“Any woman can be a hero, but few heroes can be an Onna-bugeisha. To be a true warrior you must follow the qualities Empress Jingu dictated: loyalty to one’s lord or lady, honor unto death and unselfishness, a readiness to sacrifice one’s own for that of others. What samurai is courteous to all? What lord is kind to those weaker than himself? Men are raised at birth to be vainglorious and as a result they will never know the Way, Bushido. Remember that these qualities are the signs of a true Onna-bugeisha as our lady wrote down, a warrior and a hero.”
— from Angelique Ange’s history, “Onna-bugeisha: les mères de bushido.” (translated from French, out of print, Paris, 1977)
This morning I wrote the poem “without” and after re-reading what I had written I quickly decided none of the images would be in anything remotely resembling good taste when it came to a grieving father over his lost daughter. So I present them here instead in the hope they might get used one day for a different poem. Cheers!