The Widow Who Ran a Ninja Academy
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The first Japanese woman to go to college didn't have a choice. But the experience changed her - and she changed Japan in return.
When her shogun husband cheated on her, she raised an army and destroyed the other woman's house. Later she deposed her incompetent son to become the first nun to rule Japan.
When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.
Fearsome undefeated samurai warrior who was "a match for any god or demon," and is one of Japan's greatest heroines to this day.
When invaders threatened her island home, she declared herself a living god, raised an army, and fought them tooth, nail, and occasional grenade.
Picked to be an impotent figurehead, this savvy intellectual quickly learned how to play politics and modernized the nation to ward off invasion.
When famine hit Jeju island, where she'd been exiled since birth, this prostitute-turned-businesswoman spent her fortune to feed everyone.
This princess held her father to his word in the most unexpected way: by demanding to marry the stupidest man in Korea.
Russia's greatest female thief was so slippery that even once she was re-captured after escaping from a Siberian prison, nobody was totally sure it was her.
Recruited widows, orphans, and prostitutes into an all-woman ninja spy group, the largest in Asia at the time.