1. historical topless teenaged female Japanese wandering martial arts nuns

    Okay, bear with me a moment, this requires some set-up. 

    You know about the yamabushi, I assume, the Japanese mountain hermit-monks who supposedly had magical powers and who often actually had martial ability—some quite considerable, to the point of staging actual “civil wars” against the samurai for around 400 years. (They were bad-ass warrior-monks, is what they were).

    In reading Murdock’s magisterial History of Japan, we find mention that during the 17th century there was a huge population of homeless former servants in Edo. “Of the many shifts they adopted to escape it, the most common was to become yamabushi or shugenja.” For the women…”at the same time the discharged female servants usually became Kumano Bikuni.” 

    Kumano Bikuni?

    "The Bikuni were a religious order of young girls living under the protection of nunneries at Kamakura and Kyoto but wandering and collecting alms like the yamabushi. ‘They are much the handsomest girls we saw in Japan, and easily obtain the privilege of begging in the habit of nuns, knowing that beauty is one of the most persuasive inducements for travelers to let them feel the effects of their generosity. They go neatly and well clad, wearing a black silk hood upon their shav’d heads, and a light hat over it. Their behavior is to all appearances modest and free, neither too bold and loose nor too dejected and mean, but they make nothing of laying their bosoms quite bare to the view of charitable travelers.”

    Now, you can’t tell me that the Bikuni weren’t getting some martial arts training from the yamabushi, not with the possibility of rape being what it was. I’m certain that the Bikuni were equipped to defend themselves. We even find them described as a “menace” later in the century. 

    So…historical, topless, teenaged female Japanese wandering martial arts nuns. For realz. 


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    This is why history, this is why books. On a related note, this is why some of us find the current state of the world …...
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    You had me at “topless.”
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