An Inkyo

Inkyo, 'retirement' [1] or 'seclusion', was offered to any samurai who reached his forties. The retired samurai sought the enlightenment becoming a monk, or moved to a separate house without the burden of leadership. A non-bushi woman's retirement was known as shufu. [2]

Retirement Edit

Inkyo Teacher

An Inkyo Teacher

After a samurai reached the age of 40, he was expected to retire to a monastery to a simple life of meditation. This was not always the case, as many leaders of the clans are often very old. [3] Further opportunities were offered at age 50, 55, and 60, at which point a samurai began to shame his house if he remained in society. The samurai took a new name to represent the focus of their new life, so they were no more referred to by their previous title. [4]

Seeking enlightenment Edit

The retired bushi joined a sogya, or community of monks who studied, meditates and sought for enlightenment through the Tao. [5]

Unicorn Clan Edit

The Unicorn did not retire to this life, and they could remove themselves from active fighting or to end their life beginning the 'last ride', the Kurichitai. [6]

External Links Edit


  1. Roleplaying in the Emerald Empire, p. 10
  2. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 80
  3. Rokugan, p. 41
  4. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, pp. 80-81
  5. Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 81
  6. Way of the Unicorn, pp. 31-32

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