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Otomo Kaoichihime

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Otomo Kaoichihime 
Otomo Kaoichihime 
Born: Unknown 
Died: 610 
Parents: Un-named Crane daimyo 
Spouse: Hantei XV 
Children: Otomo Toruo,
Hantei XVI,
Otomo Tanaka,
Otomo Tsurichi,
un-named daughter,
Otomo Michiko,
Otomo Yurikan 
Titles: Dowager Empress

Doji Kaochihime joined the Otomo family through marriage with the Emperor Hantei XV and mother of Hantei Okucheo, the future Hantei XVI and "Steel Chrysanthemum". [1]

Early Years Edit

Daughter of an influential Crane daimyo, trained to be a courtier and artist. Her superb skill at dancing first brought her to the attention of the Hantei XV. However, it was for her intellect and wit Kaochihime was chosen as the Emperor's bride. [2]

Empress Edit

Kaoichihime became a trusted advisor of her husband, and helped Hantei XV to be more than merely a figurehead during the early years of his reign. She bore the Emperor six children, four sons and two daughters. [1]

Hantei XVI Edit

Imperial Heir Edit

Kaoichihime gave birth to Hantei Okucheo in 569 under portents so ominous that their like had not been seen since Iuchiban. The Shosuro, Ikoma and Asahina, however, chose to ignore them. [3] Her eldest son, Otomo Toruo, died in a tragic accident at the age of seven. The first who arrived to the corpse was Okucheo, who seemed trying to revive his older brother. In 575, after a visit to the Imperial Court, Okucheo was able to tell his mother about three separate plots underway at that very moment. The Imperial Heir helped Hantei XV to implement changes and political strategies more sophisticated than any he could have devised on his own. [1]

Golden Chrysanthemum Edit

In 589 her husband retired to a monastery, and Okucheo became Hantei XVI, the Golden Chrysanthemum. [4] Eventually, she recognized her son's growing paranoia. Kaoichihime took extended holidays in the country and made sure her other children spent as little time as possible in the Imperial City. She also did what she could to remain informed about events in the larger Empire, through a network of contacts built up during her days as the wife of the Emperor. [2]

Reign of the Steel Chrysanthemum Edit

After five years Okucheo was a paranoic Emperor who saw traitors everywhere, and he even began to execute his closest advisors. In 607 two of his childhood friends who had been killed as traitors, Daidoji Tojo and Suzume Kirako, were elevated to Fortune estatus, the Fortune of Dung and Torture, respectively. Kaoichihime was publicly whipped and confined to her chambers due to her objections. [5]

Political Resistance Edit

In the next two years her sons Otomo Michiko, Otomo Tsurichi, and Otomo Yurikan died in strange circumstances. [6] Kaoichihime saw what was becoming of her son, and knew that he had murdered her other four children. She began plotting to poison him. [3] Alongside with his younger and surviving son, Otomo Tanaka, led the resistance against the Hantei's increasingly crazed rule. Every attempt to constrain Hantei XVI's power met with defeat, followed by hideous reprisals. Eventually, Tanaka and Kaoichihime concluded their only choice was to try to remove the Emperor by force, and worked to persuade the Imperial Guard that the Emperor had become a threat to the future of Rokugan. [7]

Death Edit

The Hantei discovered his mother's disloyalty [7] and in 610 [8] ordered his most loyal servant, the Crab Clan Champion Hida Tsuneo, to kill her. Tsuneo did so, and with her dying breath she cursed Tsuneo to follow Hantei XVI forever, even past death. Hantei XVI, Tsuneo and those few remaining loyal to the mad Emperor were slaughtered shortly after by the palace guards. [3] [9]

“My curse on you, Tsuneo, is that you will follow him to death . . . and beyond.”
-Otomo Kaoichihime's last words. [10]

See also Edit


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Imperial Histories 2, p. 106
  2. 2.0 2.1 Imperial Histories 2, p. 122
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Legend of the Five Rings; Third Edition, p. 13
  4. Imperial Histories 2, p. 107
  5. Imperial Histories 2, pp. 107-111
  6. Imperial Histories 2, p. 111
  7. 7.0 7.1 Masters of Court, p. 10
  8. Imperial Histories 2, p. 112
  9. Rulebook Story: Spirit Wars
  10. Imperial Histories 2, p. 113

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