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Traditions of the Amazons of Japan
'':-,-iiy hzE&yyL x -Ja,,,tv" rSIUWAKA, A KA MOT'S FEMALE WARRIOR. OVERCOMING TURKIC DOl'IiTABLi:. SAMl'RAI From an Old Colored Trim. 35 (Copyright. 1901, by E. B. Warner.) I " I spondctits from Toklo are full of A I 1 1 fit I un nf th Rnrtnn fnnrnjrft and resolution shown by Japan ese women at the present crisis of their country's fortunes. Tliey send their husbands, sons, brothers and sweet hearts to the front with a smile upon the'.r lip; they tell them to be proud of the chance to die for the Mikado, they tei then that they must think only of their duly, and not of the girls they leave behind them. This Spartan spirit has been cultivated In the women of Japan more than 2,000 years, until it has become, second nature to them. In olden days Japan produced a fine crop of Amazon warrlois. whose ex ploits live In history and provided subjects for those delicately beautiful color prints of Toyokmi and Hlyodushl which aro now so popular among American artists and art collectors. Nowada8 Japanese women do not go to war except as Kid t'ros.4 nurses, although several of them, dl-gu'se 1 us soldiers, tried to be sent to light against (V'lna, and, according to the Japanese newspapers, many In the country part.i have applied to enlist against Russia. But although they have to slay quietly at home, It Is evident that the fighting spirit Inher ited from generations of warlike ancestors on both sides is as keen as ever. Japanese girls, who seem so meek and tender and loving that the foreigner would never dream of associating thought of vio lence and bloodshed with them, are tauvht from their earliest childhood to reverence the Empress Jingo, who conquered Corea, and are told all about the brave deeds of other Amazons who are distinguished in Japanese history. Vshlwaka was ne of the most famous f these female warriors. She lived In t lie middle ages of Japan, and no man could stand against her In single combat. She is generally represented in the color prints as vanquishing at the same moment throo redoubtable samurai, Sai.goku Hum, Yanu hlta Kuro and Surihnrl Taro. Another noted amazon was the Lady Kurvo, who donned the full armor of a samurai and went out to battle in order to have re venge on the man who had killed her husband. After many exciting adventures jid desperate encounters, she eventually lew 1dm In a hand-to-hand fight. 8he was captured Uy a party of his sam Ural, bound hand and foot, and taken to bis palace. But one of the young men, who had fallen In love with her for her beauty and courage secretly cut the bonds At night when she was awaiting Judgment. Bhe stayed In the garden of the palace all night, armed with a sword whi"h she had picked up when her bonda were ut. In the morning, as she exicted, her husband's murderer came out Into the garden to par hU devotions to the honor able bamboo which Imprisoned the spirits of his ancestors. Like a good ShintoDt, she allowed him to perform them in peaco and then walked from behind a concealing clump of bushes and offered him the al ternative of committing hari-kari or engag ing her In mortal combat, lie chose the hitter, and was slain. According to one Japanese chronicler, the Woman cut his head clean off by the iirst strong, sweeping blow of her iwonl. Ishl, the wife of Oboxhl Yurano-suUe, leader of the forty-seven ronins who avenged the death uf their lord and then committed harl-kuri at his tomb In a b idy, was another strong minded woman, win is held up to thy admiration ci' all Jai.aiie o girls. When her husband departed on his fateful enterprise, she to'd her son, Klk lya, a lad of ,1s, that he must go with his father and .-how piety to the memory of their lord. After they had gone she suit all the male servants away and trained her maids In the art of nwordmanship, so that they could help her to defend the house while the men were away. They slew a band of robbers who attacked thcui and kept faith ful watch and ward, hoping for the mas ter's return. When the news came that father and son hud performed the "happy dispatch," Ishl did riot weep. She promptly drew the short sword of the samurai front her sash and Joined them. She is regarded in Japan as a perfect type of the brava and faithful wife. A story which Japanese artists have loved to tell for cent uiies past in their color prints is that of the brave peasant girl, Kowan. About 1500 A. D. she lived at Olsal, and her lord was secretly a traitor to the Sliogun Toritoioo, who ruled Japan at that time in the name of the .Mikado. Serving in the lord's house, Kowan became ac quainted with n plot to assassinate thii Hhogun and got possession of a. letter which coiitain- d the details of it. The Sliogun was uboaid bis Junk on Iike Biwa. some distance uway. Thither tho fciii lied, hotly pursued by the treacherous lord and his vassals. They came up with lier Just as she reached the shore of tha lak", but she plunged into the stormy wat ers and swam to tho Hhoguu's ship, with t he all-impoi buit letter (irmly gripin d in b r teeth. Dozens of arrows cut the water all around her, but she escaped them and was pli li d lip by a boat lowered from the Junk. When the Sliogun heard the story he promptly treated the tie u hi rous lord and ills fellow conspirators to "something lingering with boiling oil in It." 1'nforlunately, he did not fall In love with the girl and marry Iter, which rather spoils the story from an Occidental standpoint. Kowan is always represented in tho color prints swimming out to tho junk, while Ut traitors m shore fuiiuualy rage together. , , vxlM- ,: -..trw f.