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Naginata Practice by Imerei Naginata Practice by Imerei
The samurai class produced many great warriors, but few of these warriors were female -- or more specifically, few women were mentioned as historical figures. As it turns out, the wives of samurai and female samurai were expected to be educated enough to handle the affairs of the household when their husbands were away...this even included defending the home.

Women of the samurai class were often associated with the naginata -- using their grace and dexterity to dispatch an opponent (often male) at a safe distance and prepare for the next.

Needless to say, practice was a necessity...


So at long last, this is the finished piece.

It took forever and I was forced to use the Windows Vista system. :dohtwo: Don't get me wrong, it works, but XP never had this many problems with the graphics tablet.

This piece was originally supposed to be done for the Anthro weekly contest, but between work and the main computer going down, I couldn't finish it in time. At least I did finish it.

WIP, Part 1: [here]
WIP, Part 2: [here]

Edit: Because I've been ribbed for this, female samurai did exist in fuedal Japan. To date, I have only found significant records on a handful of women skilled with naginata -- Hangaku Gozen (Itagaki), Tomoe Gozen, Nakano Takeko.

My search continues for more...


Tools: 0.9mm mechanical pencil, Photoshop CS2
Drawing Time: 30 minutes
CG Time: 60+ hours
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xxFalconArasxx Featured By Owner Edited Jun 25, 2017  Professional
Just to clarify on something. Although the Naginata is commonly associated with the Onnabushi (Woman Samurai) in pop culture, it was not designed as a "woman's weapon" historically. The Naginata is in essence a mass produced polearm commonly used by the Ashigaru (Peasant Footsoldiers). It is a type of glaive, which combines the functionality of a spear and halberd into one. It was introduced by the Sōhei (Buddhist Monks) around the 10th Century, and became a sort of weapon for the common man.

It's association with the Onnabushi was around the Early Edo Period (1600 AD). A special variant of the Naginata was introduced around this time period, called the "Ko-naginata". A Ko-naginata was essentially the same as a normal Naginata, except for it's shortened blade (the shaft usually remains about the same length). This was done in order to compensate for the decreased upper body strength of the average woman. A Ko-naginata was often gifted to a Samurai's daughter as part of a dowry, where she would be expected to learn how to fight with it. The Naginata was considered one of the weapons most suitable for women, since it allows a woman to keep opponents at a distance, where any advantages in height, weight, and upper body strength that an opponent may have would be mostly nullified.
Darigaaz-the-Igniter Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2010
This is AMAZING! Could I please use it for one of my fake Magic: the Gathering Cards?
Imerei Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Sure, as long as you give credit for the image...

...and send me a link. I'd love to see the result... ;)
[link] Thank you very much!
Imerei Featured By Owner Mar 13, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Nice job. :clap:
keichoku Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I dunno if they were naginata users, but look for Yoshioka Myorin-ni (the "-ni" means she was a Buddhist nun) and Tachibana Ginchiyo. ;)
Ikahodo Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009
But,there´s a little mistake,you see,the hand,which holds the naginata at it´s end,is suppossed to be around as far from the end of the naginata as the lenght of your elbow is.But i know that just because i started practising with naginata recently :D
Imerei Featured By Owner Nov 3, 2009  Hobbyist General Artist
Really? I didn't know that... :hmm:

It was drawn over a year ago, so I do know there are mistakes here and there. Even then, it's great to learn more about the naginata since resources are limited where I live.

Thanks and cheers! :meow:
Ikahodo Featured By Owner Nov 4, 2009
of course! :3
i like the pic anyway :)
reirei-san Featured By Owner Jun 20, 2009
Wow, how beautiful! The pose is so cool too^_^!
godofwarlover Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2008
A Kitsune Samurai? That's new. Looks nice.
Engirish Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Actually it is said that Tomoe Gozen was also very skilled with the bow and the sword, she was very pretty too, kinda based my character Sakura after her. Great pic by the way.
Imerei Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah, the beauty of historical facts. Multi-faceted as a warrior and female...

I love it when I learn more than technique from an art project. Thanks. :aww:
Engirish Featured By Owner Feb 15, 2008  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Ur wellcome, might wanna check out my characters
TheLonelyQueen Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2008  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh wow!!! very beautiful!!! nicely colored!!
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Submitted on
February 8, 2008
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