Otomo Banu 
Otomo Banu 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 1132

Otomo Banu was an Otomo lord during the early half of the 12th century and regent of the Imperial Court. [1]

Childhood Edit

Father's death Edit

When Banu was five, his father bludgeoned the headman of a peasant village in front of him and many other onlookers. A few months later, Banu's father died. [1]

Demeanor Edit

His mother was an Otomo Seiyaku who had little time to raise him, and left him to his studies under a very domineering, unforgiving and bitter sensei woman named Otomo Gayuko. By the age of 13, Banu had a distinct vision of how to treat people. His duality as a cruel yet tempered individual began to take shape. Near his gempukku he had mastered the art of manipulation and deception. [1] He owned an original copy of the Subtlety of Court, an essential guide to courtly life. [2] Banu always came to winter courts with his maid, Mozoko. She listened and crept into guest rooms so that Banu could appear clever and well informed. [3]

Appearance Edit

Banu was an effete man, with soft features. His attendants were all stand-offish and young men. [1] He was uncle to Otomo Ariwara. [4]

Patron of the Arts Edit

Banu had once been so moved by a play at the Silken Smile Theater that he could not stand to see its destruction. He used his influence to save the playhouse twice: the first time in the aftermath of the Scorpion Coup, and the second after the Scorpion exile to the Burning Sands. [5]

Emperor Illness Edit

In 1125 the Emperor Hantei XXXIX was sick by a plague and Banu implied to anyone who would listen that he might be the next Hantei Emperor, supported by his political ties with the Phoenix and the Unicorn. [6] He even attempted to cement his power ending the Lion-Crane War, which would gain him a reputation in court for cleverness. Banu decreed that whichever clan could return to him the long-missing Goseki's Daisho, the swords which were presented to Matsu Goseki upon the founding of his family, would be declared the rightful owner of the contested city of Toshi Ranbo for five years. This was well outside Banu's authority to grant but he was a presumptuous and arrogant man. [7]

Cult of the Destroyer Edit

In 1131 his yojimbo Seppun Junichi and Seppun Oronoko were murdered, brutalized, their bodies cut in a gaijin ritualistic fashion. Banu gathered a group of samurai to investigate the murder, and pointed that the visit of Oronoko's cousin, Seppun Horiken, a scholar of great gaijin knowledge, might be involved in the tragedy. The Cult of Ruhmal were the murderers, as they sought to destroy any who could have discovered their hideous cult, or any who got word of it. [8] In 1132 his servant Otomo Hirofumi was exposed as a Ruhmalist after attempting to frame Banu as a cultist at a party. [9]

Claim to the Throne Edit

Otomo Banu 2

Otomo Banu

In 1132 Banu attempted to claim the Imperial Throne in front of the Court, citing his relation to the Hantei bloodline as cousin of a Hantei, with support of Isawa Osugi. His primary rival for the throne was Yoritomo Hogosha, but both men were quickly silenced by the return of Toturi I after he had been freed from his imprisonment at Morikage Toshi. [10] [11]

Death Edit

Banu was supposed to be dead in the slaughter of the Imperial Court ordered by Toturi and performed by the Emerald Champion, Seppun Toshiken, and the Imperial Guard. [12]

See also Edit

External Links Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Winter Court: Kyuden Seppun, p. 104
  2. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 72
  3. Winter Court:Kyuden Asako, p. 75
  4. Time of the Void, p. 70
  5. Secrets of the Scorpion, p. 34
  6. Winter Court: Kyuden Kakita, p. 85
  7. Time of the Void, pp. 16-17
  8. Hidden Emperor, pp. 22-24
  9. Hidden Emperor, p. 50
  10. Dark Journey Home, rulebook, by Ree Soesbee
  11. Proud Words (Dark Journey Home flavor)
  12. For the Throne, by Ree Soesbee

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