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Kunoichi ( Japanese く ノ 一 ) is the name of a female ninja . The term Kunoichi is an artificial word that comes from the Japanese Kanji for woman ( , onna ). If you break down the Kanji into its three strokes, you get , the Hiragana syllable ku , , Katakana syllable no and the Kanji ichi .


History indicates that Kunoichi has existed since 1561. They were established when the samurai Mochizuki Moritoki died on the battlefield. His wife Chiyome ( 望月 千代 女 , Mochizuki Chiyome ) supported Takeda Shingen , who suggested that she set up a network of Kunoichi. The first Kunoichi were Miko , shrine women who were trained in espionage and courier activities, but also in observation.

The other students were orphans of the civil war , whom she accepted and trained. This created a well-functioning spy network, of which only Takeda Shingen was aware, otherwise Chiyome worked alone under the guise of taking in orphaned children.

As Shimma-kunoichi members of ninja families were designated, trained along with their male relatives. Karima-kunoichi, on the other hand, did not come from these families, but were hired.


  • Stephen K. Hayes: The Ninja and Their Secret Fighting Art . Tuttle Publishing, 1981, ISBN 0-8048-1374-4