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Born: 1078 
Died: 13th day of the Rooster of 1123 
Parents: Hantei XXXVII 
Siblings: Otomo Tamekago 
Spouse: Three Un-named wives,
Un-named Crane concubine,
Hantei Hochiahime 
Children: Hantei XXXIX,
Titles: Emperor of Rokugan

The reign of Hantei XXXVIII was marked largely by a lengthy period of peace in Rokugan. The Emperor managed to keep the Clans from warring excessively, though it had a toll on his health. His death at the hands of Bayushi Shoju in 1123, however, marked the beginning of one of the bloodiest periods known in Rokugani history.

Birth and Coronation Edit

Hantei Jodan was born in the year 1078. Since his youngest years he has been a pupil in the Kakita Dueling Academy, and he was known for his idealism and hope for a better Empire. He deeply believed in the code of bushido, and his beliefs were recognized and amplified by his teacher, Kakita Toshimoko. He was the eldest son of Hantei XXXVII chose the name Jodan upon his gempukku, using that name until his coronation in 1103 when he became Hantei XXXVIII. [1]

He also proved to be an exceptional student of the court, and a wise and compassionate man, his rule expected to be long and prosperous. [2]

Brother Edit

His youngest brother Otomo Tamekago joined the Dragon Clan as the Ise Zumi Togashi Abekuni. [3]

Early Reign Edit

The daring and spirited young man that Jodan was, he quickly found his life force slowly crushed by the relentless conflicts that erupted among the Clans. [2]

Wives and Heirs Edit

At that time he was a different man, perhaps due to the fact that he has wed three times, and had to attend the funeral of each of his wives. The majority of his reign was fairly uneventful, and most of his concentration was spent on trying to secure an heir. Through barrenness and misfortune, he, his wives, and his concubines had great difficulty bearing and keeping children. In the year 1107, his concubine from the Crane Clan bore him a son: Hantei Sotorii, and Jodan married her. She died three years later after giving birth to Sotorii, wracked by a mysterious fever. [1]

The Heir and the Bloodspeakers Edit

In 1111 Hantei Hochiahime, Hantei XXXVIII's fifth wife, and a four year-old Sotorii were kidnapped by Bloodspeakers while traveling with a caravan. Held in a camp in Kiken no Roka, they were intended for a sacrifice to fulfill an ancient prophecy. The camp was discovered by a mountain-dwelling Ronin, Yotsu, who entered the camp intent on freeing the Empress and the heir. The Empress was pregnant, and would only slow Yotsu down leading to both their deaths. Yotsu asked the Empress for permission to die in her name, but the Empress forbade it, instead insisting that Yotsu rescue the young heir and pass her husband a message to mourn for her, and their unborn child. Left with no other choice, Yotsu replaced the heir with his own son, Kyoden, and fled to the capital. [4] When the Bloodspeaker sect realised what had happened they planned to kill the Empress, what was not known at the time was that the empress was pregnant with the second son of Hantei the XXXVIII, the child was raised by the Bloodspeakers, merged with an unnamed oni through an experimental ritual and placed in Jigoku until he had matured. This child was Daigotsu. [5]

After Yotsu managed to return to Otosan Uchi and reunited Sotorii with his father, the Emperor recognized his sacrifice and gave him the name Yotsu Yatoshin (named for the Emperor's father), a small fiefdom in the Mountains of Regret, and authority over the Yatoshin district in Otosan Uchi[6]

Bayushi Kachiko Edit

Imperial Emissary Edit

First time the Hantei met Shosuro Kachiko was in 1113, during winter court at Kyuden Seppun. The heir of the Shosuro Daimyo Shosuro Hametsu was unskilled in the court ways, and his sister Kachiko easily drew the Emperor's attention. Her first appointment was as emissary in a conflict between Crane and the Mantis, but eventually she became a Mantis prisoner. The issue ended in Crane favor through force in the Battle of Ice and Snow. [7]

