The relatively prosperous Edo period of time in Japanese History that started in the early 1600's and lasted well into the 1800's , saw the rise of the expertly trained female Ninja. The Kunoichi did everything from espionage to assassinations. Normally they were not in outright combat like their male counterparts but were usually groomed to assist them and gain access to enemies homes to carry out some of the less savory aspects that exist on the spectrum of Martial Arts. These women were trained in the traditional methods of Ninjutsu as well as mixing in Geisha aspects at times in order to grow closer to their target. There was nothing politically correct about how the Kunoichi were chosen and groomed but then again, history seldom is all roses and rainbows.
If you've ever played the very popular character of Kitana in Mortal Kombat, then you are aware she used sharp bladed fans along with combo moves to take out opponents. Now the fun facts are that the Katana is a well known Ninja sword and is used in several forms of Martial Artistry but with much caution, as they can slice a piece of paper dropped onto it in midair! Her name is a play on the swordsmanship aspect but also her infamous blades come from the Tessen fans carried around by almost all women in that time. The Kunoichi would mod them to have metal knives and razors or blades and then go about their "work".
Most of us have seen the claw like extensions that "Wolverine" and others possess to make them almost feline in fighing. That too has actual historical roots in the Neko- Te, which were deadly claw like hand and finger extensions to be able to cat claw any opposition in strategic areas. Some Kunoichi went rather rogue and began forming all female squadrons and I am going to leave some of these very exotic tales for future posts. It would not have been the easiest path to take as most were groomed as young girls and taught Ninjutsu and rather tragically Geisha tactics to employ them in enemy strongholds. Who says ladies can't fight and protect their turf? Historically speaking, many "Sportswomen" were finely tuned in Combat, Martial Arts, Archery and other assorted and delightful disciplines. Want to fight me on PS-4 MK as Kitana? Soon am going to be taking on challengers in E-Sports so get ready to play! :)