The Samurai Who Made Samurai Flee
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Recruited widows, orphans, and prostitutes into an all-woman ninja spy group, the largest in Asia at the time.
When invaders threatened her island home, she declared herself a living god, raised an army, and fought them tooth, nail, and occasional grenade.
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.
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.
When a government magistrate unjustly killed her son, this unassuming middle-aged wife spent years raising an army to topple that same government.
Fearsome undefeated samurai warrior who was "a match for any god or demon," and is one of Japan's greatest heroines to this day.