Letter from Karo Kakita Komichi to Daidoji Isamu

“Daidoji Isamu,

Our ancestral lands are, of course, well. The harvest was exceptional this year, and we plan to share the surplus with the neighboring provinces. One hopes that your arrival in Shiro Kitsuki was safe.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept your petition to marry Otaku Neko. While one appreciates the… initiative that you show, it is simply not possible for us to redact the arrangements already made on your behalf. Though, this is a good time to note that those arrangements tie into your presence in the Winter Court of the Kitsuki family. Our family has seen fit to arrange your marriage to Kitsuki Rika, of the Dragon Clan, at the conclusion of Winter Court. We have already finished making the arrangements, and she will be blessed to join our Clan once it has concluded.

Blessings of the Crane upon you,

Kakita Komichi, Karo”

A Letter From Daidoji Isamu to his daimyo.

Daidoji-dono,

As autumn turns to winter, does your servant, Daidoji Isamu, send his greetings. This one hopes all is well with your family and our lands back home as this one heads to court in Dragon lands.

I had hoped not to bother you for anything, but I have a humble request. I wish, once my duties are over in the war, to be permitted to marry Otaku Neko of the Unicorn clan. Due to her family’s traditions, I would have to marry in her family, and this one does not want to deprive his lord of his talents during war time. Once the matter of the war is settled however, this one feels this is a good match for him. It would strength our ties to the the Unicorn clan, and they would get a capable shugenja in return. Normally this one would write his parents, but they are busy managing their lands and this one has not received replies to his correspondence in some time.

If Daidoji-domo could permit this a merit of reply of his approval or disapproval of this one’s engagement, this one would be grateful.

Fortunes favor you, your servant,

Daidoji Isamu

Shugenja Healer of the Asahina, Hohei of the Crane

 

From the Desk of Kitsuki Kaiden, Yoriki to Bayushi Bantaru to the Offices of the Emerald Magistrates on the Day of the Rat in the Year 997.

 

Per the orders that Bayushi-sama and I received back in Otosan Uichi, I have made my way to the war front to begin observations and report back. This will be the first such report, and as such will have only my initial observations, as well as some grave news that I must convey before I move on to further reports.

First, and perhaps foremost, I must report on the untimely death of Magistrate Bayushi Bantaru, who was ambushed as we approached the warzone by a group of bandits. Bayushi-sama ordered me to get out of the combat alive, and the last I saw he was trying to fight but fell. As such, I am attempting to fulfil his duties and obligations, particularly these reports which I hope will shed some light on the current state of affairs and whether further intervention is needed.

You will be pleased to note that I have found no egregious signs of a breaking of the treaty as drafted by the Imperial families. In fact;

1. All prisoners have been well taken care of to the best of my knowledge and abilities. One prisoner was able to provide me with a schedule, which I have attached to the best of my memory.

2. There does appear to be an presence by the Imperial families in maintaining a Neutral Zone of sorts. Whether this is meant to be a demilitarized zone remains to be seen – One of my top priorities will be to talk to Otomo Shimahime, who is in charge, about what is in place and what we can help with.

3. There are no documented cases of violence or abuse with the Heimin within the warzone.

Leading me to believe that most articles are being attended to with the utmost caution and care by the Clans. However, a number of things have concerned me:

  1. There seems to be a number of ‘volunteers’ from neutral clans both major and minor that present complications. Could be worth following up with clans as to whether they have knowledge of this.
  2. The current state amongst the nearby villages is that of a small amount of panic, and whilst this is not in and of itself a bad thing, I do believe it warrants further investigation.
  3. Likely deserters and dissatisfied soldiers forming bandit and ronin groups as the war wears on.

As I said, this is merely a preliminary report, and as such I will continue investigations to see whether there is more to all of these matters unless orders change.

Walk in the Light of the Son of Heaven,

 

Kitsuki Kaiden

 

[CHOP]

HONOR AND GLORY: BATTLE OF IIZUME FIELDS – THE YOJIMBO ISSUE 4 YEAR 997

A small book of wood block printed pages circulates around Kosaten Shiro, along with a few copies at the messenger’s way station and the Lion prisoner camp. It only contains a few pages that are sewn together, and the plain cover reads in bold text: THE YOJIMBO.

Click here for the PDF (Mobile Friendly). Click here for the Desktop Version (JPG).

Issue 4 Year: 997

Read moreHONOR AND GLORY: BATTLE OF IIZUME FIELDS – THE YOJIMBO ISSUE 4 YEAR 997

A Letter to Usagi Soji

Father,

I have been in the neutral lands of the war zone for several weeks. I have comfortable lodgings, and have begun the tasks you wish. I have even met some samurai who I am coming to consider friends.

