Ikoma Tsanuri 
Ikoma Tsanuri 
Born: 1105 
Died: 1133 
Parents: Ikoma Anakazu 
Titles: Lion Clan Champion

Ikoma Tsanuri became the Lion Clan Champion after the Second Day of Thunder. Tsanuri did not gain the position through right of birth, as is standard with most Clan Champions, but through the strength of her history as a renowned general of the Lion Clan.

Childhood Edit

Ikoma Tsanuri was born under highly auspicious circumstances - she was born on New Year's Day, and a crow landed on her crib and cawed when she took her first breath. Later, her family learnt of a leper who had been cured of his disease, and they rejoiced, for she was surely destined to become great. [1]

Tsanuri Edit

After the Emperor ordered the Unicorn and Lion to make peace, the Ikoma Daimyo Ikoma Anakazu went to live among the Unicorn to learn their ways of living, and to share with them the customs of the Lion Clan. During his stay with the Unicorn, Anakazu's daughter went missing. Because of his pride, Anakazu would not allow the Unicorn to mount a search until the next morning when his host confronted him with the Honor that would be lost if something had happened to the Lion child in Unicorn lands. The child was missing for one night, and the next day Anakazu's wife, frightened, disappointed her husband when she begged the Unicorn Clan Champion Shinjo Gaemon for aid. The Unicorn found the child standing upon a black viper, where she had been, unmoving, since the previous night to avoid the snake any chance to bite her. The name of the viper was tsanuri, 'patient death', [2] a proper name to a Lion samurai-ko.

Choosing her Destiny Edit

Ikoma Tsanuri 5

Young Tsanuri

Even at an early age, shugenja watched and waited for some sign from the child, and they marvelled at how quickly she learned. Kitsu Agunori suggested that she be allowed to choose her own destiny, so on her fourth birthday, she was placed before three objects - a fan, representing the courtier, a mempo, representing the samurai, and a scroll, representing the shugenja, and whichever item she chose would be the path she followed. Tsanuri spent some time looking at all three items, then she looked to the throne of the Lion, then to the daimyo of the Lion Clan. Finally, she stood up, and walked past the three items, past the throne, and past the daimyo, to stand before the man standing in the shadows - Akodo Toturi. She took his hand and turned to face her parents with a smile on her face. [3]

Her mother and father were outraged, even going as far as accusing Kitsu Agunori to be a spy from the Scorpion Clan, sent to dishonor the family. Agunori responded with "If I had a sword, I would make you pay for those words," leading Tsanuri's father to toss him his own katana. It was then that Tsanuri stepped forward, still clutching Toturi's hand, and returned her father's blade to him. Her father in turn, gave Tsanuri over to Toturi's care, saying that he was her father now, for "her true father has failed her". That night, he fell upon his own sword. [4]

Studies with Toturi Edit

Ikoma Tsanuri 3

Liutenant Tsanuri

Tsanuri left the Lion lands with Toturi and went to live with him in the monastery for ten years [5] being the doshi of Toturi. [6] Whilst there, Akodo Kage taught her kenjutsu and kyujutsu, Tsanuri's skills on budo were exceptional. [4]

At the age of 15, some of the monks in the temple began to question Tsanuri's presence among them, but, by conincedence, Akodo Arasou was killed at that time, and the Lion Clan Champion, Toturi's uncle soon after, leading to Akodo Toturi being called back to the Lion Clan lands to serve as the Akodo daimyo and Lion Clan Champion. Tsanuri returned with him and served as Toturi's Karo. [4] During this time they were met by Mirumoto Daini, a Dragon samurai who also learned from Toturi. Daini was very impressed with her, and after few month Daini departed with sorrow. [7]

Demeanor Edit

Tsanuri wass very calculating and insightful when it came to battle. She began to master strategy and tactics while serving Toturi, and had a firm grasp of the ways of war. She had nearly memorized Akodo's Leadership and constantly strived to reach a greater understanding of his meanings. [8]

Other Family Edit

Tsanuri was cousin of Ikoma Soko. [9]

