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Mental Training and Women Samurai
Transcript of Mental Training and Women Samurai
The traditional values meant to inspire the samurai woman's spirit were humbleness, dutifulness, and discipline
Women samurai followed the code of Bushido
Personal honor was very important to samurai women, and they were always ready to die to protect it. They could commit seppuka, but they were given the option of slitting their throat an addition to cutting their stomach.
They received the same family education as men, including discipline, self-control, uses and customs of society, martial arts, flower arranging, archery, the tea ceremony and Confucian principles.
Training in Preparedness
Women Samurai in Battle
Not as many female samurai fought compared to the many fighting male warriors.
Female samurai often fought alongside men
They usually fought with more feminine weapons, such as the naginata( a staff with a long curved blade), knives hidden in hair as clips, and the tessan.
The Power of Women Samurai
General Duties of Women Samurai
Raising their children with the samurai upbringing and educating them.
Defending the home and family while the husband was away fighting.
Fighting, often alongside men, in battles.
Managing household finances and staff
Caring for elderly parents.
Sometimes they had to educate servants.
Mental Training and Women Samurai
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The social class of samurai women was known as “onna bugeisha”.
If a woman was born into a samurai family she became a samurai.
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The Women Samurai
Samurai had to develop a "sixth sense" about danger
They could never relax, they were trained to always be prepared and stay alert
They had to be prepared for an attack when least expected
Training in Self-Control
Samurai had to master their bodies. They had to establish the authority of Self over whole body
Samurai had to learn to control their emotions
To overcome fear of death they thought of themselves as already dead
They had to train their bodies to endure pain and suffering. They went days with out food or water, marched barefoot in the snow for miles, and held stiff postures for hours
Samurai had to train in self-control
They had to train in preparedness
The practice of meditation helped
Samurai learn self control.
Meditated everyday to train the mind
When samurai were at peace they were supposed to meditate on inevitable death.
When Samurai were in training their master would whack them hard with a wooden stick when they least expected it. The masters did this to train them to always be prepared.
The Samurai were told stories about preparedness. In one of the stories, a samurai was writing and felt and attack coming, he threw his ink into the attackers eye and escaped.
Samurai holding a stiff posture without complaining
In the 12th century women samurai enjoyed good status and power. They helped manage the household and sometimes fought in battles.
After Tokugawa Ieyasu unified Japan the role of female samurai changed. Husbands were government official and the women took on a more “domestic” role.
Additionally, after the Kamakura period daughters were used as pawns in power struggles, and this reduced the influence of female samurai
By the 17th century women's position had weakened, and their husbands were "higher up" than they were. Samurai woman also lost some rights regarding land during this time. However, they were still expected to defend their home and educate their kids.
Meditated about being shot by arrows, rifles, spears and swords
being carried away by waves
being thrown into a fire
being struck by lightning
being killed by an earthquake
falling off a cliff
1. What was the name of the main weapon the women samurai carried?
2. Name one of a samurai woman's duties.
3. What is another name for the class of samurai women?
4. How did samurai masters train their students to be prepared?
5. What were samurai supposed to meditate about?