However, I have also seen great need, and pledged to do what I can to assist.

Our home is not under threat of this war, our lands are quite safe. Might I request that, if we have any surplus of millet or lesser grains, that would not burden our estate much, could a shipment be sent under escort, to the Shrine of Kenro-ji-jin? There is a settlement for refugees growing up there, and food will soon be scarce as the war goes on.

I know travel does not agree with you as it once did, but perhaps there is someone of the clan who might be spared? Also, as a gift to my hosts in these lodgings, I ask if you could spare several bottles of yuzu juice, from our grove.

If these requests are too much, I understand.

Please give mother my love and respect, and tell my siblings I miss them.

Your son,

Usagi Okita

Lion Clan Military Guests – A Guide

Lion Clan Military Guests

Welcome to the care of the most honorable Lion Clan, children of Lord Akodo, dedicated servants of the Emperor and Empire itself!  While there might be many misconceptions about your stay please let this guide acquaint you with the expectations you may have as you are hosted by the noble Right Hand of the Emperor!

As a guest of the Lion Clan we encourage you to take this time to become acquainted with our customs, our unique traditions, and our culture to further strengthen the bonds between clans during this glorious ritual of honorable war blessed by the son of heaven. A copy of Leadership will be made available to all guests for light reading to help appreciate and acclimate to the conventions of the Lion Clan. Further, as you move through the encampment all guests will be issued a companion to help explain any differences in behavior of culture as well as offer insights at the leisure of our visitors.

On Daisho:

As a guest of the Lion Clan we are indebted to see to your protection while in our care.  As such, please allow our most honorable Matsu Tanpopo the honor of seeing to the initial safe storage and care for your soul while on our campgrounds.  

If there is a desire to participate in any training event, practice, or any other martial endeavor that would require your sword, please make your companion aware of such a thing! We encourage our guests to be involved in our exercises so that they may come to know who we are as a clan.

On Meals:

You may expect three meals a day. As is traditional the first meal will consist of eggs over rice, miso, and a grilled dish of changing variety. Lunch and dinner will frequently consist of a small plate dish either rice or noodle based, with grilled fish, chicken, tofu or pork, pickled, grilled or fried vegetables and a local fruit. Tea is available at all times. If another food or thing is desired (due to vows requiring one eats only tofu for example) please let your host be aware of such.

On Health and Medical Treatment:

The circumstances which typically see guests arrive to the care of the Lion Clan are such that your first moments during your visit may involve medical treatment. The skill of the Kitsu in healing is known throughout the Empire and we assure you that you are in safe hands.  While in medical treatment, please be advised that there may be minor changes to your stay that contradict parts of this pamphlet – such as what our diet may be or restrictions in movement due to the request of the healer in charge of your welfare. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

If, after being given leave, you experience any other injuries or illnesses please make your companion immediately aware. As our guest we are honor-bound to see to your treatment and comfort so that you will return safely, healthy, and whole to the clan of your birth.

On Spiritual Health and Treatment:

A temporary shrine has been constructed on the other side of the medical tents within the tent with the blue flag. Incense is available at request for your daily prayers to your ancestors or even prayers to Fortunes at your leisure. If there is the desire to visit any of the local temples, please alert your companion so that arrangements can be made.  

On Comforts:

While staying with the Lion Clan, prisoner baths have been arranged and the ofuro is typically prepared shortly after breakfast. They can be found in the tent behind the medical tent. Please let your companion know if the water requires another log for proper heating. 

Due to the state that many arrive as guests of the Lion Clan, new kimono will be available for all samurai while your former guard is being attended to by the camp servants. Fresh clothing can be expected regularly of course – though we are in a state of war, the Lion Clan takes the duty of seeing guests interred treated as samurai.  

Paper and ink for writing letters will be made available upon request to any who would wish to communicate thus. The neutral parties of this war have kindly offered their services helping to deliver messages. Beyond these things, please enjoy the local varieties of tea that are available, a selection of books, a rousing game of go or shogi, or the skilled storytelling of the Ikoma recounting the war!  

If there are other comforts or items that a guest would like that are not immediately available, please, inform your companion and every effort will be made to obtain them if possible.

Though the act of war is typically thought as an opportunity to bring glory to one’s name, we of the Lion Clan also feel it our duty to show the honor of this pursuit. If there is a concern about the courtesy being shown, please make us aware so that the situation can be rectified appropriately. 

Let the glory of this war only be outshone by the honor of the samurai who fight.