I write with incredible news.
First, let me say that I received mother’s guidance regarding the debts our family is owed. I will seek during my time to seek out these debts and have them repaid to the clan. I thank you for trusting me with this duty, for while trade and commerce are dubious matters, a clan still must be good stewards of the wealth our lord entrusts us with. I will not fail you in this charge.
Second, I have just departed the Winter Court, and can finally send this letter now the snows have cleared. It was an incredible experience. I was even invited to create paintings for our Dragon hosts, and to send to the Imperial court itself. I’m still shaking as I consider it. Thank you, thank you so much, for your many lessons on the art of Sumi painting.
Speaking of the court, it is there I received the most amazing news. My friends, Asako Norinaga and Daidoji Isamu, of the Phoenix and Crane clans, have both extended incredible invitations. I have told them of Kenji-kun’s affinity for the kami, and his budding talents as a potential Shugenja. Daidoji-sama has offered to speak for Kenji-kun in a letter of recommendation to the Asahina, and Asako-sama has offered to speak for him to the Isawa. They each offer to have him tested for suitability to study with their schools.
I know we pride ourselves on our self-reliance, and this virtue has been a comfort to me many times in my life. But Father, Mother, I love my little brother dearly, and I want him to have the chance to excel. Either of these opportunities would be incredible for him, and I urge you to consider them. I am sure they will come at some cost, be it diplomatic or otherwise, but they could be the beginning of a very bright future for Kenji-kun.
I hope this letter finds you well.
If you can, please send more Yuzu juice, and perhaps some dried, candied yuzu if there is any left after the winter season. It is proving very popular with my friends here!
Your loving, dutiful son
Included at the bottom of the letter is a playful rendering of a small, anthropomorphic hare with a straw hat walking down a road with a pack slung over his shoulder.