Tomoe Gozen led her legion of female samurai across the wastelands south toward Edo Bay. It was there she heard of the slaughter that took place of the populations of Tokyo, Kanagawa Prefecture, and Chiba Prefecture by the hated American Commodore Matthew Perry.
The great houses had been destroyed by so called “gunboat diplomacy.” She and her companions of long acquaintance were well aware of the “Unequal Treaties” that had been imposed upon China in the previous ten years since the Opium War. This would not happen in Nippon, or if it did, then she and her company, a thousand strong, would be dead and never witness the atrocity.
“Ei Ei!” Hangaku Gozen, her childhood friend and adult lover shouted from behind.
“Ou!” The response came from the other warrior women.
When the sun set tomorrow, they would be victorious or they would join the spirits of their ancestors, their blood drenching the soil of their doomed nation.
I wrote this for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #43. The idea is to craft a short story no more than 300 words long based on one or more images he’s posted. My word count is 155.
The graphic reminded me of classic samurai, but recently, I’d read an article about Onna-0bugeisha, female samurai, and believe me, they were totally bad ass. You can learn more about them by reading A Long History of Japanese Women Warriors.
The battle cries I found at Reddit.
Oh, the whole Commodore Perry “gunboat diplomacy” part of history can be discovered by clicking the link.
4 thoughts on “Onna-bugeisha”
Another tale that perfectly illustrates with words what the image conveyed. Thanks for participating, James.
You’re welcome. Hope you read up on them.
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A pity these ladies weren’t featured in the 2003 film “The Last Samurai”. But I haven’t yet pursued the Wikipedia references to an unrelated novel of the same title, or a 2011 Japanese film, or one from 1974.
History is so much more interesting than what Hollywood chooses to portray.