Saturday, October 23, 2004
The sight of Tomoe-Gozen was the pivot around which I wrote my thesis. There she was, a woman warrior in what I thought was a strict patriarchal society. Since then I have learned that Japan wasn't always a patriarchal society but the site of a woman warrior is not common by any means. She lived and fought in a liminal time at the end of the Heian Period and the beginning of the Warring States Period. During the Heian Period women of the Imperial court had both power and authoriy over the court and their own lives. In the Warring States period they lost all authority and most of their power. Tomoe-Gozen was the last of these women. She was able to hold power and authority as a woman acting like a man. After her disappearance women had little power and authority outside their roles as wifes or courtesans.