10 Women Google Doodles You Might Not Recognize
Google vice president Megan Smith has said she wants to use Google Doodles to highlight notable — though often overlooked — women in science and technology. But it’s not just STEM women that Google Doodles have honored in 2013, and here 10 female faces that showcase the diversity of women’s accomplishments around the world.
From top to bottom:
Maria Callas: renown American opera singer known for her impressive vocal range.
Wangari Maathai: Kenyan environmentalist, political activist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.
Mary Leakey: Archaeologist and anthropologist who discovered the first fossilized Proconsul skull and became known as one of the world’s most distinguished fossil hunters.
Edith Head: Iconic costume designer who won eight Academy Awards during her career.
Katherine Mansfield: New Zealand modernist short fiction writer.
Maria Mitchell: American astronomer who discovered the “Miss Mitchell’s Comet” in 1847.
Maria Elena Walsh: Argentine poet, novelist and musician, most lauded for her children’s literature, which has been compared to Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.”
Emma Gad: Danish writer, socialite and satirist best known for her book of etiquette.
Shoshana Damari: Yemenite–Israeli singer known as the “Queen of Hebrew Music.”
Shakuntala Devi: Indian writer and child prodigy, popularly known as the “human calculator.”
Japanese Artist-Edo Period
Fragment of Namban Screen with representation of Amakusa Shiro (1620-1638)
Japan (c. 1680s)
Ink and Gold Leaf, 80.7 x 33.7cm.
Seattle Art Museum, Mrs. Thomas D. Stimson Memorial Collection.
I think I found my favorite Namban/Nanban Screen, and it’s only a fragment. But what a fragment! This screen includes both a Portuguese or Spanish carrack, and an amazing, heartfelt portrait of Amakusa Shirō, a teenage Christian martyr.
The cross he’s wearing, as well as the Elizabethan starched collar, show that he is a Christian, and he’s also holding a European musket chased with gold. I imagine he is gazing over the sea, symbolizing his journey into the next world, as well as implying the connection with Europe and his Catholic faith.
A translation of his story is available on Wikipedia as follows:
The son of former Konishi clan retainer Masuda Jinbei (益田 甚兵衛?) (according to some sources, Shirō may have been the illegitimate son of Toyotomi Hideyori), Shirō was born in modern-day Kami-Amakusa, Kumamoto in a Catholic family. The charismatic 15-year-old was known to his followers as “heaven’s messenger.” Miraculous powers were attributed to him.
Shiro led the defence of Hara Castle and defeated the strongest of the Shogunate attackers in a series of coordinated defensive surges. But, because the rebel force had no logistical support, their morale was seriously weakened in the following days. Shiro displayed posters in the castle in an attempt to enhance the morale of rebel force, saying “Now, those who accompany me in being besieged in this castle, will be my friends unto the next world.”
But a rebel soldier, Yamada Uemonsaku, betrayed Shiro and notified the Shogunate of the truth that rebel food supplies were becoming strained. The Shogunate forces performed a final assault, taking Hara Castle in the process. The Shogunate forces massacred almost 40,000 rebels, including women and children. Yamada, who previously betrayed his fellow rebels, was the only recorded survivor.
Shiro was executed in the aftermath of the fall, his head being displayed on a pike in Nagasaki for an extended period of time afterward as a warning to any other potential Christian rebels. His final words were: “I shall return after 100 years and take my revenge.” Even now, many Japanese Christians consider Shiro as a saint, but the Roman Catholic Church has not officially listed him as such.