Untold Stories: Mochizuki Chiyome

It’s September 10, 1561 in Feudal Japan. Two warlords are waging war with their combined forces of 18,000 men. That day 10,000 of them died, and one of them was Mochizuki Moritoki. As he lay strewn across the battlefield before his uncle, Takeda Shingen, he made his dying wish: please take care of my wife.

But Takeda Shingen had something greater in mind.

He gave his wife Mochizuki Chiyome, a mission: to create an underground school of badass ninja women trained to completely fuck shit up for the enemy clan.

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Mochizuki wasn’t just going to sit pretty and idly let her life pass her by. She was smart, tough, and had an indomitable will. She was going to do this, and she was going to do it well.

So she opened a school in Koga Province, scribbled “NINJA SCHOOL FOR GIRLS” on a sign and invited everyone in. Done.

Just kidding.

She set up her dojo to look like a charitable orphanage to give religious training to young girls and young women that had been abandoned during the war.

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She then jumped on a horse and swept the countryside to handpick her recruits, looking for girls and women who had fire in their eyes. It didn’t matter whether they were orphans, prostitutes, or widows, what mattered was that they had grit and were hungry for a fresh start.

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On the outside, what seemed like a charitable cause was really a covert operation to train women all the ways in which they could infiltrate society, gather intelligence, slit throats, and fuck shit up.

They were taught how to blend in with society and impersonate everything from priestesses, noblewomen, prostitutes, and shrine maidens. They were trained in dance, singing, etiquette, and memorization techniques so that they could coax information out of military officers and report back in minute detail.

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One of their favorite costumes was that of a shrine maiden – so basically you’d see high level assassins roaming around town dressed like this:

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Over the course of 10 years, Mochizuki grew her operations to over 300 agents spread out throughout Japan, feeding her information and infiltrating every level of Japanese society. If you wanted information, or if you wanted something done right, you would go to Mochizuki.

We don’t know much about Mochizuki’s death or how her ninja school for badass women ended. But after the death of Takeda Shingen in 1573, she was never mentioned again. Was she captured? Killed? We don’t know.

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All we know is that Mochizuki and her network of badass ninja women seemed to disappear into the shadows, as swiftly as they appeared, like ninjas.

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