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Shade
9th December 2004, 07:40 AM
Ace of Spades, make the first post.

Mod notes:
10 Dec - O.o; They assigned this to me?! All seems well. For now.

Ace_of_Spades
9th December 2004, 01:36 PM
Roughly this is a clan dedicated to samurai in late events to a research project I did. I found out I love the samurai, so I decided to make a character for it, Asakura Yuzon. along with that this Clan... all I need is seven members and we have a small village. As we get more recruits we will be able to do more things. Eventualy if we get about fifteen to twenty members we become and empire and that would mean we could start intra-clan wars, meaning 2-3 clans in one war.

Clan Ranks: Ideas to be voted upon

Lord: Asakura Yuzon

Heir to Lord, or Son to Lord:

Most Notable Warriors: (Total of Ten Wins Ic Wins)

Notable Warriors: (Total of Five Ic Wins)

Teachers: (Total of Three Ic Wins)

Warrios: (Everyone Else)

Students: (Those awaiting training) wolfstrike, Tarukai, Hysteria, Taggerung, Chaoslight, Pustolio, Zach

Samurai Info:

History of the Samurai In Death:

Fairly or unfairly, death has always been linked to the samurai. It is in fact the samurai's presumed affinity for death that seems to set him aside from other warriors and captures the imagination. Of course, there can be little doubt that the manner in which he viewed his own death was considered most important. But was he as obsessed by it as we have been led to believe, ready to toss his life away at a moment's notice?

Perhaps we, both Japanese and foreign, owe much of our 'death-intensive' view of the samurai to the Hagakure, a book composed in the 18th Century. Written long after the last samurai army had marched into battle, the Hagakure - and books like it - sought to stiffen the flagging martial spirit among a samurai class nearly destitute and directionless. Needless to say, a good deal of idealism found its way into the pages of these 'how-to' books, but at the same time, the wisdom contained within was (and is) often distorted or misconstrued. Perhaps the most famous example is provided in the opening chapter of the Hagakure itselfů

"The Way of the Samurai is found in death. When it comes to death, there is only the quick choice of death."

These oft-quoted lines find their way into many 'populist' books and magazines on the samurai and/or Japanese martial culture. Yet, if we read a bit further, we encounter this passageů

"We all want to live. And in large part we make our logic according to what we like. But not having attained our aim and continuing to live is cowardice. This is a thin dangerous line. To die without gaining one's aim IS a dog's death and fanaticism. But there is no shame in this. This is the substance of the Way of the Samurai. If by setting one's heart right every morning and evening, one is able to live as though his body were already dead, he gains freedom in the Way. His whole life will be without blame, and he will succeed in his calling."

In these words we find a depth and thoughtfulness lacking to some degree from our image of the samurai and death. Another Edo samurai, Daidoji Yuzan, wroteů

"One who is a samurai must before all things keep constantly in mindůthe fact that he has to die. If he is always mindful of this, he will be able to live in accordance with the paths of loyalty and filial duty, will avoid myriads of evils and adversities, keep himself free of disease and calamity and moreover enjoy a long life. He will also be a fine personality with many admirable qualities. For existence is impermanent as the dew of evening, and the hoarfrost of morning, and particularly uncertain is the life of the warriorů"

Yet, how much can be drawn from the writings of peacetime samurai? Granted, any Edo samurai faced the prospect of suicide should he greatly displease his lord, or commit some notable transgression (the penalty for striking another with a sword in anger was often suicide). Additionally, even life in Edo Japan was fraught with all manner of hardships, including fires, earthquakes, and disease. In this respect life differed little from the days when Kamo no Chomei had written, "Where to find a place to rest? And how bring even short-lived peace to our hearts?"

The samurai view and idea of death was shaped not so much, perhaps, from the ways of war as the realities of life. Every aspect of Japanese life was tailored to suit an existence in a land that could be shockingly and suddenly cruel. Earthquakes could topple castles, and plagues ravage the countryside. Raging fires often swept towns, leading Chomei to write, "all of man's doings are senseless / but spending his wealth / and tormenting himself / to build a house in this hazardous city / is especially foolish."

