Her biggest strength portrays as her biggest weakness. Wearing a kimono, she appears delicate and devout; she seems vulnerable. This misleading characteristic only enables better access for a close-range kill. She is a geisha assassin. A kunoichi-ryu, the deadly flower.
Her attacks are fatal, focusing on the throat, eyes and hair of her opponent. She is a trained and empowered killer, taught to strike with intent, use her surroundings, and act on her own accord. She hides poison in her hairpins and razors in her ivory fan. Her sash conceals steel claws, throwing stars, and blinding power, and acts as a garrotte. What is not hidden, is her. She walks among villagers, shrine attendants, and royalty, deceptive in a way a ninja can’t attempt.
Geisha assassins teach us that there is strength in weakness, beauty in independence and success in discipline. That women, given motivation, education, and opportunity, whether found or created, are leaders and doers. All we need is to do is try.
Illustration by Miguel Johnson
Written by Rae Reed