Nakano Takeko, 1847-1868: Last of the Samurai

Seems as good a time as any to check the record on women in foxholes again.

The evidence is not surprisingly thin and anecdotal for all the obvious reasons, but there are some interesting characters. Such as Nakano Takeko.

She was born in a part of Aizu  known for martial prowess into a family of Samurai.  Their loyalty was to the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate.

In 1866, the Meiji Imperial family tired of being figure heads and they had supporters willing to fight to bring them back to power. (There was also irritation that the shogunate had permitted  foreign intruders  Commodore Perry and his crew – among which number was my wife’s great-great grandfather. A story for another time).  War broke out.  The Boshin War.  The Imperials were fewer, but they had more modern weapons.  Continue reading