Please note: This article is about the founder of the Ox Clan. For other uses of the term, please see Morito (disambiguation).
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1170 
Parents: Otaku Tetsuko 
Siblings: Otaku Tokei,
Unnamed sister 
Titles: Ox Clan Champion,
Master Steel

Morito was the founder of the Ox Clan and one of the most famous mercenaries in Rokugan. He was also a Kolat Master. He was born Otaku Morito, but was exiled from the Unicorn Clan after injuring one of the Otaku Steeds. Years later, he was accepted back into his former clan and Shinjo Morito, only to leave voluntarily a short while later in a bid that eventually gained him his own minor clan, the Ox Clan.

Family Edit

Morito was the oldest son of Imperial Magistrate Otaku Tetsuko, brother of Otaku Tokei, [1] and had a younger sister. [2]

Appearance Edit

Morito was a tall man. thickly built, with a broad face and thin, dark eyes. He talked with a perpetual sneer. [3]

Early life Edit

Tokei and Morito


The brothers were upset that males in the Otaku family were less than the females, but Tokei was not as bitter as Morito about the exclusion they suffered at the hands of the Otaku. Tokei was weak and sickly, and his brother Morito was protective with him, beaten any bullies who harassed Tokei. Once Tokei fell into a river and Morito risked his own life to drag him to their shore. [4]

Exile from the Unicorn Edit

Morito grew up with his younger brother Tokei, watching the Shiotome practicing on the Otaku steeds. Morito wanted to train with the women on the magnificent steeds, but was not allowed because of his gender. Undeterred, he learned to ride with the help of stable master Otaku Kojiro, helping him train the young horses and being allowed to ride the non-combat adults. He was fostered under Shinjo Hanari in the hopes that he would be content with the Shinjo steeds. Unfortunately, none of this truly changed Morito's determination. [5]

Morito's folly Edit

Morito 4

Shinjo Morito

In 1124, [6] one night, Morito snuck into the stables and attempted to ride one of the great battle steeds. Tokei, knowing of his brother's plan and knowing that he could not dissuade him, accompanied him that fateful evening. Morito mounted the horse and had barely left the barn when the steed attempted to throw him. Morito had been extremely well trained and would not be defeated easily. He clung to his saddle, with the horse bucking underneath him, until the steed's legs buckled. The horse's leg was broken, and it screamed in pain, quickly drawing the attention of Kojiro and Tetsuko. Kojiro determined that the horse would be saved, but its leg would never again be able to bear a rider's weight. [7]

Tetsuko had no choice. Morito's guilt was clear, and nothing could change her mind. Morito was immediately cast out of the Otaku family by his own mother. Tokei, who felt guilty about his brother's fate, decided to share his punishment. Taking the name Morito Tokei, he joined his brother in his exile from their clan. The pair wandered Rokugan for many years as ronin, vowing to never return to the Otaku and looking for a daimyo who would have them in his service. [8]

Life as a ronin Edit

Morito 2


For years they lived the lives of mercenaries, knowing no loyalty but to the koku and to one another. [9] He dressed in Unicom armor, but had carefully removed all the insignia linking it to the Clan. Privately, he had vowed never to fight against his former brethren. [10] Morito was part of the Unicorn forces led by the Unicorn Clan Champion Shinjo Yokatsu that arrived at Otosan Uchi in the second day of the Scorpion Coup to fight against Bayushi Shoju's army. [11]

Clan War Edit

Morito spent the years of the Clan War earning a reputation for himself, joining Mirumoto Daini and the naga, [12] as member of the Toturi's Army in 1126. [6] His brother Tokei attracted the attention of the Grand Master of the Elements, Naka Kuro, who took him as an apprentice. [13] Tokei begged Morito to join him, but Morito only laughed, because there was no profit in enlightenment. [9]

Tokei's Sacrifice Edit

Tokei abandoned his student Kuro, leaving him in disarray. Morito pondered with his brother and Toku about the course of action against the oni horde that was marching against Nanashi Mura. Tokei decided to fight, and three months later he and Toku returned to the ronin village in the height of the Shadowlands assault, only to see the sacrifice of his brother, who cast a powerfull spell which destroyed The Maw and its minions, but left no trace of Tokei. Morito arrived to the home of Kuro, carrying news of Tokei's sacrifice. The Grand Master retorted, stating his former student had merely begun his greatest journey. [14]

Kolat Edit

Shinjo Morito

Shinjo Morito

Morito served as a ronin until he was accepted back into the Unicorn Clan as a member of the Shinjo family. [15] He had been a willing Kolat agent since near the end of the Clan War. [16] Morito had lost a great deal of
his idealism and had become a hardened realist. [6]

Again leaving the Unicorn Edit

Tired of fighting for others, he sought to claim a legacy of his own. [17] In 1131, Morito again left the Unicorn, this time voluntarily, to stake a claim to uncontrolled land claimed by the Phoenix Clan. Morito claimed that since the Phoenix could no longer protect the land he could take them. The Phoenix protested, [18] but Morito constructed in 1132 his palace, Shiro Morito, near the Ki-Rin's Shrine [19] and such good defence determined the Phoenix did not to pursue the matter. [18]