Famine was an ever-present danger, and Chomei witnessed the especially cruel one that tormented the land from 1181-82. "There was little trade, but grain was worth more than gold / Beggars were many in the streets, clamor of suffering, sorrow filled the air / Even as you watched, stricken people walking by, would suddenly fall / so many bodies of the starved lay in the streets hard by the walls of houses / Since these were not removed there rose a dreadful stench. It was more then one could bear to look upon these rotting corpses." This same famine brought the Gempei war to a grinding halt, and claimed both high and low.

Over the centuries, many famous men would die not in battle but from illness, including the two great rivals Uesugi Kenshin and Takeda Shingen.7 Promising young lords such as Mori Takamoto and Taira Shigemori died young and in their beds. All of this contributed to the sentiment behind the words of Daid˘ji Yuzan and the Japanese appreciation for fleeting beauty.

Way of Death:

"Those who cling to life die, and those who defy death live." The sengoku daimy˘ Uesugi Kenshin left these words for his retainers just prior to his own death. The Hagakure provides a somewhat similar bit of wisdom. "A person who does not want to be struck by the enemy's arrows will have no divine protection. For a man who does not wish to be hit by the arrows of a common soldier, but rather those of a warrior of fame, there will be the protection for which he asked." In other words, while a peacetime samurai was free - and encouraged - to contemplate death, a fighting samurai was probably better off not thinking about it.
No samurai was ever safe from the shadow of death when at war, and many famous names fell on the battlefield. Uesugi Kenshin's own father had been killed in battle, and more then a few of his notable contemporaries would fall to an enemy's sword. Imagawa Yoshimoto, Ryűz˘ji Takanobu, Sait˘ Dosan, Uesugi Tomosadaů great warlords all slain in daring enemy rushes. Many others commited suicide after their causes had been lost, from Minamoto Yorimasa of the 12th Century to Sue Harukata of the 16th. Naturally, the samurai took a somewhat philosophical approach to death, as we have already seen. Beauty, or at least an enduring pathos, could be found in the passing of a samurai. Rather then dwell on the dreary details of battlefield slaughter, let us read the closing lines to the N˘ drama 'Atsumori', which recounted the death of the young Taira warrior Atsumori at the Battle of Ichi no Tani in 1184 and the later meeting of his ghost with the man who had killed himů



[center]'Then, in time, His Majesty's ship sailed,
with the whole clan behind him in their own.
Anxious to be aboard, I sought the shore,
but all the warships and the imperial barge
stood already far, far out to sea.
I was stranded. Reining in my horse,
I halted, at a loss for what to do.
There came then, galloping behind me,
Kumagai no Jir˘ Naozane,
shouting, "You will not escape my arm!"
At this Atsumori wheeled his mount
and swiftly, all undaunted, drew his sword.
We first exchanged a few rapid blows,
then, still on horseback, closed to grapple, fell,
and wrestled on, upon the wave-washed strand.
But you bested me, and I was slain.
Now karma brings us face to face again.
"You are my foe!" Atsumori shouts,
lifting his sword to strike; but Kumagai,
with kindness has repaid old enmity,
calling the Name to give the spirit peace.
They at last shall be reborn together
upon one lotus throne in paradise.
Rensho (Kumagai), you were no enemy of mine.
Pray for me, O pray for my release!
Pray for me, O pray for my release!'[/b]

It may be of some interest to note that the play 'Atsumori' was reputed to be a favorite of the often-ruthless 16th century warlord Oda Nobunaga.
The line between suicide and death in battle was often thin, especially since a certain measure of glorification was attached to the notion of perishing on the battlefield. Here we find the 'nobility of failure' Ivan Morris once wrote about, the gallant death of the losing warrior. The Battle of Nagashino in 1575 provides us with a moving example. The Takeda army had been crushed by the combined forces of Oda Nobunaga and Tokugawa Ieyasu and now faced complete annihilation, with no less then ten thousand men already dead. The venerable Takeda general Baba Nobufusa had somehow survived the morning's slaughter and now led the remains of his command in a doomed rear guard action.

Nobufusa rushed a man to [Takeda] Katsuyori to say, "Sir, leave this place at once. I beg you. I will stay here and die." He stayed on with eighty horsemen and lost all of them. He climbed a hill and, seeing that Katsuyori was now far away, shouted loudly to the enemy, "I am Baba, Governor of Mino. Kill me if you can and win a big reward!" Enemies gave him multiple stabs, and he died.

