When people talk about ninjas, they often conjure images of a strong man in a black outfit attacking his enemies with a sword.
The truth is, most ninjas operated with a high degree of stealth and subtlety than is commonly depicted in movies and television.
One of the smoothest operators to have existed in history is the kunoichi, or female ninja.
The kunoichi, or female ninja, was trained in many of the same arts as their male counterparts…and then more.
These female ninjas could be particularly useful around male government officials, warlords, merchants and more…who often underestimated women and made it very easy for the kunoichi to extract information.
Extracting information and assassination were tasks that were often given to kunoichi as their skill set were particularly honed for such missions.
Here are a few unique examples of how kunoichi shinobi were leveraged:
The female ninjas were experts at assassination. They could have modified hairpins, sharpened to a point, dipped in poison, and ready to pull from their hair the moment the opportunity presents itself.
Kunoichi we’re also experts when it came to eavesdropping and extracting information with conversational tactics – then forwarding that stolen information to another ninja or fellow agent. (Not to mention, the traditional seductress route of obtaining information from men.)
At times, the kunoichi were tasked simply with infiltrating a location and sharing information about it to assist other ninjas in their raid of the location.
Hiding in Plain Sight
These stealthy female operatives were particularly dangerous because it could be nearly impossible to identify a kunoichi unless you caught her in the act. They do not carry obvious weapons, they did not brazenly attack their enemies, and often operated with a high degree of intellect.
The information captured by the kunoichi could have drastic impacts on troop movements and the plans of the local daimyos (feudal lords).
Much of the work of a kunoichi took place simply pretending to be a maid of an enemy. This would allow them opportunities to eavesdrop, steal bits of information, and gossip with other servants to discern any information that could be used against their enemies.
Far too many of these “daimyos” fell because they underestimated the women around them…the kunoichi..the Female Ninja