Kunoichi - Female Ninja
What is a Kunoichi?
'Kunoichi' is a term used for female practitioners of the art of ninjutsu. According to what we know today, they were particularly known for their skills in information gathering and their intuition. Like the men, they were also trained in self protection, including the skills and tools necessary to keep themselves safe.
Contrary to some popular myths, ninja were not simply assassins for hire. One of their strong suits was the ability to gather intelligence. The saying is, 'information is power', and that is as true today as it was in feudal Japan. The ninja's ability to 'hide in plain sight', by taking on roles such as gardener, farmer or priest to gather information, was one of the many skills they practiced. In the case of the kunoichi, they were able to take on roles that men could not - maid, shrine attendant, courtesan, concubine, servant, etc. - to gain access to people and information.
According to Dr. Masaaki Hatsumi, Grandmaster of the Bujinkan system, kunoichi were given special training in psychological skills and intuition. They would also have been trained in Hensojutsu (acting, disguise, impersonation, infiltration), and in skills such as music, dance, tea ceremony, etc. that were needed when taking on certain roles.
Kunoichi in the modern world are just as likely to be found in roles and professions that in former times would have been limited only to men. Women in the Bujinkan can today be found in fields such as: law enforcement, military, executive protection, legal, medical - you name it.