The death of Nobufusa is given added poignancy by the knowledge that he and the other old Takeda generals had urged Katsuyori not to attack the allied army the night before. When Katsuyori ignored their advice, Baba and his colleagues dutifully led their men from the front and were killed almost to a man.
Another doomed warrior whose advice had been ignored prior to the start of his last battle was Taira Tomomori, perhaps the greatest of the Taira generals. With the final confrontation of the Gempei War imminent, Tomomori had urged his lord, Munemori, to dispose of a certain general whose loyalty he questioned. Munemori rejected his suggestion, and during the course of the Battle of Dan no Ura (1185) that very general betrayed the Taira cause. With all hope lost, Tomomori resolved to end his own life.

"I have seen enough," said the New Middle Counselor Tomomori. "It is time to take my life." He summoned his foster brother, Iga no Heinaizaemon Ienaga. "What do you say? You will stand by your promise, won't you?"
"Of course." Ienaga said.
Ienaga assisted the New Middle Counselor into a second suit of armor and donned another himself, and the two leaped into the sea with clasped hands. More then twenty samurai took one another by the hand and sank in the same place, determined not to stay behind after their master was gone.

Seppuku:

The act of slitting one's own belly is such an unbelievable way in which to commit suicide that it is possibly the most famous element of the samurai mythos. Known in the West as hara-kiri (in fact a 'vulgar' expression probably never commonly used by the samurai themselves), the origin of disembowlment as suicide is impossible to pinpoint but the first notable acts were provided by Minamoto Tametomo and Minamoto Yorimasa in the latter part of the 12th Century. The original motivations for this method of death may well have been purely practical. Miura Yoshinobu's example aside, cutting off one's own head is a bit difficult, and as the spirit was felt to reside in the stomach, slitting the belly open was felt to be the most straightforward (if not quickest) way to die. Over the centuries, the philosophy behind seppuku was refined. One samurai wrote many centuries after the deaths of Minamoto Tametomo and Yorimasa that the spirit of a man was like that of an apple's core, unseen and locked within the skin.



The apple certainly exists, but to the core [soul] this existence as yet seems inadequate; if words cannot endorse it, then the only way to endorse it is with the eyes. Indeed, for the core the only sure mode of existence is to exist and to see at the same time. There is only one method of solving this contradiction. It is for a knife to be plunged deep into the apple so that it is split open and the core is exposed to the light-to the same light, that is, as the surface skin. Yet then the existence of the cut apple falls into fragments; the core of the apple sacrifices existence for the sake of seeing.21

The above was clearly an esoteric point of view. Others have written that the act of belly slitting required an exceptional bravery, and over the years it became a 'privilege' reserved for the samurai. Commoners might hang or drown themselves, whilst samurai women might slit their own throats; only samurai could commit Seppuku. To be simply executed was a mark of particular shame, and generally reserved for notorious traitors.

By the Edo Period, the act of seppuku had become a fully developed ritual with Shinto undertones.
First, tatami edged with white would be set out, upon which a large white cushion was placed. Witnesses would arrange themselves discreetly to one side, depending on how important the coming suicide was considered.
The samurai, often garbed in a white kimono, would kneel on the pillow in formal style on his heels, hopefully in a composed manner. Just over a meter behind and to the left of the samurai knelt his kaishakunin, or 'second'. The second was often a close friend of the deceased, although his duty was not a popular one. His job was to prevent the samurai committing suicide from experiencing undo suffering by cutting the doomed man's head off once he had slit his belly. Botching this duty could be a shameful disgrace, and a steady hand was required.
In front of the samurai lay a knife on a lacquered tray. When he felt ready, the samurai would loosen the folds of his kimono and expose his belly. He would then lift the knife with one hand and unsheathe it with the other, setting the sheathe to one side. When he had prepared himself, he would drive the knife into the left side of the stomach, then draw it across to the right. The blade would then be turned in the wound and brought upward. Many samurai did not have to endure this last, unbelievable agony, as the second would lop their heads off at the first sign of pain. The cut carried out to its finish was known as the jumonji, or 'crosswise cut', and to perform it in its entirety was considered a particularly impressive seppuku.
Needless to say, one's frame of mind was of particular importance when approaching this act. The Hagakure and other Edo works relate stories of samurai losing their composure just prior to committing suicide, and in some cases having to be forcibly decapitated. Samurai were, after all, only human, and perhaps only through a lifetime of preparation could seppuku be faced with the prerequisite coolness.
Why would a samurai be expected or decide to slit open his own belly? The reasons are many, and much is made of them elsewhere. We'll content ourselves here with the briefest of lists of those reasons not involving a direct punishmentů

Junshi: this act of suicide involved following one's lord in death. Not entirely uncommon in the days of open samurai warfare, junshi was banned in the Edo Period as wasteful. The last famous example was that of the General Nogi Maresue in 1912 following the death of the Emperor Meiji.

