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The term champion has two basic meanings: to take another's place, or the winner of a contest.
To take another's place Edit
A person may champion another in a duel, contest, or other event. This usually happens when an unskilled person, such as a courtier or shugenja, is challenged to a duel or other test of honor. When this happens, the challenged may have another, skilled individual take his or her place. As the champion is truly taking the challenged's place in the event, it is customary for the challenged to face the same results as the champion in case he or she should lose. In duels to the death, this does mean the seppuku of the challenged. 
Clan Champions Edit
The titles of the Clan Champions derive from this meaning. Clan Champions stand in place of their entire clan. The actions of their clansmen reflect directly on them and their honor, and their actions reflect directly upon their clansmen. A slight against any member of a clan, or against a clan as a whole, can be answered by the Clan Champion. The Champions also represent their clans not only in duels and battle, but also in political situations, making peace or war and authorizing treaties or attacks.
To win a contest Edit
The winner of any contest is the champion of that event. This extends from the smallest local festival contests all the way to the prestigious Topaz Championship. Such championships generally do not have a term, but an occassion at which the person became champion. For instance, Moshi Kiyomori, the Topaz Champion during the year 1166, is known as "Topaz Champion of 1166," not as "Topaz Champion 1166-1167."
- ↑ Way of the Crane, p. 51
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