Kitsu family


Clan: Lion Clan 
Founded: 44 
Daimyo: Kitsu Miro

In a clan of warriors, the Kitsu family were the shugenja. They were descended from the last five living kitsu remaining at the end of Akodo's purge. Because of their ancestral link to the other realms, many Kitsu could communicate easily with the spirits of the ancestors, and one of their family schools was devoted to this task, the Kitsu Sodan Senzo.

Duty Edit

The Kitsu family served the Lion Clan as lorekeepers, mythologists and diplomats, but their duties were far greater than the typical shugenja. Like the Ikoma family, the Kitsu were keepers of history, but rather than the physical history of their clan, the Kitsu guarded the spiritual history. Thus the Kitsu's duty ws not only to his Clan and Emperor, but to the many thousands of Lion who had come before him. [1]

The reason that the school of the Kitsu was so selective was a matter of the initial founding of the family, a tale which was a cause of great dispute between the Ikoma family and the Kitsu. [1]

The Lost Lions Edit

Before the dawn of the Empire, when mankind was created from the tears of the Sun and blood of the Moon, strange creatures roamed the world whose forms seemed akin to that of animals. Many believed these creatures to be the Naga, and some Crab believed that a great Nezumi culture existed before the fall of the Dark Kami. [1]

If the myths were true, then a third race existed with the Naga and the Nezumi. This race took the form of giant lion-like cats, with flowing golden manes and mean claws. These "kitsu" were great hunters and guardians of the spirit realm, where ancestors linger to watch the deeds of their descendants. [1]

When humankind was created, and the Dark One fell from the sky, these great races were extinguished or fractured - the Naga fell into their Sleep, and the Nezumi were scattered. The Kitsu, instead of choosing to live with the new masters, retreated to the mountains that would eventually come under the rule of the Dragon Clan. [1]

At first, the humans hunted the kitsu and the kitsu returned in kind, waging war on humanity. Eventually, Hantei ordered his brother Akodo to contain the beasts, and Akodo began the genocide of the kitsu. The great cats were hunted, killed, and their bodies burned without knowing their intelligence. In the end, the few survivors of the race gathered in a hidden valley to mount their last stand. When they were found by the humans, Akodo himself led the attack, leaping to the leader of the kitsu and gripping him in a fierce bear-hug. Displaying an intelligence therefore unknown, the kitsu leader broke free of the hold, and unleashed a roar that shook the valley. Akodo, startled, dropped to his knees as the ground shook, and awaited death. [2]

It never came. The great lion simply stared at the man with hate-filled eyes and waited for him to rise. As the first Lion arose, he signaled to his warriors to stand down, then bowed to the leader of the kitsu. From there, it was a simple matter to make peace with the strange race, who eventually learned to speak a rough form of Rokugani. For year, it was said, Akodo journeyed to the hidden valley of the kitsu to atone for his deeds. [3]

Kitsu family is founded

Kitsu family is founded

It was said that upon Akodo's last visit to the valley he returned with five men, with bronze-gold hair. [4] Akodo claimed they were the last kitsu, given human form by his mother. These men swore fealty to the Lion Clan and founded the Kitsu family, whose ties to the spirit world remained strong to this day. [3] Shiro Sano Ken Hayai became the ancestral home of the Kitsu family, where Akodo first brought the five Kitsu. [5]

Any descendant who was pure Kitsu blood had deep orange color eyes. [6]

Kitsu sacrifice Edit

Akodo had a son sequestered by shadowlands forces during the War Against Fu Leng. Kitsu, two of his child, and one daughter sacrificed themselves to allow their Lord's retreat. He walked across the stream of the River of the Drowned Merchant and into the field of battle alone, but beside him fought the souls of every man that had fallen to Fu Leng's evil power. [7]

Kitsu customs Edit

Children Edit

On a Kitsu child's sixth birthday, they were shown the histories of their lineage, and told the myth of the kitsu, performing a sacred ritual. [8]

Gempukku Edit

The Kitsu family did not allow outsiders to view their gempukku ceremonies. During such a ritual, anyone who had not undergone the Kitsu gempukku was turned away from whatever location was hosting the event with no explanation.

Before a Kitsu could be given his daisho, he must first recite the names of each of his ancestors in order, back to the founding of the family. In addition, the Kitsu must cite and praise his ancestors' deeds and bravery. Clever Kitsu would find ways to include their own studies in this recitation by including a previously unknown fact about an ancestor's life or providing an unexpressed insight. The heritage must be recited without error and each ancestor evoked correctly. By doing this, the Kitsu displayed a reverance towards his ancestors. The ceremony ended with the thanking of past Kitsu for their sacrifices and the initiate promising to adhere to their principles.

It was said, but it could not be confirmed, for no Kitsu would speak of it, that the family's ancestors gathered to pass judgement on the initiate. If the Kitsu could not convince his ancestors that he was worthy, then he was stripped of the gifts of a shugenja and turned out of the family in disgrace. On the other hand, a Kitsu that passed was embraced by the spirits, and began a period of great understanding between himself and the ancient ancestors. [8]

Lies Edit

The Kitsu were not able to lie. [9]

Within the Kitsu Edit

Kitsu Mon Edit

The Kitsu mon depicted a lion’s head with a flaming mane, [10] which bore a resemblance to their fallen ancestor, before he was made by Amaterasu to look like men. Kitsu remembered the past those who had come before, and what they had done. Their mon was a memory, both of fallen Kitsu and his legacy. [1]

Politics of the Kitsu Edit

Daimyo of the Kitsu Edit

The following were the known daimyo of the Kitsu family:

Kitsu (Soli Tendo) Pre-calendar - (c. 42)
Kitsu's son (C. 42) - ?
Kitsu Uragiri  ? - 441
Kitsu Eiji (c. 521) - 535
Kitsu Toju  ? - 1150
Kitsu Juri 1150 - 1166
Kitsu Katsuko 1166 - 1170
Kitsu Kiyoko 1170 - ?
Kitsu Miro 1199 - Present


The agricultural productivity in the Kitsu lands was astronomical. With no major mountains or forests, the endless rolling plains had nearly all been transformed into rice paddies or fields of buckwheat and barley. [11]


The Kitsu lands were protected on almost all sides by other Lion domains. [12] They extended from Drowned Merchant River at the north, south along No Horse Road past the city of Foshi, to the Matsu city of Tonfajutsen. The border continued west along Crossing Plains Way past Bishamon Seido to just before Kyuden Ikoma. The western border cut straight north from there. [13]

The following were known provinces under the control of the Kitsu family; [14]

Kitsu provinces

Kitsu provinces

Major Kitsu Holdings Edit

Minor Holdings Edit

Extra Territorial Holdings Edit

See also Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Way of the Lion, p. 43
  2. Way of the Lion, pp. 43-44
  3. 3.0 3.1 Way of the Lion, p. 44
  4. Way of the Lion sidebar, p. 68
  5. Legacy of the Forge, p. 28
  6. Lifeless, Part Two, by Rich Wulf
  7. Way of the Lion, pp. 17-19
  8. 8.0 8.1 Way of the Lion, p. 45
  9. Blood Dawn, Part V: Bonds of Honor, by Rich Wulf
  10. Great Clans, p. 117
  11. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 81
  12. The Atlas of Rokugan, p. 91
  13. Secrets of the Lion, p. 47
  14. Secrets of the Lion, p. 95

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