Kanshi: Suicide through remonstration. Not common, this involved killing one's self to make a point to a lord when all other forms of persuasion had failed. Perhaps the best known example of this is provided by Hirate Nakatsukasa Kiyohide (1493-1553), who commited suicide to make a youthful and irreverant Oda Nobunaga change his ways.

Sokotsu-shi: Here, a samurai would kill himself as a way of making amends for some transgression. This is possibly the best-known reason for seppuku, and has perhaps been popularized far out of proportion to its frequency. One well-known instance involves the Takeda general Yamamoto Kansuke Haruyuki (1501-1561), who flung himself into the enemy after his plans had put his lord in grave danger. Badly wounded, he withdrew from the fray and commited suicide.

Attitude of the Samurai:

'Fate is in Heaven, the armor is on the breast, success is with the legs. Go to the battlefield firmly confident of victory, and you will come home with no wounds whatever. Engage in combat fully determined to die and you will be alive; wish to survive in the battle and you will surely meet death. When you leave the house determined not to see it again you will come home safely; when you have any thought of returning you will not return. You may not be in the wrong to think that the world is always subject to change, but the warrior must not entertain this way of thinking, for his fate is always determined.'


Uesugi Kenshin (1530-1578) Suzuki Zen and Japanese Culture pg. 188

The one who does good deeds and expects to be appreciated, does something better then committing a bad deed. However, he does so for his own benefit and not for others. A truly righteous man does good deeds without letting his beneficiary know of his deeds. He does good deeds freely and does not expect that in the future someone will recognize his deeds. A monk must have resolve far greater then this. In treating all sentient beings, he must not discriminate between those who are close to him and those who are scarcely known to him.


D˘gen (1200-1253) Lu Sources of Japanese History pg. 134

Offering prayers is for your own sake. Simply keep your mind straight and plaint, honest and law-abiding. Be respectful for those who are above you, and be compassionate to those who are below you. Accept things as they are: what you have as what you have, what you don't as what you don't. Doing so seems to accord with the Buddha and Shinto deities. Even if you don't pray, by keeping this in mind you will enjoy various deities' protection. Even if you pray, though, if your mind is crooked, you'll be abandoned by Heaven's Way. So be careful.

H˘j˘ S˘un (S˘unji Dono Nijuchichi Kajo article 5) Sato Legends of the Samurai pg. 250

Rules:

It is important to read the above information to incoorporate into your character.

You must undergo training before you recieve a sword, a sword will be given to you upon the graduation of class.

I will decide who is the heir based upon the performance in the training thread upon which I will be testing the basic principles of roleplaying along with advanced things that I see.

The heir becomes Lord when I am defeated and perform Seppuko. then everyone in order of most Kills moves up rank if appropriate..

If you lose a battle, your character must suicide unless he dies in combat. Either way upon the death of a character you can make another character.

If in a clan war in which we start losing we fight until every last one of us is dead.

The sword in which you get upon the end of training will have an enscription that is based on your performance.

iwishiknew
9th December 2004, 06:04 PM
Looks like we will be god-modding or going though lots of charecters.

WEll I am here. first post and all. My question is thus. When and how do we decied what weapon we want to major in?

Tarukai
9th December 2004, 06:06 PM
um, we won't be "god-modding".

where are you getting that from?

and I'm here. I haven't had a chance to make my character yet. sorry. Will this weekend at the latest.

iwishiknew
9th December 2004, 06:22 PM
Well we should lose about 50% of our battles, thus if we go into alot of battles we will eather have to god-mod to make us have a better chance of winning, or we will go though charecters like crazy.

Anyway I should make a charecter?

