 300 warriors against a large army consisted of tens of thousands warriors.


Oohouri Tsuruhime (1526-1543): She led navy force to defeat enemy troop in behalf of her parents and boyfriend who were assaulted.


Nakazawa Koto: A female swordsman who disguised herself as a man in the last days of the Tokugawa shogunate. She was expert at pole sword. Disguised as a man, she joined post-Shinsengumi (shogunate police and military force in Kyoto) and later patrolled Edo (old Tokyo) city.


Ii Naotora: In the Age of Civil Wars, she was a feudal lord and foster mother of Naomasa who was Four Guardians of the Tokugawa. Although she wasn’t a warrior, she made Ii family to be the leading daimyo. It was officially announced that she was a man and the truth was unveiled more than a hundred year later.


If they could conceal the true sex, there must have been more female samurai that are unknown today.


Source: goo Oshiete Watcher


This is JAPAN Style!