Onna-bugeisha (女武芸者?) was a type of female warrior belonging to the Japanese upper class. Many wives, widows, daughters, and rebels answered the call of duty by engaging in battle, commonly alongside samurai men. They were members of the bushi (samurai) class in feudal Japan and were trained in the use of weapons to protect their household, family, and honour in times of war. They also represented a divergence from the traditional "housewife" role of the Japanese woman.
Cone-shaped helmet (tsuinari kabuto), Late Momoyama to early Edo period, 17th century. Iron, lacing, lacquer, shakudō, bronze, gold, fur; 27 ½. The Ann and Gabriel Barbier-Mueller Museum, Dallas. Courtesy, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Description of a katana sword, a weapon that plays a part in my SIGN OF THE DRAGON, set in Seattle's Underground (below the city's old Japan Town),1941. Before the Internment, Seattle's Japan Town was five times larger than its Chinatown. Little of it remains today.