Strong Women, Strong Tea

Strong Women, Strong Tea

Published On: 03-20-2014 02:36pm

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Category: Food

Today is brought to me by Teavana's Samurai Chai Mate.

I have often wondered about women samurais.  Officially, of course, they did not exist.  However I found quite a bit of information and art to the contrary.

While “samurai” is a strictly masculine term, the Japanese bushi class (the social class samurai came from) did feature women who received similar training in martial arts and strategy. These women were called “Onna-Bugeisha,” and they were known to participate in combat along with their male counterparts. Their weapon of choice was usually the naginata, a spear with a curved, sword-like blade that was versatile, yet relatively light. Since historical texts offer relatively few accounts of these female warriors (the traditional role of a Japanese noblewoman was more of a homemaker), we used to assume they were just a tiny minority. However, recent research indicates that Japanese women participated in battles quite a lot more often than history books admit. When remains from the site of the Battle of Senbon Matsubaru in 1580 were DNA-tested, 35 out of 105 bodies were female. Research on other sites has yielded similar results.

All the artwork shows these women as quite beautiful... It makes me wonder how they were able to pass themselves off as boys and men. 

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