Mochizuki Chiyome
望月 千代女
Born16th century
DiedUnknown date
Takeda mon.svg
Takeda clan
Commands heldLeader of female ninjas (Kunoichi) of the Takeda clan
Spouse(s)Mochizuki Moritoki

Mochizuki Chiyome (望月 千代女), also known as Mochizuki Chiyojo (望月 千代女) or Mochizuki Chiyo (望月 千代),[1] was a 16th-century Japanese poet and noblewoman. She is known for creating a group of kunoichi in service of the Takeda clan.[2][3]


Chiyome, a descendant of the 15th-century ninja Mochizuki Izumo-no-Kami (望月出雲守) of the Kōga-ryū, was the wife of Mochizuki Moritoki, a samurai lord of Shinano's Saku District and himself a distant relative of Izumo-no-Kami. After Moritoki was killed in the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima, Chiyome was left in the care of the daimyō Takeda Shingen, the leader of the Takeda clan and an uncle of her late husband. It was then when Takeda approached her and tasked her with creating an underground network of kunoichi (female ninja) for use against rival warlords.

Takeda's plan was to have fully trained female operatives who could act as spies and agents used to gather information and deliver coded messages to his allies; Mochizuki was the best candidate for this, since she came from a long line of Kōga ninja. She accepted the task, set up her operation in the village of Nezu (祢津村) in the Shinshū region (present-day Tōmi, Nagano), and searched for potential candidates. Mochizuki recruited sex workers, victims of the Sengoku civil wars, and orphaned young girls. They were trained to become information gatherers, seductresses, messengers, and assassins, and were also taught the skills of a miko, which allowed them to travel without suspicion. Over time, her kunoichi learned to effectively use more disguises such as actresses, sex workers, or geisha, which allowed them to move freely within villages, towns, castles, and temples.

Eventually, Chiyome and her kunoichi had set up an extensive network of some 200–300 agents that served the Takeda clan. Shingen was always informed of all activities, putting him one step ahead of his opponents at all times until his mysterious death in 1573, after which Mochizuki disappeared from historical records.[4][5][6][7]


It has been alleged that Mochizuki's name first appeared the 1971 book Investigation of Japanese History (考証日本史) by non-academic Shisei Inagaki (稲垣史生).[8] Inagaki:

  1. Describes the details of the Fourth Battle of Kawanakajima.
  2. Claims that Moritoki Mochizuki was a husband of Chiyome and that he died at this battle.
  3. Presents a historical written permission to Chiyome issued by Shingen and claims that, due to this permission, the "miko village" emerged.
  4. Claims that the miko of the village became spies.
  5. Claims that Chiyome then became a ninja.

However, Katsuya Yoshimaru (吉丸雄哉), an associate professor of Mie University who studies Japanese Edo period literature and the ninja, claims that Chiyome did not actually exist and lists the allegedly erroneous points of Inagaki's book:

  1. There is no historical document describing the details of this battle.
  2. Moritoki did not die in this battle.
  3. This written permission is not extant. Generally speaking, most of such kind of written permissions are forged ones.
  4. The claim of spy activities of the miko is groundless; it is based only on guess of Inagaki.
  5. This is groundless as well. Although Inagaki refers History of Japanese Miko (日本巫女史), 1930, written by Taro Nakayama (中山太郎), this book says nothing about ninja and all mentions first appear in Inagaki's book.

Mochizuki's name became popular after a two-page article about her was published in a 1991 special issue of the magazine History Reader (歴史読本) titled Extraordinary Special Issue: All the Definitive Types of Ninja (臨時増刊号『決定版「忍者」の全て』). This article said that she was an upper ninja (上忍); according to Yoshimaru, historically there was no such rank in a ninja hierarchy.

In popular culture

Mochizuki is featured in many video games, some of which include Nobunaga's Ambition: Souzou (DLC),[9] Puzzle & Dragons,[10][11] and Toukiden: The Age of Demons.[12]

She is mentioned as a trainer of the playable character Kunoichi in Samurai Warriors, and appears in person in Samurai Warriors 2 as Shingen's mistress and the master and surrogate mother of Kurenai, the protagonist of Red Ninja: End of Honor.[13] Mochizuki appears in Assassin's Creed: Memories,[14] where she is recruited by the Templars after Shingen's death and becomes an enemy of Hattori Hanzō, and in Onimusha Soul, in which she works with the evil Genma and appears in several different forms, ages, and art styles.[15][16][17][18][19][20] She is a non-playable character using Ground and Dark type pokémon in Pokémon Conquest,[21] and elite versions of generic "Kunoichi" enemies in Marvel: Avengers Alliance are named "Chiyome". Innocent World (Japanese version of Aura Kingdom) offered a catgirl version of Chiyome as a player character,[22][23] and another game has her in a full cat form.[24] In Sangoku Taisen, she is voiced by Miyuki Sawashiro.[25] She also appears as an Assassin-class Servant in Fate/Grand Order. In the videogame series Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, the character Aiko comes from a kunoichi clan run by a "Lady Chiyo".