Kolat Master Edit

Morito had positioned his followers to protect the hidden stronghold of the kolat, and under the cover of his own personal ambition the Kolat's home was able to remain hidden. [20] As a result he was promoted to the rank of Master Steel within the secret organization, charged with protection of the Hidden Temple. [21]

Shinjo's Return Edit

The Kami Shinjo nearly wiped the Kolat after her return. Quietly Morito contacted other Unicorn he knew to be Kolat operatives, offering to help smuggle them out of their own lands and into his territory where they would be safe from Shinjo's predations. [16]

Internal Debate Edit

After the crippling attacks of the Lying Darkness and Shinjo's purge the kolat were disorganized, and many critical agents were isolated. The organization sought a new focus, torn between their desire to remake the Celestial Order and the more pragmatic desire to ensure the organizations existence. The Tiger, Cloud, Lotus, and Dream Masters were traditional Kolat, with Master Cloud the most vocal member of the group. The Coin, Silk, and Chrysanthemum Masters all adhered to the modern philosophy, alongside with Morito. Neither Master Jade nor Master Roc seemed interested in this ongoing debate. [22]

Shifting the Kolat Edit

The organization sought a new focus, torn between their desire to remake the Celestial Order and the more pragmatic desire to ensure the organizations existence. The latter philosophy was championed by Morito and it seemed to be winning out. [23] As the surviving Kolat evolved into the ten modern sects, it seemed only natural that Morito become one of the new masters, the first Master Steel. [24] He was head of the Steel Sect, which was charged with defending the Kolat base of operations, the Hidden Temple. He had been chosen for this position by the former Master Steel, Ikoma Soko. [25]

Secrecy Edit

Master Steel's identity was known by all other Masters; he revealed it in order to be more efficient in ensuring their safety. He knew the identities of at least Master Cloud (Isawa Korekado), [26] Master Chrysanthemum (Ikoma Tsai), and Master Coin, Moshi Shanegon. [27]

Claim to Lands Acknowledged Edit

In 1145 Morito played a key-role in the Battle of Shiro Iuchi, during the War of Spirits. [28] He was rewarded by Toturi for his efforts against the Lion spirit armies attacking Shiro Iuchi by having his claims to the land he was occupying validated. Morito immediately sent several expensive gaijin artifacts to the Phoenix Clan as a gesture of friendship to cushion the loss of part of their land. [29]

Recruiting Shanegon Edit

During the war an incident between Master Chrysanthemum, Ikoma Tsai, and the leader of Mantis mercenaries, Moshi Shanegon, took the attention of Morito. Tsai had noticed the mercenaries looted fallen enemies' armor and weapons after the battle. When confronted, the Mantis had blackmailed to expose Tsai's frequent late night journeys from the command post to a geisha house. Morito had heard of the ruthless smuggler's talents and was impressed that Shanegon had monitored Tsai without his knowledge. Instead to be killed, Morito recommended that Shanegon be offered a position in the Kolat, who in time was nominated by Morito to become Master Coin[30]

Manipulation Edit

The ongoing feud between Morito and Master Chrysanthemum, Ikoma Tsai, was a ploy designed to draw attention from their secret alliance. As a result, their sects were closely allied, with some Masters wondering if Master Steel's guile allowed him to effectively become the Master of two sects. [27]

Founding of the Ox Clan Edit

Morito 3

Ox Champion Morito

In 1158 he was granted minor clan status and founded the Ox Clan, [28] naming the clan after the nickname his ronin followers had given him. [16] Morito had chosen the Ox as his symbol, and began strengthening his hold on the Dragon Heart Plains. [31]

Yasuki Kaneko Edit

Morito was allied with the returned spirit Yasuki Kaneko during the War of Spirits. Kaneko did not wish to return to live with her family when they had a dispute over succession, and Morito allowed her to take up residence in a town in eastern Ox lands. [32]

Shadowed Tower Edit

In 1159 Bayushi Tameyoshi, an agent of the Shadowed Tower conspiracy in mission in the Mantis Islands, was kidnapped by members of the Coin Sect. The Scorpion was tortured to learn the true masters of the Tower but the bushi endured the pain. Morito ordered to release him, believing that Tameyoshi was more useful as their contact point with the Tower. The Tower agent agreed to pass the message to his masters, upon the threat of his spirit might be tortured by a shugenja. [33]

Betrothal of Shono and Genki Edit

When in 1160 Shinjo Shono and Moto Genki were betrothed to be married next year, Morito was visited by Master Tiger. Tiger had been informed by Master Dream and Master Cloud had both detected powerful portents surrounding Shono's marriage, and Tiger pressed to kill Shono's bride. [34] The portents could be with the reincarnation of the Kami Shinjo in a future child of the couple, reincarnation that was still to be happen. [35] [36]