-r. rjnrvi s' J I J AMAZON IM'TTINO TO ROl'T A SMALT, ARMY OK I'OLK'KM I'.N, SI' NT TO SKIZK 1 1 1 : It l-'olt TI1K SIIOtJl'N. From an Old Colored Flint. Tho Empress Jingo, gteatest of all the Amazons of Japan, belongs to the legend ary era of that country before the Intro duction of Buddhism in the liftli century, and many stories are told of In r which certainly cannot be regarded as authentic history. For example, she Is said to have been cniiiiite before she lift Japan to Invade t'o:ea and to have given birth to her ron, ojin, afterwards deified as the Japanese !;i'i of war, upon her return. Inasmuch as three years elapsed, that could I irdly have been possible; but when this fa;t is pointed out to the Japanese Jiiirikisha man who tells the ioielgmr the legend, he smiles pleasantly and says that It it on" j another proof of the miraculous powers of Jlnuo Kogo. Did she not mnlui the tW'cs and the waves do her bidding? W oulil she be likely to be troubled by a little thing like that? After this story, the traveler In Japan hears without a gasp that Jingo overcame a hundred Coreaus sii'Kle-haudiil, and Slew the great Corean champion whom none of her warriors could tackle. He hail killed a dozen of them, one after the other, In single combat; but Jingo cut off his head at the tlrst onslaught with her mighty two-handed sword. In the feudal days of Japan, up to the restoration era, the wives and daughters of the samurai were regularly trained in the aristocratic science of arms, and fought as readily and bravely as the men. But they were not, as u rule, allowed to light unless it was absolutely necessary for the protection of life and honor. The samurai were not chivalrous according to the Ideas of Occidental knighthood; they did not deem It disgraceful tu their man hood to allow women to light; but, to their minds, lighting -vas such an honorable luxury, such an august privilege, that they wanted all of It for themselves, and thought It altogether too good for an Infe rior creature like woman. Thus It was that tht Amazons of Japan generally per formed l heir achievements when their lord was away from home at the wars, and bis enemies v a band of robbers attacked the house in his abHc.uo. They did not fight with 'he famous Pword of the samurai, except on the rare occasions when they m iscpii railed as one In ord- r to fight by the bid,. (,f a lover or a hus band. The long, doiiblc-hllted sword and the short sw ad for the "happy dispatch" wa re tho scried property of the male war rior, and It was a crime for anyone ex cept a samurai to carry them. Women, vhen luting as tho "home guard." were surpo.md to be content with a medium length sword, betwixt . the two, and a f i tf-lilful looking h ilU rt. much like a short Bcjthr; lashed to the end of a long pobi. The Japanese artists of past generations wero fond of depicting them doing won derful feats with this awkward Weapon. (inly tho uamurul clasa were allowed to carry arms In old Jaran, and this rule ap plied to the women u well as to the men. Nevertheless, many stories i:re told of the heroism of women of the peasant and "helwin" (trading) classes, who resisted at tho swoid's point the dishonorable ad vances of their "d.ilmlo" (feudal hud) or even of the Sliogun himself. An i hi Toyokuni color print shows a woman named I lenli nkozo Ka neiiosiiko putting to rout a small aimy of policemen sent I y the Sliogun lo si l.e her for one of his concubines. She was doubly famous lis being the prettiest girl in Japan III her day ami the most virtuous. She lived In Kioto anil was the idol of the town. The greatest of the dalmlos wooel her in vain, and when one of tin in thieit cned her Willi v iolence she eiialletieei d Mill to light and easily overcame him, although he was one of the most noted swordsmen of the day In Japan. At last the Sliogun saw her one day when riding through the streets of Klo'o. lie straightway fell In love, but she repi lied his advances in spite of his ile-potle power and great prestige. Knowing little of her prjwcss in arms, the Sliogun did not trouble to send soldiers to seize her. lie Hi nl In stead a Hquad of policemen or the func tionaries who answered to policemen In that day. They were armed with short Iron clubs, which were of little use i gilnst the heroine's! sword. The chroniclers re cord with horrible glee the manner in which She carved those poor policemen, putting at least a dozen of them on the strength of the force. The Sliogun admired her bravery, and ild not trouble her further Bassett Stalin s. Pointed Paragraphs Other people's troubles bore a. man more than Ills own. Women would rather look at dresses than listen to addresses. If a man has a stiff Income he ran afford to have a stiff backbone. Every man gets a lot of tree advice which isn't worth much. It makes a man feel cheap to be caught looking at a picture of himself. Some girls would rather (lilt than tat, and some do both simultaneously. The Judge charges the Jury, but not as much as the lawyer charges his client. Many a man who knows there Is rcom at the top sits down and waits for tho elevator. With the exception of tho girl's father and the dog nil the world tolerates it lover. If a trurrhd man has degrading ties It Is tin to one his wife bought tin m at a bargain sale. Many a man who meanders around tho free lunch route dally likes to be seen entering a liist-class hoti 1 When a young man begins lo Inquire about a girl's abilities as a cook It Is up to her to ascertain If he can provide the Leccsbary material. Chicago New.