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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 the Portuguese took the throne from her, this Angolan queen made a new one: out of her own servant. She then fled to the jungle, conquered a tribe of cannibals, and waged war on the Portuguese for so long that they gave up and left.
When she came face-to-face with a great monster, this mother saved her child and herself through bravery, quick thinking, and great culinary skills.
Marguerite de la Rocque
Stranded by her cruel relative on an abandoned Canadian island (literally named the Isle of Demons), she survived for two years by hunting animals and eventually made it back to France.
One of the first Indian women to practice law, she fought against -- and inside of -- a system that held no room for her.
Born in a prison cell, this revolutionary financed and led a large chunk of Greece's navy to victory in their fight for independence.
Labotsibeni Gwamile LaMdluli
When her husband inadvertently sold the country to colonial forces, this queen spent the rest of her life getting it back.
When famine hit Jeju island, where she'd been exiled since birth, this prostitute-turned-businesswoman spent her fortune to feed everyone.
Destined to be a mere political pawn, this Mongol queen rode into battle while pregnant, united the warring tribes, and was considered to be the second coming of Genghis Khan.
This revolutionary heroine of South America kept a pet bear, a disembodied moustache, and a lifestyle that defied every convention possible.