Morito Family Edit

In 1166, after formally creating the Toku family, Emperor Toturi III realized only the Ox lacked a formally recognized family name. The Emperor granted them the Morito family name as well. All existing Ox samurai were retroactively granted the name through a large-scale oath of fealty conducted simultaneously at different locations throughout the clan's lands. [37]

Blood Hunt Edit

In 1166 Morito begrudginly allowed Yogo Koji to hunt bloodspeakers within his lands. Koji was successful with the aid of Morito Kitaji. [38]

Facing Hakai Edit

In 1167, the Grand Master of the Elements Naka Tokei went to Shiro Morito to see the unsouled corpse of Asahina Nizomi and met his brother, Morito. It had been forty years since the brothers had last seen each other. Nizomi and Asahina Keitaro had been chasing a group of Bloodspeakers when they faced Hakai, the Onisu of Death. They barely escaped, but the Onisu kept Nizomi's soul with it. Morito helped Tokei dressing as the Grand Master and going into a cave to face Hakai without weapons and magic. The soul of Nizomi was within a white sphere. Hakai had the aid of Akuma no Oni, that was able to reach the mortal realm only in that cave. Akuma easily subdued disguised Morito. Tokei was near his brother, and when Hakai discovered the trap, attacked the Onisu from the back and retrieved the soul of his son. A powerful bloodied Nizomi raised and with Tokei made a ritual that destroyed the Onisu. After the battle, Morito offered a good steed to Tokei and told him that sometimes he thought that maybe it would have been a good idea to follow Tokei when he went with Naka Kuro and joined the ronin army led by Toturi. [9]

Failed Betrothal Edit

In 1169 after the Battle of Toshi Ranbo the Empire was without an Emperor. In the interest of securing the Miya family's position in the turbulent political climate, the Imperial family was attempting to form an alliance with the Minor Clans through several political marriages. Miya Yumi, a Miya Herald named after the famed Miya Daimyo, was offered as a bride to Morito, but eventually she refused to follow her father's desires, and Yumi retired to live a life as a simple Herald. [39]

Death Edit

Morito was killed in 1170 during an attack on the Hidden Temple by Scorpion Clan forces led by Bayushi Tsimaru. Morito attempted to avert his death by claiming this was an attack on the Ox Clan, and as such a violation of the Imperial Edict forbidding Great Clans attacking Minor Clans. Tsimaru was not fooled, and ordered his archers to kill Morito and his men. Tsimaru personally stabbed a wounded Morito to death. [40]

"Tokei, brother… forgive me…"
-Morito's Last Words [40]

Morito was succeeded as Ox Clan Champion by his wife's great-nephew, Morito Garin, [37] and the death was covered up by claiming it had been bandit attacks. [41]

See also Edit

External Links Edit

Preceded by:
Ox Clan Champion
1158 - 1170
Succeeded by:
Morito Garin
Preceded by:
Morito Daimyo
1166 - 1170
Succeeded by:
Morito Garin
Preceded by:
Master Steel
(c. 1132) - 1170
Succeeded by:
Hida Suteru


  1. Way of the Unicorn, p. 64
  2. Riding Yari (Soul of the Empire flavor)
  3. Way of the Unicorn, p. 66
  4. Unexpected Allies, p. 105
  5. Way of the Unicorn, pp. 64-65
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Fealty and Freedom, p. 75
  7. Way of the Unicorn, p. 65
  8. Way of the Unicorn, pp. 65-66
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Fate of the Grand Master, by Rich Wulf
  10. Clan War: The Clans, p. 62
  11. Otosan Uchi: The Scorpion's Sting, p. 54
  12. Morito (Emerald flavor)
  13. Return of the Grand Master - Introduction, by Rich Wulf
  14. Fortunes & Winds, pp. 4-5
  15. Shinjo Morito (Anvil of Despair Title text)
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Way of the Thief, p. 17
  17. Secrets of the Empire, p. 77
  18. 18.0 18.1 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 22
  19. Clan Letter to the Mantis #8 (Imperial Herald v3 #4)
  20. Secrets of the Empire, p. 78
  21. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 69
  22. Way of the Ninja, p. 42
  23. Rokugan, p. 202
  24. Way of the Thief, p. 18
  25. Way of the Ninja, p. 47
  26. Way of the Ninja, pp. 47-48
  27. 27.0 27.1 Way of the Ninja, pp. 44-45
  28. 28.0 28.1 Imperial Histories, p. 222
  29. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 24
  30. Secrets of the Mantis, p. 44
  31. Secrets of the Unicorn, p. 10
  32. A Hero's Death, Chapter Five
  33. Secrets of the Mantis, pp. 81-82
  34. The Promise of Spring, by Shawn Carman
  35. Four Winds, p. 53
  36. Lifeless, Part One, by Rich Wulf
  37. 37.0 37.1 Fealty and Freedom, p. 76
  38. Blood Hunt (Region 15 - Eagle River, AK, USA)
  39. Fealty and Freedom, pp. 126-127
  40. 40.0 40.1 War Amid the Shadows, by Brian Yoon
  41. The War of Dark Fire, Part 4, by Shawn Carman

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