Charting the history of women in judo is to trace the social and political nuances of gender histories on an international scale throughout the last 130 years. The form, popularity and media recognition of women’s judo closely parallel the quiet cultural suppression of femininity in both the East and the West, punctuated by swells in the revolutionary fight for equality with the suffrage and women’s movements of the twentieth century. This chapter will follow the progression of judo for women from its genesis in Tokyo in the late nineteenth century, and a small group of socially elite females who sought the physical, mental and moral benefits promised by the founder of judo, Kanō Jigorō; to the global dissemination, and mainstream acceptance of women’s judo as an Olympic sport today. It will consider the role played by Kanō, in actively supporting the concept of women participating in, and promoting judo across the world, while also examining the contribution of some of the many women who helped to develop judo throughout the early period. This work draws on the limited English language historiography concerned specifically with women, while using international primary and secondary resource materials to interpret the influence of women in the evolution of judo.