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SYFY WIRE Strong Female Characters

Forgotten Women of Genre: Meiko Kaji

By Sara Century
meiko kaji

March is Women's History Month. And while here on SYFY FANGRRLS we celebrate women's achievements throughout the year, we're going above and beyond for the upcoming month with a limited podcast series called Forgotten Women of Genre.

Today we're celebrating Meiko Kaji, whose exploitation films of the 1970s are well known for their aesthetic beauty and epic revenge plots, and whose steely antiheroes served as the inspiration for Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2. Kaji was a teen idol turned action hero who trained to become a master sword fighter. She was typecast in the role of a wronged woman exacting righteous revenge on her enemies. Just as she was establishing herself as one of the most important actors of her era, Kaji seems to have grown weary with the effort required to play what she felt were relatively unrewarding action roles, and she quit film entirely at the height of her career. That is absolutely her prerogative, and we're thankful she left us with a pretty incredible series of celebrated cult films, many of which have had a major impact on modern Hollywood film-making. 

Science fiction, fantasy, and all associated genres have finally evolved from a niche interest into a mainstream staple. But the women who have been instrumental in creating and shaping the nerdverse have largely gone unrecognized. Until today. Forgotten Women of Genre tells the stories of the women who helped some of the most famous fantasy worlds become a reality.

New episodes of this series will be released each day in the month of March, in addition to regularly scheduled episodes of STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS.

Subscribe to STRONG FEMALE CHARACTERS and get these amazing stories in your feed all month.