kunoichi

Everyone is probably familiar with the word ninja but not many have heard of kunoichi, the female ninja. The term is thought to derive from the names of characters that resemble the three strokes in the kanji character for woman (女, onna); said in the order they are written: ku (く) – no (ノ) –ichi (一). Zen offers something he learned about kunoichi in Japan.

I was on Skype last night chatting with a friend in Kobe Japan. He is a Kung Fu teacher there and runs the Kobe Kung Fu School. Other than our topic of politics, and life style both here and there. I brought up that I noticed that while doing research on Kung Fu in Japan that there were far more females involved in the study of Shaolin Kung Fu, not only as students but as teachers. There is a big organization of Shaolin there in northern Japan, the head instructor and most of those under her are females. I found this surprising , as here in the states it is quite the opposite. I then recalled that most of his students were also female. I questioned him on that.

He said true there were only about 2 or 3 students of his who were male. The rest which were the majority were females. He said that the females there in Japan over all are much “stronger” than the men. They are much more likely to be open minded about learning something outside their culture and expanding their mind as well as being more physically tough. I asked have the men lost the Samurai spirit? He said, the Samurai were really just a small portion of the society back in the day. Most people were farmers and the like. The women needed to be tough. Those who know about Japan know that the Oba-chans are not ones to be messed with :-) Many women there maybe be Physically in size small but their spirits are tough.

I know for a fact that the women in Japan live much longer than the men. I had thought that was due to the men needing to be at work most of the time. Overworking is common in Japan.

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