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Images of Samurai Women


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Tomoe Gozen Defeats Another Warrior
Print by Shuntei Katsukawa, c. 1804-1818

Female samurai Tomoe Gozen disarms a male warrior.

Library of Congress Prints Collection

This gorgeous rendition of Tomoe Gozen shows her almost as a goddess, with her long hair and her silk wrap flowing up behind her. She has the traditional Heian-era woman's eyebrows - the natural brows are shaved off, and then bushier ones are painted high on the forehead, near the hair-line.

Tomoe Gozen here is relieving her opponent of his long sword (katana), which has fallen to the ground. She has his left arm in a firm grip, and may be about to claim his head as well.

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