RPG Information (AEG) Edit
Status is a direct measure of the character's influence and responsibility in Rokugani society,  the public standing of the character. Promotions or Demotions would cause the character's status to rise or lower respectively.  Status granted a samurai authority over other samurai of lower status within the same hierarchy. 
RPG Information (FFG) Edit
Status is an attribute that reflects circumstances of a character's birth and, occasionally, achievements that elevate their Rank in the world.