Temples of the New Tao

Temples of the New Tao

The New Tao was written by Isawa Osugi in 1129 recording the conversation between Toturi and the Hooded Ronin. [1] After several months researching the words of the New Tao, the Brotherhood of Shinsei still did not understand the paths set forth by the Hooded Ronin. Each phrase spoke of danger, and each riddle only led to more confusion. [2]

Tales Edit

The New Tao originally featured numerous tales that focused on the power of human accomplishment, and the strength of free will, stressing that a truly enlightened soul was independent of the Emperor and his laws. [3]

The Kolat Edit

Many of the original people who worked in the New Tao secretly were Kolat, or were supposed to be. The writer Isawa Osugi, the prophet and seer Itako, the scholar Ikudaiu, [2] they all had connections with the Kolat organization, commanded by Kage who wanted to revise it, changing bits to suit it with the kolat philosophy. [4]

Erasing the Empire's Memory Edit

False Tao? Edit

False Tao

The False Tao?

In 1132, when the Lying Darkness invaded the Empire half of the original copy of the New Tao was consumed in darkness. Osugi rescued the other half and successfully hid it within the Imperial Palace. Consumed with remorse Osugi rewrote the remaining half of the Tao, removing the Kolat propaganda. She then smuggled the Tao out of the palace via her Kolat contacts only minutes before her execution at the hands of the Shadow-possessed emperor Toturi. [3] Osugi had written the New Tao, and now her blood stained its sacred parchment. If the words within were false, then only the Emperor knew the truth. [5] [6]

The Theft of the Tao Edit

Kolat Stealing the Tao

Chased Ronin carrying half of the Tao

The Kolat attempted to protect the remaining half from the Lying Darkness. Kolat Master Kage had planned to revise the Tao, changing bits to suit their goals, [7] but other Kolat disagreed. [8] One half of the Tao was carried by Ikudaiu, while the other half was on the hands of a ronin. Ikudaiu sent his fellow Kakita Sutebu to meet the ronin messenger, but he was found and killed by the Goju. [9] The kolat ronin who tried to give the other half to his masters was hunted down by the Lying Darkness and the scrolls were scattered across a cliff, falling toward the sea. [10]

Recovering the True Tao Edit

Unaware that the New Tao had been restored, Kage gave the missing half of the Tao to the Crane Clan. [3] Daidoji Rekai had been advised of the kolat plans by Kakita Toshimoko, [11] who gave her half of the Tao and commanded to recover the rest. [12] She was hunting Sutebu in his city, Nikesake, near the Isawa Mori. She went to the forest in the middle of a blizzard believing that is where the Kolat were. Ikudai appeared instead, and explained that Sutebu was death, and that the Goju were also chasing him. He gave Rekai the other half of the Tao [9] betraying his masters. [13]

Recovering the True tao

Recovering the True Tao

Dorai regretted the loss of half of the Tao and decided to disobey his master Kage. [14] Dorai came to a temple where Rekai was sheltered and destroyed with his magic the Goju who were attacking the Daidoji. [15] By the time Kage realized that the Tao was no longer seeded with Kolat propaganda, too many copies had already been distributed. [3] After the War Against the Darkness, the remaining original fragments of the New Tao were placed into the care of the Four Temples sect. [16]

The Second Half is Recovered Edit

Tjeki recovers the Tao

Tjeki recovers the Tao

Yogo Tjeki discovered a means by which the lost half of the Tao could be restored from Its consumption by the Lying Darkness. [3] This second half was eventually recovered in 1158 by Tjeki and returned to the Brotherhood of Shinsei, [17] after that shugenja meditated upon the elements for a long period of time. [18] Everyone was surprised by this, even Tjeki himself. Although Tjeki dabbled in maho and was affiliated with the Shadowed Tower, he resisted the urge to alter the Tao for the benefit of anyone and surrendered the second half unaltered, [citation needed] unaware that the restored half of the Tao was still twisted by Osugi's Kolat sympathies. Though many scholars had noted how different in theme and style it seemed from the rest of the Tao, none had guessed the truth. [3]

Notable Sayings Edit

  • "The way to Enlightenment is hidden in the pattern of the sun through the trees." [19]
  • "A man's greatest weakness lies where he cannot see the truth." [20]
  • "Only if you bend before the cutting rush of the wind will you rise again in the following calm." [21]
  • "One cannot define a color using coarse words. So it is with enlightenment." [22]
  • "Truth is too valuable to be given to the fool that dares ask for it." [23]
  • "The strength of the will is the strength of the mountain, seek it not in words, but in deeds." [24]
  • "Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind." [25]
  • "When an ordinary man gains knowledge he is a sage. When a sage gains knowledge, he is an ordinary man." [26]
  • "Promises to enemies are meant to be broken." [27]
  • "When the way come to an end, then change-- and having changed, pass through." [28]
  • "To shrink something, first expand it. To weaken something, first strengthen it. To rebuild something first destroy it." [29]
  • "Some rise by treachery, and some by virtue fall. A true hero conquers both." [30]
  • "Evil beginnings have evil ends." [31]
  • "We tell the tales of heroes to remind ourselves that we also can be great." [32]
  • "Sometimes the greatest victory is also the most precious loss." [33]
  • "Ill fortunes arrive only when the door has been left open for them. Good fortune knocks, and is too often turned away." [34]
  • "Learn to let go, and you will find freedom within yourself." [35]
  • "How long is a life?" the student asked the Master. "One breath," was the reply. [36]


  1. Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 19
  2. 2.0 2.1 Clan Letter to the Unicorn #10 (Imperial Herald v3 #2)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 Way of the Open Hand, p. 19
  4. Ikudai (Siege of Sleeping Mountain flavor)
  5. The False Tao (Honor Bound flavor)
  6. Clan Letter to the Brotherhood #7 (Imperial Herald v3 #3)
  7. Ikudai Exp (Siege of Sleeping Mountain flavor)
  8. Hidden Emperor, p. 65
  9. 9.0 9.1 Shadows, by Shawn Carman
  10. Run For Your Life (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  11. Clan Letter to the Brotherhood of Shinsei #8 (Imperial Herald v3 #4)
  12. Kakita Teacher (Ambition's Debt flavor)
  13. Legend of the Five Rings Roleplaying Game, Third Edition, p. 23
  14. Clan Letter to the Crane (Imperial Herald v4 #2)
  15. Relief (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  16. Secrets of the Empire, p. 160
  17. Way of the Open Hand, p. 11
  18. Plumb the Darkness (Broken Blades flavor)
  19. Forest (Siege of Sleeping Mountain flavor)
  20. Outflank (Siege of Sleeping Mountain flavor)
  21. Bend Like a Reed (Gold flavor)
  22. Retired Sohei (A Perfect Cut flavor)
  23. Too Much Too Soon (A Perfect Cut flavor)
  24. Root the Mountain (Hidden Emperor 2 flavor)
  25. Monastery (Hidden Emperor 3 flavor)
  26. Takuan Technique (Hidden Emperor 4 flavor)
  27. Dharma Technique (Hidden Emperor 6 flavor)
  28. Ikoma Technique (Hidden Emperor 6 flavor)
  29. Rebuilding the Temples (Dark Journey Home flavor)
  30. Yoritomo Masasue (Honor Bound flavor)
  31. Obake (Ambition's Debt flavor)
  32. The Legion of 2000 (Ambition's Debt flavor)
  33. Corrupted Dojo (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  34. Emissary of the Ivory Kingdom (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  35. House of Contracts (Fire and Shadow flavor)
  36. Miya Yuritogen (Fire and Shadow flavor)

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