Women in World History

Curriculum Showcase



Samurai Sisters: Early Feudal Japan

The story reveals how the lives of samurai women and women at the imperial court influenced by Heian Era ideals diverged as Japan entered the age of feudal military rule. Activities let students role play six historic figures on a pilgrimage to Japan's major sites, explore changing interests and concerns at different stages of one's life, and analyze poetry from the "great age of women writers" - the Heian period.

Spiralbound, 54 pages
8.5 x 11 inches
ISBN 1-890380-00-8

Downloadable PDF File: $6.00 (No Shipping Charges)


Samurai Sisters Story - the adventures of two sisters who go their separate ways. One marries a samurai, the other joins the court of the weak emperor Go-Toba. Inquiry questions and vocabulary integrated into the story.

Activities/Student Worksheets

Pilgrimage - students go on a pilgrimage as either Lady Murasaki Shikibu, Emperor Go-Toba, Shogun Minamoto Yoritomo, female samurai Gozen Tomoe, monk Honen, or empress Hojo Masa-ko.

Lady Murasaki's Diary - biography and diary exerpts.

The Stages of Life - charting the stages of womens' lives using information from the story.

Poetry Pages - describing moods and themes in Heian and early feudal period poems. Writing poems and holding a class "poetry contest."

Traditions that Transcend the Centuries - Two pages of contemporary photos showing ageless Japanese traditions.

Background Essay: Women in Heian and Feudal Japan

Selected Bibliography

PLACE AN ORDER: Downloadable PDF File

Check out the Sample Activity for this Unit

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Women in World History Curriculum