Female Bodyguard of Feudal Japan
Betsushiki are women trained in swordsmanship in Feudal Japan. They protected female members of their lords. The custom required them to shave their eyebrows probably to make them appear unattractive. Love affairs across different socioeconomic classes were taboo, then. Wearing two swords just like their male counterparts, they accompanied the female members of their lords with a resolute air. Coming from the lower samurai class, they probably could not have wished for any better trade. Many of them might have stayed unmarried.
I tried to capture a betsushiki's resolute air with a tinge of sadness in her expression. Feminism movements have come a long way since her time. May her strength of character encourage us to push the movements even further!
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