Kanji: 望月 千代女
Dates: 1530s or 1540s-?
Other Names: Mochizuki Chiyome, Mochizuki Chiyo
Mochizuki Chiyojo was a noblewoman and ku-no-ichi (female ninja) who lived in the Sixteenth Century. There is very little information about her, but she has risen to legendary status because she remains the only ku-no-ichi that has been historically confirmed.
Information about her background is extremely vague. Chiyojo’s appearance is a complete mystery, precise dates of birth and death are muddy, and even the pronunciation of her given name are even unclear, hence the slight differences listed. It has been speculated that Chiyojo was likely the descendant of Mochizuki Izumo-no-Kami, a famous ninja from Koga. There is record of a husband, Moritoki, who was also a distant relative to the famous ninja. Her husband was killed in battle in 1561, and not long afterward, Chiyojo began her service under the famous daimyo, Takeda Shingen.
Takeda Shingen ordered Chiyojo to put together a squad of female spies. Chiyojo was able to, creating a force of 200 to 300 women who acted as spies for the Takeda clan. The women who were employed under Chiyojo posed as holy women, entertainers, and even prostitutes throughout Japan, and reported information back to Kai Province. Girls who were orphaned or abandoned because of the war could serve under Chiyojo, however, once they entered her service, having a normal life was out of the question.
Mochizuki Chiyojo disappears from historical records after the death of Takeda Shingen in 1573. Her fate, much like her entire life, remains a mystery.
Picture featured in this article is how Mochizuki Chiyojo appears in Assassin’s Creed: Memories.