Tsanuri and the Matsu Edit

A few years after Toturi became Daimyo of the Akodo and Champion of the Lion, Tsanuri began to notice a disturbance among the Lion bushi, especially those of the Matsu family. Many of the bushi began to question Toturi's authority, and to head off any difficulties, Tsanuri begun to spend time with the Matsu samurai, and Matsu Tsuko in particular. She quickly began to learn at Tsuko's feet, and became her favored student. [4] [6]

Fighting the Crane Edit

In 1123 in front of Kyuden Doji during the Lion-Crane War Tsanuri was trapped by a Daidoji trick and surrounded by enemy forces. Tsuko was advised by Kitsu Motso, and she carged alongside with the Lion's Pride to save the day. Tsanuri was still alive by the personal intervention of Matsu Gohei. [6]

Otosan Uchi Edit

As heir to the Lion, Tsanuri was quickly relegated to a post at the Imperial City, but Tsanuri resented this decision. She was housed in the Lion Guest Home in the Forbidden City. [10]

Scorpion Coup Edit

When news arrived of the Scorpion Coup, Tsanuri moved with the Lion army that joined the combined forces of the Great Clans at Otosan Uchi in the third day of the Coup. [11]

Post Scorpion Coup Edit

After the Scorpion Coup in 1123 Toturi became ronin and Matsu Tsuko was elevated to Lion Champion. Tsanuri turned for advice to Akodo Kage, friend and sensei to Toturi. [12]

Clan Wars Edit

Trap against the Fallen Lion Edit

Ikoma Tsanuri 4

Ikoma Tsanuri

Matsu Tsuko prepared an army commanded by Tsanuri to trap Toturi the Black in Lion lands with it. [13] Toturi was trying to move his own forces through Lion territory to aid the Crane Clan. Because he had sent secret messages to his sensei, Akodo Kage, Lady Kachiko was fully aware of his position and movement. Every time he made a maneuver, Tsanuri cut him off, informed by the Empero's bride. [14]

Lion Divided Edit

The attack of Hida Kisada upon the Imperial City was a failure, and many Lion returned with different views of what had happened there. Some said that sickness and corruption was rampant at Otosan Uchi, but the only clear was that the Hantei Emperor was gaining strength. Tsanuri, Tsuko's adopted heir, and Ikoma Ujiaki, chose to accept the command of the Hantei, following a policy of strict loyalty to the Throne. Kitsu Motso refused, and after Matsu Tsuko's seppuku in 1128, Motso rallied much of the leaderless Lion before the ruins of Shiro Akodo, to heal the breach within the Lion. His action made it wider, instead, declaring Motso a traitor, who became the leader of those Lion who would fight to place a better Emperor on the throne. [15]

Defending the Empire Edit

By the climax of the Clan War, Tsanuri became one of the most vocal supporters of the Fu Leng-possessed Emperor. As she had once been Toturi's student, she was chosen to lead the front lines of the Lion in defense of Otosan Uchi on the Second Day of Thunder. [16]

At first, her Imperial armies clashed with Kitsu Motso's Lion, and Lion slaughtered Lion with abandon while Yogo Junzo's army simply watched and laughed. When Toturi's Army arrived, Toturi the Black raised his sword high and pointed it at Junzo, and united the Lion with five simple words: "For Tsuko and for Rokugan!" shown the error of her ways, Tsanuri turned her forces around to attack the city. [17] [18]

The undead Hida Amoro fell against her blade in the assault of Otosan Uchi. [19]

Lion Champion Edit

Ikoma Tsanuri 2

Ikoma Tsanuri, Lion Champion

After Toturi's ascension to the throne he selected Tsanuri to be the new Lion Clan Champion, the posistion having been vacant since Matsu Tsuko's Seppuku. Tsanuri was chosen over the more popular Kitsu Motso. [20] Establishing her base of power in the stronghold of the Akodo, Tsanuri sought to rebuild her fractured clan. [21] Tsanuri knew she was a weak governor, but was a great tactician in the field. [22]

