Penitents of the Empty Hand was a Shintao sect of the Brotherhood of Shinsei formed in the early 6th century. An alliance of Bayushi, Mantis and Tortoise served as go-betweens for the Yasuki and the Daidoji, as these enemy families could not conduct trade between them on their own. Eventually a group of Emerald Magistrates uncovered their dealings and the leaders were forced into monastic retirement. The Penitents took vows of personal poverty, but they still served as an illicit network for disguising criminal activities such as smuggling. Any donations bestowed on their order were given away to fund beneficial works for the community. They drew many of their samurai-born members from among former courtiers. [1]


  1. Secrets of the Empire, p. 173

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