Nakayama Shinsaku

Motoko Ikebe, by Arthur Braverman

Historically, the Japanese have considered women to be the proper interpreters of the teaching of the gods. In fact, the first spiritual and political leader of Japan on record was Himiko (or Pimiko), a queen whose authority was based on her religious or magical powers. She was a Shaman who the Chinese chronicles describe as unmarried with a thousand women attendants and one man, and who spent her time with magic and sorcery. She was a mediator between the people and their gods…