Yatsuko Tanami played her in the film Sanada Yukimura no Bōryaku.[26] She appears as a major character in David Kudler's young-adult historical novel Risuko.[27]


  1. ^ "News & Features | Men (And Women) in Black". 22 July 2010. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  2. ^ Thomas A. Green, Martial Arts of the World (2001), p. 671.
  3. ^ 吉丸雄哉(三重大学人文学部准教授) (2017年4月). “望月千代女伝の虚妄”. In 吉丸雄哉、山田雄司 編. 忍者の誕生. 勉誠出版. ISBN 978-4-585-22151-7. p. 282
  4. ^ Stephen K. Hayes, Bill Griffeth, Mike Lee, Gregory Lee, Legacy of the Night Warrior (1984), p. 109–112.
  5. ^ Stephen K. Hayes, The Mystic Arts of the Ninja (1985), p. 4.
  6. ^ Peter Lewis, The Way to the Martial Arts (1986), p. 112.
  7. ^ Vicki León, Uppity Women of Medieval Times (1998), p. 8.
  8. ^ Ninja no tanjō. Katsuya Yoshimaru, Yūji Yamada, 吉丸雄哉, 山田雄司 (Shohan ed.). Tōkyō. 2017. ISBN 978-4-585-22151-7. OCLC 982054805.((cite book)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  9. ^ "『信長の野望・創造』 ユーザーズページ". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  10. ^ "Mochizuki Chiyome". Puzzle & Dragons. Retrieved June 17, 2015.
  11. ^ "パズドラ ステッカー 紅焔の舞巫女・望月千代女 - パズドラ屋 | パズル&ドラゴンズ公式グッズショップ". 2012-03-16. Archived from the original on 2015-06-26. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  12. ^ "【先出し週刊ファミ通】『討鬼伝』今井麻美さんが演じるミタマ"望月千代女"をゲットせよ!(2014年1月30日発売号) - ファミ通.com". 2014-01-28. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  13. ^ "XBOX Manual: Red Ninja : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive". Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  14. ^ "Assassin's Creed Memories: Kod bonusowy z japońską zabójczynią". 2014-09-12. Archived from the original on 2015-06-21. Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  15. ^ "鬼武者Soul ご当地コラボレーション 山梨県専用ページ". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  16. ^ "ゲーム内イベント | 鬼武者Soul". 2015-03-19. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  17. ^ "ゲーム内イベント | 鬼武者Soul". 2015-01-29. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  18. ^ "[拡大画像]ブラウザゲーム「鬼武者Soul」女性武将30名追加の第2弾を実施". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  19. ^ "鬼武者Soul、固有技を必ず入手できる技継承生贄が実装悪鬼羅刹「望月千代女」も新たに登場 OnlineGamer". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  20. ^ "鬼武者 Soul HD-女主角设定选择参考-鬼武者 Soul HD小说|鬼武者 Soul HD小说下载|SF轻小说手机版". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  21. ^ "ポケモン+ノブナガの野望攻略サイト". Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  22. ^ "幻想神域望月千代女怎么样 值得培养吗 安游在线". 2014-07-22. Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  23. ^ "声の恋觉醒二次元-《幻想神域》官方网站". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  24. ^ "信喵之野望 - 兩兵千代女 [人物][望月千代][義姬][大蟾蜍之術] @ 閒言悠靜 : 痞客邦 PIXNET". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  25. ^ 投稿者 まちゃぴ&夕凪 時刻 15時35分 大戦よもやま話 (2015-06-06). "【戦国大戦】≪天覇への道 全国決勝大会≫の結果と、これからの話。: 覇道に身を捧ぐも人の道". Retrieved 2015-06-25.
  26. ^ "Yatsuko Tan'ami". Retrieved 2015-06-21.
  27. ^ "Character profile for Mochizuki Chiyome from Risuko: A Kunoichi Tale (Seasons of the Sword #1) (page 1)".