Executing the Shiba Daimyo Edit

During a rainy night the Emperor and the Doji Daimyo saw Kachiko lay upon the grass, her torn kimono sullied by stains and mud. Sobbing, she pointed one finger at the Phoenix Clan Champion, Shiba Burisagi, who was executed by Doji Hoturi on the spot at the behest of the Emperor for attempting to force himself upon Kachiko. [8]

Topaz Championship Edit

Kachiko was the favorite of the Emperor, and the Hantei proclaimed a Topaz Championship to be in her honor for the devotion she had shown to him and his son after the death of the Empress. During the tournament [9] held at the Crane city of Tsuma in 1118, the Badger Clan Champion Ichiro Akitomo was found killed. [10]

Imperial Aide Edit

Hantei XXXVIII 2

Hantei XXXVIII and Bayushi Kachiko

In 1120, Bayushi Kachiko was appointed the personal aide of Emperor Hantei XXXVIII. The position had little "official" political power, as she was mainly tasked with assisting the aging Emperor in reading and compensating for his failing eyesight. She was chosen because of her devotion to the Imperial court as a Scorpion courtier. [11] The Emperor had selected her as his new Imperial Advisor after the retirement of his aged aunt, Kakita Ryoku. [12]

Winter Court - 1120 Edit

In 1120 Kyuden Isawa hosted the Imperial Winter Court. The Lion Clan Champion Akodo Toturi and the diplomat Ikoma Shotai thwarted a plan to assassinate the Hantei. [13]

Later Reign Edit

The Emperor fell into even deeper political apathy, and devoted himself completely to raising his son. The clans, and various military oligarchies grew in power, to the point where the Crab Clan Champion, Hida Kisada, spoke openly against the Emperor: He's a fool. A weak product of a corrupted and dying bloodline. Hantei got his power from the gods, that's true, but how long ago? [14]

For a thousand years, the dynasty has not known a crisis such as this. A civil war seemed to hang on a thread, and only the loyalty of the Akodo family and the strategic genius of Akodo Toturi seemed to hold back the events that were waiting to transpire. [14]

Prophecy Edit

Hantei XXXVIII with his son

Hantei XXXVIII with his son

The Scorpion Clan Champion Bayushi Shoju, who had the complete trust of the Emperor, [15] discovered an ancient prophecy in a scroll hidden beneath Kyuden Bayushi. The prophecy held that the last Hantei Emperor would bring about the return of Fu Leng. Shoju, after reflecting upon the meaning of this for quite some time, decided to assassinate the Emperor and his heir. Shoju used the entire Scorpion Clan, including Bayushi Togai, in an elaborate plot to end the threat of the prophecy. [16]

Death Edit

Death of Hantei XXXVIII

The Death of Hantei XXXVIII

Hantei XXXVIII was fourty five years old [14] when he was killed in 1123 at the beginning of the Scorpion Coup, cut down by his close friend Bayushi Shoju. [17] [18] Shoju claimed the throne afterwards, until the remaining Great Clans wrested control from the Usurper and placed it back in control of Sotorii, then Hantei XXXIX. [19]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Emperor of Rokugan
1103 - 1123
Succeeded by:
Bayushi Shoju


  1. 1.0 1.1 Rokugan Campaign Setting, p. 190
  2. 2.0 2.1 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 16
  3. Unexpected Allies, p. 57
  4. Guardians, by Shawn Carman
  5. One Question (Rulebook story Fall of Otosan Uchi), by Rich Wulf
  6. Way of the Wolf, p. 38
  7. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, pp. 72-75
  8. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, pp. 93-94
  9. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 218
  10. Imperial Histories, p. 127
  11. Way of the Scorpion, p. 55
  12. Great Clans, pp. 58-59
  13. Way of the Wolf, pp. 74-75
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 101
  15. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 218
  16. Autumn Nightfall, by Ree Soesbee
  17. A Gaijin's Guide to Rokugan, Part 3
  18. Scroll 1 Flyer
  19. Bayushi Dozan (Honor Bound Foil Chase Cards flavor)

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