Eta were Hinin and were members of the lowest caste of the Rokugani social hierarchy. They were considered non-persons but they still had a place in the Celestial Order.  The only ones beneath eta in the Celestial Order were gaijin. 
They handled all matters considered unclean; they prepared the dead, cleaned up battlefields, dealt with refuse, leather-working and were at times trained as torturers. Criminals and non-samurai entertainers were also considered eta.
An Eta's Worth Edit
An Eta could be killed with almost zero consequences, although someone who slew an Eta might have to answer to the Eta's lord if the circumstances were unusual. Eta were very skittish and often did not socialize much, and when they did, a lot of groveling or caution was involved. Since they had the lowest place in the Celestial Order even Heimin could be abusive to an Eta with no consequences. Eta were never to speak to Samurai unless spoken to and asked for a reply. Eta were generally pitied as their station would nearly never allow them to move higher into the Celestial Order and thus their souls were doomed to be forever stuck in their status as non-people. Due to their miserable lot in life, and frequent involvement with blood and flesh, they were a very large source of followers for Bloodspeakers.
Often employed by a magistrate, torturers have an important role to play within the Rokugani judicial system. Although touching the flesh of criminals clearly sets them as Eta, such acts are often necessary to produce a testimony through torture. In addition, they are often employed in crime scene for lowly acts such as manipulating dead bodies .