Hidden Emperor Edit

In 1130 Toturi I announced a great festival for his second anniversary as Emperor, and important members of the Clans gathered into the Imperial City. Before the celebration began, a guard announced the disappearance of Toturi, and it was found a Scorpion silk scrap in his chambers. The Phoenix Clan Champion Shiba Tsukune gave testimony that Bayushi Kachiko had been in the Emperor's chambers just one hour ago. Tsukune had led the guards through the secret passage beyond the Emperor's room and had found an Akodo Dagger in the hands of the dead Bayushi Tagumura, a minor Daimyo, who also held a piece of Toturi's cloak. Tsanuri swore to destroy the Scorpion if they had harmed the Emperor. Within the dagger's tang was found the name of its owner, Akodo Kage, who had died during the Clan War. Only a Lion could have this weapon, making the matter confuse. [23] The Imperial Regent Takuan ordered the exile of the Scorpion Clan to the Burning Sands. [24]

Mantis Incursion Edit

Following Emperor Toturi I's kidnapping, Yoritomo's ambitions increased. He had decided the time was ripe to gather what territory he could under the banner of his alliance, setting his sights on a Lion fortress. His approach was seen by a Lion watchtower, Matsu Hiro, who quickly advised his chui. The timely arrival of Tsanuri's army drove the advanced forces back. [25]

The Unexplained March Edit

In 1132, without preamble or explanation, Tsanuri gathered a legion and marched south in Lion Clan lands, presumably to the lands of the Crab Clan. Matsu Daimyo Matsu Ketsui and Jade Champion Kitsu Okura had no inkling of her purpose. [26]

The Unicorn Edit

In response, the Unicorn Clan moved to attempt to prevent what they perceived as the prelude to an attack on the weakened Crab Clan. [27]

Yoritomo Edit

Yoritomo left the Beiden Pass pursued by Doji Kuwanan's forces. The Mantis marched toward Shiro Matsu and Otosan Uchi. [28] The Lion could not oppose this advance, being Tsanuri already in the march south to Crab lands and defending themselves from the Unicorn, who were aware of their bounds with the Shadowlands. [29]

Skirmishes with the Crab Edit

When Hida Tsuru forces reached the Lion army they engaged too quick to parley as was the original intent by both sides. The Crab unit was beaten and Tsanuri allowed them to escape. [30] [31]

Tsanuri Turnoil Edit

Lion March

The Unexplained Lion March

The original intention of Tsanuri was to support the Crab, and they answered with letters of welcome, but now he suspected they were a forgery. In fact the Lying Darkness was behind the false missives. [31] She was unaware that the returned Emperor Toturi had enacted an Imperial Edict to step down the Lion as the Right Hand of the Emperor, being replaced by the Unicorn, who had to punish the Lion because its betrayal to the Crab and the corruption of the Kitsu. [32] [33] The new emissaries she sent did not return and decided to march toward the Kaiu Wall. [34]

Aiding the Crab Edit

Tsanuri stood outside Kyuden Hida with sword drawn, as the Unicorn carried messages between the two great generals. [35] Hida O-Ushi and Tsanuri met face to face [36] and the Tsanuri's march was eventually shown to be aid the Crab for their fight against the Shadowlands. [37] Tsanuri aided the Crab in the second assault of the recently fallen Kyuden Hiruma, and the corpse of Hida Yakamo was recovered. [27]

Race to Volturnum Edit

Being secured the Hiruma Castle, the march towards the ancient troll city of Volturnum began in 1133 [38] after being advised of the location by the Empress and Oracle of the Void Toturi Kaede. In the city had been gathered the shadowlands armies. The crab opened their stores of jade for all the Rokugani armies that marched deep in the shadowlands. [39] The oni came by the thousands, blocking the army's path. It was the Lion who stood their ground and held them at bay as a small group headed to the south toward Volturnum. [40] Tsanuri delayed the Shadowlands forces led by Akuma no Oni, allowing Kitsu Motso to reach Volturnum with one thousand of Ikoma samurai in aid of the Empire at the Battle of Oblivion's Gate. [41]