Notorious
9th December 2004, 06:26 PM
Placing his long slender fingers on the metal door Raia pushed the door open to the Samurai Order. The person seemed to drag his left foot as he walked, perhaps from an injury from the past. Covering the boy's face was a half mask only covering his forehead and the right side of his face, a hole was cut for his nostril and his eye. It was colored yellow and black.

The short white boy was only about 17 years of age, his eyes were cold. When looking into his eyes it felt almost as if he were looking through you. The boy wore a black robe tied firmly around his waist by a yellow sash. His entire left arm is covered in a black leather, which was covered by metal plates to protect from assault. He had shoulder length red hair that was pulled back into a pony-tail. Raia's left eye was blue but the one hiding behind the mask constantly glowed red.

The short 5'3" boy made through the crowd of people gathered to Lord Asakura Yuzon. Upon reaching the man he dropped to one knee, placed his left hand on his knee and bowed his head.

"Sir, I am Raia Kujai of the Shadow Village in the West. I have come to join this order and lend my hand in your struggle. Do you accept my blade."

[OOC: I will have a char thread made for him.]

Ace_of_Spades
9th December 2004, 07:58 PM
Well we should lose about 50% of our battles, thus if we go into alot of battles we will eather have to god-mod to make us have a better chance of winning, or we will go though charecters like crazy.

Anyway I should make a charecter?


how should we lose 50% percent of the battles... we would be as a team... we don't go into battles unless we outnumber them... the whole point is to have nothing against us in battle... among that it is mostly us versus NPC for the time being until we are able to work well as a team and function as a literal war machine. eventualy the magic users will be able to provide back up for the melee, and ranged for the magic and melee, and the melee to stop ground froces, cause Samurais are the most skilled in Swordsmanship, and pretty much anything involved in fighting.

iwishiknew
10th December 2004, 04:32 AM
Hmm ok...I guess.

I still need to know if there are any special charecter ramifications and how do I chose to use a bow instead of a sword.

Paradise Wandering
10th December 2004, 12:25 PM
Well, I am finally here. Anywho, will there be more weapons than just bow and sword? Those werent the only weapons the Samuria used... :P

And, does my character have the option of being a melee, archer, mage, or monk or what?

After I have that answered I will make a profile for my char and make an actual intro.

Ace_of_Spades
10th December 2004, 01:32 PM
Just detail it in your history, and as soon as you tell me what you character is the word Archer, Monk, Melee, or Mage will be next to your name. However weapons are limited to only what the samurai's used, NO GUNS! and it is all detailed in your history, then I trian you in those aspects.

Pustolio
10th December 2004, 02:08 PM
Im here as well. Could members be ninjas as well? Or this is restricted to the samurai class. I know there were some famous ninjas such as Sasuke Sarutobi, Saizou Kirigakure, Hanzou Hattori and Anayama Kosuke; but ninjas and samurais have completely different styles of combat. Just wondering...

Anyway, I am still working on my profile. Ill start doing IC posts as soon as I am done.

Hysteria
11th December 2004, 06:17 AM
Reno swept bacl his long hair ans survayed the area around him. His training had been long and hard, and now he only wanted to rest.

OOC:
Yeah crap right? I am here, and i have a character to use, BUT i think i need to tweak him. He is an existing character so a lot of tweaking.....

iwishiknew
11th December 2004, 09:54 AM
Ok one question before I create my charecter. You said we aren't going to fight unless in groups, so that means are chances of dieing are slimer but I want to know how slim they are.

Ace_of_Spades
11th December 2004, 11:33 AM
can't give you an exact quota, but imagine one on three with us being three... and no ninjas, these guys were both bad asses, but they were enemies to an extent.

iwishiknew
11th December 2004, 02:15 PM
Ok so let me go make a semi-detailed charecter.

Taggerung, that was an unneccary, spammy post which could've easily be done by a PM. Don't do it again. - Legion

Bad_Kharma
11th January 2005, 04:54 PM
I've noticed that the clan has grown inactive. Whatever reason for it, you have the following options:
- Close the clan and be done with it.
- Close the clan thread and get an inactive recruitment thread.
- Elect a new leader if the current one is inactive.

If there is no positive response within a week the clan will take the first option as default. If there are less then 4 active members, option 2 is the only way to go.

Shade
17th January 2005, 12:00 PM
closed due to no response.