Let them remember. Let the Empire know, when the Ikoma read the histories, that a thousand Lion fought against all the strength of the Shadowlands, and that we brought them to their knees.
-Ikoma Tsanuri [42]

Death Edit

“Men, we knew this time would come!” “Rise up and stand with me! We are Lion, we are samurai, and today we die for our brothers and for the souls of our ancestors! Once more, cry to the heavens! Once more, let these creatures know they die at the hands of true samurai! Utz!”
-Ikoma Tsanuri's Last Stand [43]
Tsanuri's Torii Arch

Torii built where Tsanuri fell

Tsanuri died a few days before the actual Battle of Oblivion's Gate, en route to Volturnum, in a heroic fight against the Shadowlands forces led by Akuma no Oni, in order to distract them from Volturnum. Her unit was destroyed by the Oni Lord. [44] Her designated successor, the cunning tactician Kitsu Motso, became Champion of the Lion, while Ikoma Sume was granted the Ikoma Daimyoship. [45]

The place of her death was kept pure, blessed with a torii and worshipped by the Lion Clan samurai, as the Shrine of Ikoma Tsanuri[46] within sight of the Kaiu Wall[44]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Ikoma Ujiaki
Ikoma Daimyo
1128 - 1133
Succeeded by:
Ikoma Sume
Preceded by:
Matsu Tsuko
Lion Clan Champion
1128 - 1133
Succeeded by:
Kitsu Motso


  1. Way of the Lion, p. 67
  2. Way of the Lion, pp. 10-11
  3. Way of the Lion, pp. 67-68
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Way of the Lion, p. 68
  5. Ikoma Tsanuri (Forbidden Knowledge flavor)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Visions of the Past by Ree Soesbee
  7. Way of the Dragon, p. 62
  8. Clan War: Lion Army Expansion, p. 34
  9. Merchant's Guide to Rokugan, p. 98
  10. Otosan Uchi:Book 2, p. 81
  11. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 54
  12. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 77
  13. Clan Letter to the Scorpion #3 (Imperial Herald v1 #3)
  14. The Story So Far: Forbidden Knowledge (Imperial Herald v1 #4)
  15. Time of the Void, pp. 73-74
  16. Secrets of the Lion, pp. 44-45
  17. Tsuko and Rokugan (Time of the Void story Cards)
  18. Time of the Void, p. 102
  19. Clan Letter to the Crane #7 (Imperial Herald v2 #3)
  20. Clan Letter to the Lion #7 (Imperial Herald v2 #3)
  21. Copper Mine (Jade flavor)
  22. Light Infantry (Jade flavor)
  23. The Exile of the Scorpion, Part I, by Ree Soesbee
  24. Legend of the Five Rings: Third Edition, p. 20
  25. Clan War: Call to Arms, pp. 57-60
  26. Hidden Emperor, p. 26
  27. 27.0 27.1 The Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 22
  28. A Gentle Reminder, by Ree Soesbee
  29. Hidden Emperor, p. 28
  30. Clan Letter to the Crab #9 (Imperial Herald v3 #1)
  31. 31.0 31.1 Hidden Emperor, p. 29
  32. Ashigaru Archers (Dark Journey Home flavor)
  33. Hidden Emperor, p. 29
  34. Warstained Fields (Dark Journey Home flavor)
  35. Rulebook Story (Dark Journey Home)
  36. Hidden Emperor, p. 42
  37. The Enemy of My Enemy (Honor Bound flavor)
  38. Clan Letter to the Crab #11 (Imperial Herald v3 #3)
  39. Hidden Emperor, p. 80
  40. Overwhelm (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  41. The Kitsu Tombs A Thousand Lion, by Ree Soesbee (Soul of the Empire storyback)
  42. Fields of Courage (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  43. Great Clans, p. 107
  44. 44.0 44.1 Secrets of the Lion, p. 45
  45. Secrets of the Lion, p. 8
  46. Where Tsanuri Fell (Spirit Wars flavor)

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